If you keep your house on the market until it sells, just how much are you paying for the uncertainty of real estate investing?
If you’re deciding whether to sell at a loss or keep fighting a declining market, the question comes down to whether you want a certain loss or an uncertain loss.
Let’s dig through the numbers to see how much a client of ours was paying every month to keep a property on the market with no in-flow.
How Much Are Carry Costs?
Our client with a $600,000 loan could only sell at $570,000 in the current market.
This is a $30,000 loss. But the number is certain.
Remember their alternative is covering the costs while holding the property for an indefinite period of time. In a market that’s not seeing higher property values for potentially a long time.
The list of costs adding up month after month gets long fast:
- An extension fee if you go too long with your short-term loan
- And more.
On a $600,000 house, these costs add up rapidly. The market could take 2+ years to get to a point where they can sell for more than $600,000… This client would be losing much more than $30,000. And still, even that is not a promise.
What Does Uncertainty in Real Estate Investing Cost?
Here’s the breakdown for this client’s property’s costs:
- Mortgage (in this case, interest-only payments): $4,900
- Taxes: $300
- Insurance: $200 (Paid up-front for the period of time they thought they’d sell by. That period has passed, so this became a monthly charge.)
- Staging & Utilities: $325 (Since it was a larger, higher-quality house, they added some furniture and decor to help it sell. Utilities also stayed on while the house was on the market.)
That’s a grand total of $5,725 per month to keep this house on the market.
This is money that adds no true value to the property. It’s cash flying out of their pockets and getting them nowhere fast.
These costs are a necessary evil in normal real estate investing. The kicker here is that there’s truly no end in sight.
The market is not expected to get better (especially for higher-end properties) for quite some time. In fact, interest rates are actually anticipated to go up.
Interest rates rising just one more point could impact buying power so much that the house’s market value could go down another $50,000.
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