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Timing is everything - but when?

Posted by dlm2000 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 21, 12 at 14:12

Well, timing AND location, right?!

We live in north suburban Chicago, 60035, and want to move to the Asheville, NC *area* - still narrowing that down. We got sidetracked with a family crisis on our way to market preparation of our house. It not only changed timing but will change our financial picture, too, as we have now eaten into our HELoC that was untouched before. The picture is not horrible by any means (we have significant equity) but different than before. There are more expenses coming over the next few months but LtV is still going to be < 20% on our current home.

We don't anticipate listing our home until mid Feb at the earliest. That allows us time to prepare the house and hopefully make a small dent in the HELoC balance.

As to timing.... at what point do we begin contacting realtors and interviewing? Is it too early? Certainly suggestions for market price could fluctuate over the next 8 - 10 months, especially considering the coming election. But I do want feedback on things we plan to do and suggestions for things they see and we don't. Having 8+ months to prepare would be nice in our minds but will a realtor think we're jumping the gun? I've bookmarked the Good way to find a realtor thread and will utilize the suggestions there on what to ask in an interview. We have a close, trusted acquaintance who will likely get our business but do want to interview others as due diligence. Not certain how to determining WHO to interview, though.

Our intention was to pay cash for the new home. We will have less to work with so will scale back our search price limit or possibly consider a small mortgage. Last year, our current lender told us we'd have flexibility in buying if we had not yet sold our current home and found what we wanted in NC but again, the finances have changed so there is going to be less flexibility. Should we be contacting lenders in NC to see how they view us in case we do decide to take out a small mortgage? I'm really uncertain how to go about this - we have always lived here and done financing locally with our homes.

Lastly (for the moment!), talk to me about pre-inspections, please. Do buyers really trust an inspection arranged by the seller? This is a new event since our last purchase. My DH is in the home business - residential engineering, repair, remodeling. He does inspections for friends and family and mini-inspections at house showings for his clients to tell them whether or not they should even proceed with an offer on a house and a full inspection or walk away if he spots something big. Obviously we'd have to hire an inspector to do a seller's pre-inspection. I must be missing something but if a seller's agent handed me a pre-inspection report, I certainly wouldn't put a lot of weight on the information so what purpose does it really serve? Or am I less trusting than other buyers? And when is this inspection performed?

I'm ready to start this ball rolling in earnest so thanks in advance for your input. I'm sure to have a LOT more questions!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Timing is everything - but when?

First - asheville is beautiful. Are you retiring there or do you have work lined up?

If you want a mortgage, you are going to need proven income. Definitely call some lenders and see what their requirements are relative to your situation.

Go ahead and call a realtor now. If you already have a trusted one, I'm not sure I would do a lot of shopping around for another. There is absolutely no substitute for KNOWING you can trust someone.

Pre-inspections are mostly for your benefit. You can share them with potential buyers if you want, but that isn't the point. You want to know about any potential problems before a buyer finds them. I would suggest the even though DH has the knowledge, you should still get an outside inspector to take a look at the place. It's pretty much impossible to be truly objective about your own home and people just tend to accept things because "It's been that way for 10 years."

RE: Timing is everything - but when?

....and people just tend to accept things because "It's been that way for 10 years."

billl you are so right! I'm sure we will fall into that category to some degree, especially with appliances. Newer doesn't always mean better in my book and since we are diligent with maintenance our appliances (and HVAC) are older than most buyers *seem* to be willing to accept now. We'll see. Now I understand the reasoning for a pre-inspection - just have to convince DH. Lots of these inspectors are the reason he has steady business :-/

Not retiring, but determined to have a living environment that allows us to shift into a lifestyle that suits us more. Big changes coming. Work is flexible - DH has 2 businesses and one is internet based so can be located anywhere. The residential business will require time to establish again but he wants to shift earning emphasis to the internet business. I'd love to find PT work but that's not part of the financial picture.

I totally trust this realtor - she is smart, professional and she did great things when I referred both my nieces to her. But it's a highly competitive area and worth hearing another view. If nothing else it could solidify my decision or add something she/we hadn't thought of.

I'll talk to our lender here again and get updated information but I believe they don't finance in NC.

Thanks for chiming in.

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