Athen Apaquette

How can I buy a home without selling my old home? I don’t want to sell my current home and then be stuck because I don’t find a replacement home quick enough.

This is a great question.

Many people are currently upgrading their living space, where you own a starter home and are wanting to get more space, better school district etc. But they fear giving up the home they have been living in, without having the new home in place, kind of like quitting your job before you find the newer better job…

There are many ways to handle this.

1. The most common one is making a “contingent offer” to the seller of the new home; this means that you make an offer on the new home on the contingency that you sell your old home. That also means the seller is ‘waiting” to see if you sell your home in a certain period of time.

In a sellers’ market, like we have now, where sellers are getting multiple offers, they have no reason to tie up their lives to your selling or not selling your home… Not the best option.

So, the realistic options in today’s market are:

1. Find the house you like make an offer with no contingent sale. What that means is that you have to have other sources for the down payment.

Maybe you can get a loan against your 401k, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) against your current home. That way you don’t need to sell to buy the next home. Once you move into the new home then put the old home on the market.

2. If it doesn’t sell, you could rent it out. For qualifying purposes you would have to qualify for both homes, which can be tricky.

3. Another method is to sell your house on contingency that you find the new home within a certain period of time. Many buyers, because we are in a sellers’ market, will wait for you for a certain time period, usually 60 days.

4. You could also have the buyer allow you to rent it back, but that is limited to 59 days. You still have to move fast, but at least you don’t have to “move twice”.