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Buy to sell?

Chris Farrell Mar 22, 2010

Question: I have an offer on my house for $350,000 (asking price $374,900) BUT the buyer is asking me to buy their house for $160,000 as part of the deal. I saw it today and its nice but needs a lot of work. But its in a great neighborhood near the university. My future situation is that I will get my (most recent) college degree in 2 1/2 years then plan to relocate. My question is: should I buy their house, thus selling mine in a very tough market, OR would it be smarter to rent? I have two high school children still at home and a college student who comes home to visit, so I need a secure place for my family for the next 2 1/2 years. Thanks. Julie, Bangor, ME

Answer: I understand why your potential buyer wants you to buy his house, but I don’t see how you really benefit. If I was in your situation I would rent. Once you have your degree you plan on moving and that’s pretty soon, at least in real estate terms. Plus, you would be taking on the risk of owning a home you don’t really want that needs repairs (even if it is in a good neighborhood). You would know the numbers better than I, but from a purely financial perspective I think you would come out ahead lowering your price and generating some more offers (hopefully) than getting tangled up in a deal like this. It’s seems too high a price to pay.

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