Selling the Condo

In the last few days, selling the condo has crystallized into something I should actually do, and I should try to do quickly if I’m going to do it at all.  I think I can get $400k based on a recent sale.  That means I need to pack up everything ASAP.  It seems like a big job.

I bought 5 27 gallon totes from Home Depot (all they had ready to sell) and it only seemed to pack up 20% of my closet.  A real estate agent is coming to day to discuss it.  Moving it alone, the heavy things, the fragile things… luckily many of the smaller items are already packed into smaller storage containers.  I will probably need to take a few days off work just to focus on getting packed and moved.  I think I can rent a 10×15 storage unit for $211/month in Fremont.  That’s going to be a lot of car trips… I wonder how many boxes I’d need to pack before renting a u-haul to do one big trip would be worth it.

There are a lot of worries associated with the sale.  Will I get a good price?  How much money will I lose in expenses (realtor fees alone will be like $24k)?  Will I break anything when I move?  Will the storage unit bake all my things to death?  How long will my stuff live in the storage unit?

Quick back of the envelop calculation:

$400k condo sale + $150k investments – $24k realtor fees – $20k moving / sale expenses -$46k mortgage

= $459k

Certainly that’s not bad, but it’s not $500k.  It’s at least 3 years of working to get to $600k.

Which is a good lesson for me or for anybody thinking about buying property.  Yes, I’ll have “made” about $250k on the condo, but it looks like 17.6% of that is going to be absorbed by realtors and sales related bullshit.  Selling is expensive.  If you buy and then sell an expensive property at the same price with no change in equity, you have all those moving expenses plus 6% of the property value that you have to come up w/ cash to pay the real estate agents.  On a $500k property, that’s $30k!  Sweet deal for them, not so much for you.  A good amount of home equity is “fake,” because when you try to realize it, you get hit with all this shit.

So… is the right thing to *not* sell the condo?  I think the balance is still in favor of selling and having less risk in 1 condo in SJ that I don’t really want to be in anymore.  But the process is painful, so my brain is trying to find a way out of it.  If I could sell for $410k and put only $10k into the sales prep, that would have me ending at $480k, which would be much more attractive…

List of problem / fragile items:

  • big painting
  • small paintings and framed art
  • Gentleman’s chest
  • Plates / Mom china / whiskey
  • PC / monitors, iMac, speakers, console, TV, projector, ultimama, mac mini
  • projector screen (sigh)

Temperature sensitive:

  • yo-yos
  • wine
  • calculators
  • dvds / blu ray
  • video game consoles / computers
  • special books?
  • camera stuff

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