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Selling Your House Before You Travel

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Selling your house can have just as many things to consider before you pull the trigger.

For example, what is the current real estate market doing in your neighbourhood and surroundings?

If you can sell the house for a gain over what you bought it at, it may be worthwhile to do so and solidify your gains. (Don’t forget to factor in the tax consequences – if any – of doing so, depending on where you live). Yes, you will miss out on any future gains in value by selling, but if you know your market you’ll know whether the projected gains will be worthwhile for you.

Here are some other reasons to consider selling your property:

  • You were planning on downsizing anyway
  • You can’t afford to pay the mortgage while you’re away (even with rental income, or if you’re unwilling/unable to rent)
  • You don’t want to be concerned about it while you’re abroad
  • You need the money for something else (consider where you’ll live later on, and how you’ll afford it if you spend the property sale proceeds)
  • It’s a market timing opportunity (be careful of timing markets; even if you lock in inflated gains with the sale, nothing is guaranteed – including where the market is headed)
  • You want to relocate, but don’t know where to yet

If you sell the house, you also need to think about how much money you want available for when you return. You may want to buy another house (and furnish it, along with all the other costs that can come with buying a house).

If this is the case, beware of spending too much (if any) of the house proceeds on your travels. Stash away the amount you want to keep for your return in a separate account or investment so you won’t be tempted to spend it on impulse abroad. (More on investment choices and vehicles in Chapter 2)

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