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My House Appreciated $44,000!!!

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A neighbor just listed their house at $339,000 a couple weeks ago so it looks my house has appreciated $44,000 in about a year and a half! That’s nearly an increase of 15%, who said the housing market was dead?

It’s okay folks, I’m not delusional. Sadly though, many Americans think in these terms, counting chickens before they’ve hatched and thinking those two birds in the bush are better than the one in the hand. And, even more unfortunately, they’ll make bad financial decisions believing that they really did just receive a windfall of $44,000 when in fact…

  • A list price doesn’t equate to a purchase price. It doesn’t even mean the house will sell… ever.
  • My house cost more than $295,000 – it cost that, plus interest, plus taxes, plus improvements and repairs.
  • It’s not even real anyway. $44,000 in equity can certainly be pulled out through fancy financing like home equity loans… but that comes at a cost. While you might want to go through that trouble if you want to put a kid through college, you shouldn’t do that to buy yourself a new flat screen television.

This is the first time that a home has been listed in my neighborhood so it’s really the only time I could speak from experience about how people react to seeing a home listing of a very close comparable that is higher than their purchase price. Just a thought to throw out there, I’m curious what you all think. So… new plasma for my basement or should I keep working? 🙂

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “My House Appreciated $44,000!!!”

  1. It’s funny that you discuss this today. I was researching my net worth statement and realized that I haven’t adjusted my home value in about two years. The two year time frame includes the apex of the so-called “housing bubble” (by the way, the area in which I live, likely does suffer from home prices that have soared past their realistic value) and a slight drop back down into reality.

    I went to the county web site to see home sale prices in my neighborhood. The condo that I purchased back in 1998 for $30k (yeah…that’s right…a condo about 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean could have been purchased for that amount only eight years ago!) is on my own books at $90k. Comparable units have sold in my area, in the last 18 months, in a range between $95 and $125k. I don’t think there is too much harm in raising my own personal appraised value from $90 to $95k, especially considering the equity I have in the home is probably more than 2/3 the value of the property.

    Why is this relevant to me? Well, I am considering a job change that would require a move and I am trying to weigh the benefits of selling in a down market versus renting until the market improves. There are a ton of things to consider, not the least of which is the housing market in my destination city. I do think that it is worth keeping an eye on, especially in a volatile market. In the meantime, I am going to take my $65k “profit” and continue to work this year!

  2. My neighbor sold (not listed) a nearly identical condo to mine for 40K less than what I bought mine at. I reacted with an OMG, I just lost 40K. I’m in for the long term though, so it’s not a big deal.

  3. mbhunter says:

    Sell the house, get your money out, and rent. 😉

  4. My thoughts exactly!

  5. You’re also not counting real estate commissions as an expense. In Canada, you’re looking at an extra 6-7% for an agent.


  6. miller says:

    burst burst burst!!!

  7. Foobarista says:

    @Traveler: if you sell your condo, be sure to do it within 3 years, so you can get the homeowner’s exemption of $250K (or $500K if filing your taxes married) on capital gains. If you wait until after three years, the entire profit is subject to capital gains taxes, although it can be rolled into a 1031 exchange.

  8. Khyron says:

    Jim, you’re smarter than this. Think. YOUR house didn’t appreciate 44K. The only value something has is when it is bought/sold. They can list at any price they want; that doesn’t mean they’ll get that price. If that’s not a sale price, its irrelevant. (Nevermind contract cancellations. These happen to existing homes too. The govt stats don’t consider an existing home sold until its actually sold, not when the contract is signed as for new homes.)

    Dude, that’s a theoretical value at best. Now, I know you’re a longer term thinker and all that, but I think you’re getting a bit overexcited on this one.

  9. jim says:

    Khyron… you didn’t read the whole thing did you (or my facetiousness didn’t come out as strongly as I thought it did)? 🙂

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