Relocating – Should I Sell or Rent?

Relocating, sell or rent? Q. I am trying to figure out the logistics of relocating to another state when my current house is paid for, I am in no hurry to sell, and it won’t be a problem to buy another house first and then sell this one, if needed. I live in North Dakota in a paid for house. I want to relocate to Texas, but am in no hurry. I can live in this house till it sells, close, immediately have my stuff shipped to Texas or put  most of it in storage while I house hunt there.

Or I can clean this house out, store my stuff here and rent something cheap here for a few months while I wait for the house to sell. I can buy something in TX, close, move my stuff, get settled, put this house on the market and come back to close when this house sells. (This is probably the simplest – one thing at a time.)

I am so confused! How do other people do it when the old house is paid for and there is no hurry about selling it?
Thanks, Jayne

CJ Says: Dear Jayne,

This sounds like an exciting move and congratulations on building equity in your North Dakota home that will provide you options!
First, I would advise sitting down with your tax professional to understand any tax implications to selling your home.  They will be able to provide advice on how renting, selling now, or selling later can provide tax advantages or payments.
If you haven’t already picked out a neighborhood in Texas, I would suggest spending some time in a hotel to investigate the areas you are most interested in.  Go at different times of the day, talk to people who live in the neighborhood and ask about what they like and don’t like.  Also, find out about services, shopping, entertainment important to you.  Where’s the nearest medical facility? Where is the best coffee shop or the like.  Whatever  you like to do, make sure your new location has some of these conveniences.
Talk with local agents about the areas you have in mind and listen to their opinion about the local market.  Let them know you are interviewing agents and are most interested in ones who know the neighborhoods you are interested in, and are willing to spend the time with you while you become orientated to the market.
Decide, from a price point, how big of house you can afford and equally how much of your belongings will be able to fit in this new home. Most are trying to size down, and this is the time to get serious about what you will take and what you will not take.
Once you have the moving item list completed, talk to your agent in North Dakota about what the market is like, will they stage the home or be able to utilize your items.  Here in California, homes that are staged achieve top dollar.  We like to show the home like a model home.  If that is the case in your area, then look at moving companies to find out which movers also store and compare cost.  Do not accept a quote off the phone.  Meet with movers and ask for references, look at better business bureau, and YELP for feedback on the companies.  Good moving companies should not have huge differences in price.
If you are ready to move, the strategy will be very much dependent on your comfort level.  The more you can build confidence in your decision, the better.  This is the time to do all the home work about selling and buying in the new area.  Then sit back and think about what you have learned and decide if you are ready to make the move. It is always an exciting decision when you have the most information.
Hope that helps!  Good luck!  I would love to hear how it all turns out.

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