Neighbours Are Going House Crazy

Now that the renovations to the basement and landscaping outside is complete, the in-laws are able to work to their heart's content gardening and weeding. Of course, as it's late spring, a lot of people are out and about walking around poking their noses where it doesn't belong...

They've started to ask the in-laws if they were planning on selling the house.

Why would they ask that? Mother-in-law asked them on our behalf. Turns out basement renovations and landscaping are a sure sign people are selling their homes soon.

Uh... yikes.

Have they considered another explanation? Like perhaps people making renovations to their homes are planning on utilizing the extra space?

This is where I'd imaging blank stares after mother-in-law told them that we were planning on using the space.

Of course, it's easy to understand why they think we're planning on listing the house soon. There are plenty of people in our area who have listed or are planning on listing their houses soon because of the hot real estate market.

The contractor we hired to renovate our basement lives 5 minutes away (by foot). They live in a townhouse unit that faces a relatively major street. They were able to sell their townhouse for $650,000. In three days. Three days!

The neighbour across the street from our house listed their semi-detached house for $700,000. They sold their home in four days for $750,000! Yikes!

There's another neighbour down the street from us who is planning on listing their semi-detached house for $700,000 as well. However, they want to wait until the price goes up to $800,000 first!

Dear goodness.

Wifey and I bought our semi-detached for $459,000 four years ago. To think our house could be worth upwards of $650,000 is unbelievable.

Have wifey and I discussed selling? Of course we have. However, that discussion ends very quickly.

Why is that? Well, for one, we'd still need a place to live.

Sure, we could sell our house. But we'd still like to live close to work, close to family, and close to grocery stores.

As it stands, our commute to work is 30 minutes each way. In order to sell our house and find something within our price range of $500,000 will require us to likely have commutes upwards or 90 minutes each way. Although, that is based on houses in Keswick, ON (wifey's old co-workers bought a home there last year for that amount).

Of course, if you don't want such a long commute, then the alternative is to put that money towards a bigger or more expensive home. That kind of defeats the purpose of cashing in your equity doesn't it?

Unfortunately, it happens more often than not.

The contractor we hired? He and his family were trying to buy a house 15 minutes from here for $1.3 million!!! Unfortunately, they lost out when someone topped their max offer by $100,000. The house sold for $1.4 million.

The neighbour that sold their house for $750,000? The only reason they sold their house was because the wife didn't like the fact that it wasn't open concept. They purchased another house that was open concept in the area. I don't know how much they spent on the new place, but I would assume it would be something in the same ballpark if not more. If they are looking for a similar sized home in the general area, then the prices should be the same.

Yeah, I can understand the open concept thing. Our floorplans are similar and when we first moved in, it was a knock against the home. However, after these four years, I've come to realize that although it might be nice, it's not really a dealbreaker. Plus, if someone is cooking in the kitchen, does it really matter if they can't see the living room from there? I wouldn't sell just to get an open concept main floor. That's just silliness. Even if the prices were the same, now you're paying commission fees to sell the house. You're paying movers (or spending a ton of gas money moving on your own). You're taking time off work (unless you blow your entire weekend to move).

You hear anecdotes like this all the time. People selling their homes to take advantage of the increase in house prices only to buy a more expensive home (that's also seen an increase).

You're not really benefiting anyone except the real estate agents.

Which explains why mother-in-law knows so many people trying to attain their real estate license.


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