Buying and selling a home in Issaquah, Washington

In 2006, I was working with a husband and wife to help them find and purchase a new home in Issaquah.  It was the height of the housing bubble: we’d looked at several homes for sale in Issaquah, and every one of them had multiple offers. We finally found the home in the Klahanie neighborhood – it had come on the market in the middle of the week and we moved lightening fast to see it and make an offer. It had an open floor plan, privacy, and was in an excellent, established neighborhood. They were great Issaquah schools, and the location was an easy commute to Microsoft.

As tricky as it was to find them a house during 2006, the real challenge came two years later, when they decided to relocate to Houston, Texas and found themselves unable to sell the home for a price that was even close to what they’d paid for it.  Like many home sellers in 2008, they decided to rent their Issaquah home, and wait for the market to rebound.

Fast forward to 2012. While home prices in Issaquah haven’t completely recovered, my clients have opted to put their home on the market, even though selling now means they won’t totally recoup their equity.  Why? Well, these sellers are looking at the bigger picture: by taking a loss on their Washington home, they’ll be able to take advantage of the incredibly low interest rates when they buy a home in their new home state of Texas.

They are not the only ones. In a recent article written in the Wall Street Journal, they say “buying up” is becoming an increasing trend among home sellers – even when selling means that they may not be able to get full equity back. But, as the article points out, "If you are trading up, what better time than when interest rates are at record lows and the cost of the trade-up is much less than it used to be?".

While this may not be the right move for all home sellers, it’s certainly something to consider.

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Rachelle Willhite is ZipRealty’s District Director for real estate in the Seattle metro area.