Real NEastate: Why can’t I make a lot of money on my home?


Q: If I decide to sell my three-bedroom rowhome in Millbrook, how much can I expect to make if I owe $124,000 to my mortgage company? I would like to walk away with $100,000 to put down on a house that I like in Trevose.

A: By the time you pay back your mortgage, the 2 percent transfer tax, the miscellaneous title costs, Philadelphia L&I certification and your agent, you would probably have to sell your home for between $240,000 and $245,000 for you to net $100,000.

Your next question should be: can you sell it for that much in Millbrook?

The answer would be: probably not, considering the average of the recently sold homes in Millbrook is $190,000. Even if your home is stunning, the highest comparable recently sold for $208,000. There’s just no way, in any market, you could get close to 20 percent more than the highest price for the same exact type of home in the area.

Of course, you could always try and see for yourself. It would be more than just a little difficult; however, to find the magic combination of a buyer willing to pay 20 percent more for a house in Millbrook and a buyer’s mortgage company that employs an appraiser willing to overlook the fact that homes in that neighborhood sell for much less, or a buyer willing to pay $240,000 or more in cash.

If your heart’s desire is a home in Trevose, you should simply consult a mortgage professional or two before you list your home for sale. There may be a loan product that would allow you to do it without putting out $100,000. And go from there.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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