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Sunday, April 18

Anatomy of a Home Sale (or How I Got Free Housing for Over 2 Years)

I closed on the sale of my home on March 31st.  Through no skill, just a rising tide of increasing home values, I managed to live in a brand new house for 31 months with zero costs.

I sold my home to Zillow for $266,700.  I bought it for $214,990.  That's a $51,710 profit, or an average increase of $1,668 per month.  

The largest expense of homeownership was the interest I paid on the loan.  My mortgage was 4.75%.  I tried refinancing - twice - and both times our broken underwriting process decided I could not afford to save money on my monthly payments.  Frustrated, this became the impetus for selling.  I don't like being taken advantage of.  I paid a total of $19,990 in interest while I owned the home.

There were significant other expenses to owning this home.  I bought in a new development, and most neighborhoods these days have an HOA.  That only scratched the surface of the nuisance of owning in this neighborhood.  You see, I also paid CDD (Community Development District) fees.  This included interest on debt the developer took on to build the neighborhood, from laying fiber internet and street lights to a zero-entry pool and playground we never used.  Combined, HOA and CDD fees were about $400/month.

There was also homeowner's insurance.  This wasn't significant, a few hundred dollars per year.  New, concrete-block homes don't cost much to insure.

Last, there were some closing costs, both when I bought the house and when I sold it.  

Add everything up, and my profit from selling the house completely covered my carrying costs while living there.  

Our New Home Costs Less

We moved into one of my rental properties.  I bought it during the housing recession.  It was a foreclosure.  I could sell it today for 4x what I paid.  It's in a very convenient location, less than a mile from downtown  and the beach.  There's no HOA, no CDD.  I don't even pay for trash pickup since it is a service the city provides.  Since I bought the house with cash, there's no mortgage payment.

Did I Leave Money on the Table?

It isn't healthy for me to dwell on whether I got the very best price for selling my home.  I am happy with the price I sold for.  But one must assume Zillow knows their data. Ten days after selling, Zillow listed it for $290,900.  That represents a $24,200 premium over what they paid me.  They will have some transaction costs when selling the home, such as the commission they pay the buyer's agent.  It's been listed for just over a week now.  Traffic has been insane - almost 6,000 views and over 200 "saves" online.  As of now it is still an active listing.


  1. Dude check your numbers and edit your post.

  2. Nice to see making headways. Love your hustle.

  3. For starters, you need to find a real estate investor who is older than you to mentor you and give you advice.