Thursday, April 01, 2010

Has the market peaked? Should you sell your property now or later? What if market drops in 6 months?

Has the market peaked? Is this the time to "cash out" and move to a smaller home?

These are very difficult decisions to make.

I've always said this "you have to make the best decision you can at the time given all the information you have at hand and hope you make the right decision and most important accept it", such as me getting out of the financial mutual fund markets last fall, the stress was too large compared to the potential returns/losses.

You have a similar decision and ultimately, if you sell your current home and buy, for example, 1/2 to 2/3 of whatever your current home sells for, you will benefit more by selling now if the market drops.

But if the market does not drop you've not lost too much, but, if you don't sell now and the market drops you will lose more, but the house you were moving to would also drop, so your difference in prices is not as bad as it sounds.

Let's work with some numbers.

Say your current house is worth $800,000 and you are purchasing a home for $500,000 If you do this today then you will net approximately $300,000 If you wait 6 months, for example, and if the market were to drop on average 10% then the $500,000 home would be worth $450,000 but the larger home would drop more than 10%, due to the larger properties dropping more in a downswing (and rising more in an upswing), but even if we use the absolute number of 10% then the $800,000 home would be worth $720,000. Now the difference is $270,000 This indicates that all things being equal you would lose approximately $30,000 if you are trading down and you wait 6 months and the market drops 10%

If you wait and the market increases 10% in 6 months from now, then you gain an additional $30,000.

Thus, the difference in the buy/sell today versus buy/sell later if the market is up or down in the future is not as great as you think - the key is that the larger priced property will rise more in absolute dollars if the market increases and similarly will drop more in absolute dollars if the market falls, thus the dilemma, but the absolute difference is not as large as you may think.

Ultimately, it's your risk tolerance and whether you are betting the market will be better or worse than it is today.

I wish you the best of luck with everything you do!


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