By: Dan Balm

Things I’ve Learned: Selling Your Condo and Moving to a House

Tags: Balm Real Estate, Dan Balm, Toronto

Write this down: BUY BEFORE YOU SELL.  In theory – selling your condo to see how much you can get and putting that money towards the purchase of your new home is a good plan.  But if you’ve sold your place and keep losing out on house bidding wars… you sir have a problem.

Historically speaking, selling your condo and renting until the market “falls” has been a lethal financial mistake for those who have attempted it.

Many of the condo sellers of today bought when there were bidding wars on condos.  Can you believe it?  Bidding wars on condos!  These clients require a crash course on the changes to the Toronto housing market.  For some sellers, it is tough news to hear that they have not escaped the bidding war treadmill.  The ray of sunshine though, is the capital appreciation on their new home acquisition.

Do not (DO NOT) try to close both properties on the same day.  If the person buying your property (or the one selling the property you’re buying) used some discount on-line mortgage company that didn’t transfer funds in time, you and the truck full of your stuff will be sleeping at a Motel 6 until things get in order.

“Should we ‘hold back’ on offers on our condo?”  I would say, probably not.  Unless you have some funky thousand square foot loft off the rail lines in a building with solid funding, the number of condo units out there is still such that buyers feel that there is more to choose from than to compete for.

“Do you really think we need to stage?”  The difference of a buyer’s offer on your property staged and not staged could be the whole cost of the land transfer taxes on your new home.
Budget, because it’s going to be expensive.   To sell a $400,000 condo and move into an $800,000 home, you will pay almost $50,000 between the land transfer taxes, real estate costs and lawyer costs.  There may also be bridge financing costs, mortgage discharge fees and the cost of the Stolichnaya you will be consuming whilst doing said budgeting.

You are moving from 600 square feet to 1600 square feet and your house may look a bit bare.  Don’t worry about it.  Let the urge to nest pass and furnish it gradually.  

Insuring a home is different from insuring a condo.  Look up “liability insurance”, “knob and tube wiring” and exclusions from “water damage”.   

From the time we successfully buy your new home to the time we successfully sell your condo, you and I will be best friends and you will not go anywhere without adequate cell phone coverage.  Deal?