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3 mos in a house, overwhelmed with maintenance wants to sell to downsize is it a good decision?

first time home buyer, and overwhelmed with maintenance. we bought the house 3 months ago it was a foreclosure but decent condition just cosmetic updates. We want to downsize to a condo but not sure if we can sell. 2 bathrooms are very old dont have money to renovate that. We have debts and payments for the house stretch us montlhy. Is it a good decision to put it up in the market and see what we can get for the house?

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January 09 2009 - Windsor
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this is getting tedious - spam isn't allowed - zillow will remove your contact information when they see it
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December 03 2010
Bear in mind that the expenses associated with selling a house are enormous and so unless you are extremely lucky it will actually cost you money to get rid of your home.  I bought my first house for $428k and had to sell a year later because I lost my job.  My house sold for $500k - the real estate market then was amazing! - but I still only had about $20k left after real estate commissions and my share of closing costs.  It is far, far more likely that you would wind up spending more money to get rid of your house than it would cost to fix.
A condo is not a panacea for your problems.  Condos have bathrooms too, and the monthly maintenance fee only covers outside repairs and maintenance.  Furthermore, the monthly maintenance fee is often enormous.  A typical high rise condo costs $400 or more a month in maintenance fees.  And if you need to fix your bathroom, you are still on your own, just like your current house.

I remember visiting an absolutely stunning high rise condo in Santa Monica.  The unit was a positive snip at $1.2 million, but the real shocker was the maintenance fees - over $1,300 a month!  I believe that covered pretty much everything - this particular complex was run like a hotel - but I doubt that you'd find that any easier to pay than the costs you're looking at with your present home!

As Sunnyview and others have said, as long as your toilet works, you don't need to replace it straight away.  Incremental improvements are definitely the way to go.

Hope that helps.

D
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January 09 2009
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Next, focus on one thing you want to change. Things like paint, landscaping, curtain rods etc. make a big difference in how a house feels. After I fixed functional items on my list, I got some wood blinds and painted the main living room. What a big difference for a small price. My bathroom is still 1959, but it works. The toilet flushes, the drain drains and the faucet does not drip. People ask when I am going to remodel. I tell them that I don't know but that I like my house and that it's on the list. That shuts up and gives me room to breathe. I would address you other debts before you do anything. Try Consumer Credit Counseling and ask them for a budget sheet. They are free for the consult and may be able to give you ideas on making your money go farther. Selling now is tough. You need to get a handle on your debt and give yourself a break. Remodeling is only quick and easy for rich people the rest of us take it one project at a time.
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January 09 2009
If you want to sell, then do your homework, figure out a reasonable sales price including any fees you will incur. And then get it listed in your MLS with a Realtor.
What exactly has to be renovated in the bathroom? Can you post some photos for some ideas to be given to you for low cost quick fixes? I have done renovations on bathrooms for far less than one would think. Or if possible you can offer an incentive to a potential buyer for the work to be done for them by a licensed contractor-- get a quote with photos of the contractor's work, and this cost can be figured into your sales price.

If you cannot afford to sell, you can also see if your bank will negotiate a new rate on your mortgage. 

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January 09 2009
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My main bathroom is all original from 1959. Think about that for a moment. My toilet, my floor, my tub, my shower stall, faucet, towel bars, counter top everything is 50 years old. You do not need your house to look like 2009 all at once. It takes time to do projects and budget for them. My bathroom is on my to do list also, but it sure isn't done yet. Don't let the HGTV, Home Depot crowd make you feel like everything need to be done now. It doesn't. If I were you, I would make a list. First list things that need to be fixed that are functional items that you use each day like  faucets, door locks, slow drains, broken stove etc. Fix them first. In most houses, these items are cheap to repair or replace and you can do it yourself even if your are not handy. When functional items do not work it is depressing.
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January 09 2009
First, have a local realtor evaluate your home, the current sales in your area, and do a buyer's estimated expense sheet. Also ask agent to advise on what you could do to increase the chances of your property selling for more money in the least amount of time. 

If you are unhappy with the property (or don't have time to care for it) and the mortgage is stretching your budget, sell it. Maybe check into renovation loans to get it ready to sell, if your realtor thinks that would benefit you. Each case is different and unique. The sooner you act, the better.
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January 09 2009
Unfortunately we are in a down market and with values going down and the cost of sale you stand to loose money.  Hang in if you can.
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January 09 2009
 
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