When Should We Sell?

Not a day goes by that we aren't asked "should we sell? In Vancouver it is a really complicated question, but the answer is simple.

Timing the market may seem like a great idea, but is anyone really any good at it? There is no crystal ball. Economists can do all the math, but will it make sense to you and your family?

If you look at housing relative to incomes, for many people Vancouver is not affordable.

If you look at renting vs. buying, renting is a much better way to go in today's market.

You can live in a $5 million dollar home for $5000/ month. On a purchase basis with an amazing 50% down and our low interest rates at 3%, the premium on owning costs you $15,000/ month. This does not include all of the yearly maintenance on the structure, plus gardening.

If you are already in the market, do you sell and rent until it becomes more affordable to own than rent?  What about all the appreciation lost in that time frame?  Will there be any? Where else do I put my money once I've cashed out of the Real estate market? Is there a better use for my cash?

We all know about the Vancouver Real estate Rollercoaster.  It may seem like the prices of Real estate only go up in Vancouver, but that isn't so.

What about offshore money coming into our city? Many locals are worried about something happening in the world and the possibility of that stopping. Then what happens to housing prices in the lower Mainland? Will prices fall by 50%, 70%?

What is affordable? Do Canadians top out at $2.4 million? What happens to high-end housing if no one local can afford them?

After working in the Real estate business for over two decades and personally riding the waves of down markets and up markets, (and the leaky condo syndrome that thankfully is long past), the simple answer of deciding to sell eliminates all the unknowns.

You have to ask yourself, what works for you? What works for your family? What can you easily afford? What is your timeframe?"

If you can answer these questions to yourself honestly, there lies the answer to your dilemma.

If you've just had your fourth child and you are in a two bedroom and are going crazy with all the chaos, then the time is right for you to make a move. If your family is grown and moved away and the gardening is becoming too much, and the taxes are ruining your sleep, then it's a great opportunity for a change.

If you think this is the top of the market, you want to sell to put your money in the bank to buy in when prices deflate but you love your home and neighbourhood, I can tell you first hand that you may very well regret your decision. Don't sell for the sake of trying to time the market. If you love your home, you should stay.

Please don't be that seller.

Simply put, if the situation has changed and no longer brings you happiness but leaves you stressed, it's a great opportunity for change and rejuvenation. Nothing feels better than a clean uncluttered life.

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