A couple of years back, CPA and author Stacy Johnson published a sort of personal confessional under the attention-getting title, “Should I Sell My House While Prices are High?” Even if they have no other compelling reason to want to sell, that’s a question that may have crossed the minds of Costa Mesa homeowners who recall the rollercoaster housing markets of previous decades. Mightn’t the stock market’s “buy low, sell high” dictum be relevant today?

Johnson’s subject matter is finance rather than real estate—and it was a financial brainstorm he had in 2008. He had bought his Florida house for $400,000 in 2001, but seven years later, its value “was north of a million bucks.” His idea was to sell it for a hefty profit then rent a temporary residence until “the market inevitably sells off.”

The confessional aspect of the article is twofold. First, he didn’t do it. The market fell, and since he hadn’t sold at the peak, he lost his theoretical paper profit. He hadn’t acted because he’d reasoned that the market couldn’t possibly fall enough for the idea to be worthwhile (he was wrong about that). Additionally, the hassle of selling and then trying to find an equally suitable rental was off-putting.

Local readers might assume that the point of the article is to encourage selling their Costa Mesa homes now—but it’s not. Johnson acknowledges that similar strategies frequently fail because they call for success in market timing—very risky business in any kind of market. And, as fate would have it, his property eventually became worth even more than it had been in 2008—so the paper profit wasn’t really lost at all.

Meantime, Johnson discovered a less risky alternative strategy.

At the low point of the housing crash—after a sustained period of kicking himself for losing all that paper profit—he recovered enough to take another tack. He and a friend bought a fixer-upper house in the neighborhood. They rented it profitably for a couple of years, then sold it for a considerably elevated sum.

For local readers troubled by the original question yet not about to sell their own perfectly comfortable Costa Mesa homes, that history is thought-provoking. Taking big risks could be profitable but might also boomerang—yet doing nothing foregoes financial possibilities altogether. Some middle course may be worth considering. Short-term and long-term, whenever Costa Mesa real estate matters could use a professional’s assistance, I hope you’ll call us!

We are built on a philosophy of Heritage & Hustle. The L3 is a full service real estate agency with a regional office located in the heart of #CostaMesa, offering a wide-array of custom services to meet their clients’ needs with roots in the community since 1976.  It’s L3 mission is to provide trusted, convenient, responsive service to ensure clients enjoy their real estate experience. The L3 was originally formed to offer personal, concierge-level service as an alternative to the large, nationally based real estate companies. From its small beginnings of only two employees, The L3 has grown to a full staff of 25 serving over 300 clients a year. The L3 is not limited to serving just its clients; it is also committed to serving the community. Not only has The L3 donated hundreds of hours to many area charities, they have also received the prestige of being named one of the #toprealestatecompaniesinCostaMesa  If you’re interested in #buyingorsellinginOrangeCounty, turn to the experts. Turn to The L3 and let them help you make your real estate buying or selling dreams come true. For more information or to get started on finding or selling your home contact The L3 today at 714-444-4663 or email us at info@thel3.com



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