Before putting your house on the market or committing to buying a new one, take a look at the prices of houses in the areas where you'll be both selling and buying. You'll need a realistic idea of how much similar houses are going for. Since you're both a buyer and a seller, you'll need to protect yourself in your weaker role while letting your stronger role take care of itself.
What if you're unable to perfectly time the sale of one house with the purchase of another? You may own no houses for a time, in which case you'll need money in the bank and a temporary place to live. Or, you may own two houses at once. That's why it's important to have a back-up plan. Here are some options to consider:
- Research short-term rental and storage options (family, friends, storage facilities, containers).
- A bridge financing is a loan for the down payment on a new home backed by the equity in your old house, typically at prime plus two percentage points.
Another option is a no-ratio mortgage. A no-ratio mortgage is usually made based on the buyer's down payment, credit scores or assets. Income isn't used or reported, and therefore will not exclude a borrower from receiving this mortgage. Rates are often higher but you can refinance later.
Alternatively, you may be able to draw on a home equity line of credit on your old home. However, you might pay a penalty fee if you sell the house within a year.
Buying a Second Home
Buying a second home isn't that much different than buying a first home. Affording it usually depends on your ability to qualify for a mortgage on the second home. Benefits include tax breaks, a getaway for the family on vacations or holidays, a future retirement home, renters making your mortgage payments for you, or just a smart investment.
Many people see buying a second home as an investment opportunity. You'll need to identify sources for your down payment, since you're not selling your current house and using the proceeds, and you'll need to expect a larger monthly obligation for housing expenses.
Keep in mind that if you declare it as a rental, your mortgage might be slightly higher. Work with your lender to create a customized loan program with the best combination of rate, points, and closing costs for your needs.