Transitioning Into a New Home While Waiting for Your Old Home to Sell
Moving is hard enough, but orchestrating a move into a new home while waiting for your old home to sell can be a downright nightmare. Depending upon your situation, you might be straddling two mortgage payments while waiting for your house to sell.
Then there are the challenges of moving your belongings into the new home. And what do you do with your old house if it’s sitting vacant after you moved into the new one? We’ll help you answer this and many other common questions if you’re juggling two houses at the same time.
In a perfect world, both the new house you’re buying and your old house have simultaneous closing dates. This would be a seamless transition without having to hold two mortgages while waiting for your old house to close. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world, and no real estate agent on the planet can guarantee both houses will close at the same time. That’s why you should look into financing options such as whether you should secure a bridge loan vs HELOC.
A HELOC, or home equity line of credit is money secured against your existing home as a revolving line of credit. This money can be used to pay mortgages, or even as a down payment on your new home. Alternatively, a bridge loan can be used to bridge the gap between buying a new home and selling your old one.
This is a short-term loan, however, and must be paid off in 2-3 weeks. Either of these options might work for you depending upon what your situation is when you transition from a new home while waiting to sell your old one.
When you’re juggling two houses, it’s like moving while being in stasis and it can be extremely confusing. Make matters easier by creating a game plan. This means getting very clear about what needs to be moved into the new home immediately, and what should stay. Start by labeling boxes clearly and even color coding labels according to destination. Writing the contents on box labels can be a sanity-saver in terms of moving items to the appropriate destination and location.
Of course, you can make life even more convenient if you opt to simplify before moving. This means eliminating as much of your belongings as possible. Have a yard sale. Give items away to charity. The more things you can get rid of mean a less complicated move to your new abode and less stuff hanging around in your old home. Minimizing also means saving money on moving expenses.
What to Do With the Old House Before It Sells
Ideally, all your stuff is now moved into your new home, and you’re settling in nicely. But what about your old house? Leaving a house uninhabited and vacant can be problematic for a slew of reasons. An empty house could be subject to vandals, or damaged by weather or any number of other problems. Therefore, if at all possible, recruit a friend or family member to watch after the house before it sells.
Or, you could opt to stay in home. If you’ve moved all your belongings into the new house you just bought, this is the perfect scenario to do home improvements in the vacant house. Take this opportunity to renovate the floors while the furniture is moved out. Or, paint the interior of the house since it’s more convenient with pictures no longer on the walls.
Another solution is turning your old house into a short-term rental. This could be very beneficial in earning income to cover the mortgage on the house. It also solves the problem of having to babysit a vacant home. If you go for this option, make potential renters fully aware that the house is for sale, and there is no way of knowing when tenants will be required to move out.
While this might seem dissuading to most renters, bear in mind that most house sales provide a 30 day period before closing is finalized. That means your home could be rented short-term with an assurance your renters may stay (vacay, or staycay in some cases) a minimum of 30 days.
In summary, juggling two homes is certainly not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, it can be done with minimal stress, if you do your research, think things out, and stay organized. With that said, we hope these tips on transitioning into a new home while waiting for your old home to sell will help your move go as seamlessly as possible.