Selling your home isn’t always easy — but at times, it is necessary.
If you’ve found yourself in a financial bind, if you’re no longer happy with the neighborhood, or if you’re facing some job or family changes, selling your house might be the best path forward.
Are you unsure if selling your home is the right move? Here are nine scenarios when you might want to consider it.
Your Family is Growing (Or Shrinking)
If you’re about to have your first child or adding a second (or third) to the family, or your older kids are leaving the nest, it might be time to sell the house. Use the profits to buy a larger property to fit your expanding family or, if you’re becoming an empty-nester, downsize and put the sale proceeds straight toward retirement (and maybe toward those college tuition bills, too).
You’re Not Happy with Your Location
Has traffic gotten bad in your area? Is there lots of construction delaying your morning commute? If it just too difficult to get around lately? If so, selling your house might be the best move. Spend some time researching communities in your area, and hop in the car and explore each one with the family. Be sure to take into account school locations, commutes to work, highway access and other factors before you opt to buy your next property.
You’re Changing Jobs
A pending job change could require a sale, too. Here are a few work-related reasons you might want to consider selling your house:
- You’re changing jobs and the office isn’t easily accessible from your location.
- Your employer is changing offices and commuting from your home is no longer feasible.
- Your hours or wages have been cut and you can no longer afford your home.
- You’ve lost your job and need to cut back on expenses.
You’re Nearing Retirement
If you’re getting closer to retirement, selling your home can offer many benefits. For one, it can give you a hefty sum of cash that you can put into an individual retirement account or 401(k), or stow away in savings. Whatever you choose, it can provide much-needed support once you’re no longer earning an income.
Selling your home can also make it easier to travel (no more bills or maintenance to tie you down), and if you downsize to a smaller property, it can also cut down on your physical stress as well. A small condo, for example, might not require mowing the lawn, or a first-floor apartment could eliminate the need for going up and down the stairs.
You’re Tired of the Upkeep
In the same vein, you also may want to sell your home if you’re tired of keeping up with its maintenance and repair needs. This could be due to aging or a physical limitation or disability, or maybe you’re just traveling or working too much to keep up. Whatever the reason, selling the property and moving to a less-demanding home might be a good option.
You Need More Cash Flow
One of the biggest perks of homeownership is that you build equity — equity you can turn to when times get tough. Did you lose your job and have no way to pay the bills? Are you facing sky-high medical bills or an unexpected expense? Your home might be the key to staying afloat during financial hardship. Sell it and use the proceeds to keep your head above water until you land back on your feet.
The Neighborhood is Going Downhill
Times change, and neighborhoods do, too. Neighbors move in and out, businesses open and close, and the entire personality of a community can shift as time passes. Maybe crime rates are up and school quality has decreased, or you’re just not fitting in with the new wave of neighbors. The bottom line: If you’re no longer happy with the neighborhood you’re in, it may be time to sell.
You Want a Brand New, Upgraded Property
Are you tired of your home’s outdated features and design? Want a home with an open floor plan or the latest smart home technology? Simply want to design and build your dream home from the ground up? Then sell your house and buy a new construction property. If you get in early enough, you can customize the home exactly to your liking.
The Market is Hot
Finally, you might want to think about selling if your local real estate market is hot. If homes are selling often and quickly in your area, it means demand is high. And when demand’s high? Higher home prices follow. That’s an opportunity to increase your return on investment and really bring in some profits. Use them to boost your retirement savings or buy a larger move-up property instead. Either way, you win.
Sometimes, life (or finances) just necessitate a home sale. If you’re at a place when selling your house makes sense, make sure you consider all of your options. Many of today’s home builders are offering trade-in programs, which allow you to sell your existing house and build a new one at the same time. You can also use a real estate agent to sell the house, or iBuyers like Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow Offers allow you do it completely online. Research your options and choose the route that best fits your family’s needs and timeline.
I’m a freelance writer and journalist from Houston, covering real estate, mortgage and finance topics. See my current work in Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Balance, Bankrate, New Home Source and The Simple Dollar. Past gigs: The Dallas Morning News, NBC, Radio Disney and PBS.