At the end of 2020, we officially made the decision that Nashville is no longer where we want to call ‘home’.
Selling our Primary Residence
We opted to sell our home and domicile. Fortunately for us, our tenants were in the market to buy and they loved our home. These tenants have been living in our home since April of 2018 and treated it just like it were there own. Many decisions needed to be made on how to go about achieving this and the first was breaking up with our Property Management company. Which was no easy task. Their contract stated we could cancel at anytime before renewal, but would be subject to fees related to the remaining months left on the tenants current lease. After seeking counsel with our real estate attorney, we broke our agreement, paid them the fees, and had the ‘we’re selling the house’ conversation with our tenants.
No Need for a Realtor
After that discussion, it became apparent that it might be feasible to sell our largest asset without the need for a realtor. Especially considering the realtor’s we spoke with wanted to charge us between 4%-6% to sell our home to our current tenants. If you are doing the math, that comes out to more than $28,000 in realtor fees at 4% of the proceeds from selling our home. That’s well over $28,000 to complete the paperwork, essentially. The hardest part of selling a home was complete already. We had buyers and typically realtors work tirelessly to market your property for you. This marketing is the true value of a realtor when looking to sell your home. We had a dollar goal in mind that we wanted to reach with the sale of our home and enlisting a realtor made that target a bit of a challenge to hit. So we made the decision to sell our home with the help of our Real Estate Attorney we partnered with that originally helped us draft a domicile rental lease back in 2018 when we left for our nomadic lifestyle.
Tenants Turned Buyers
After a few Zoom meeting discussions and email exchanges, our tenants turned into our buyers as we officially agreed to a sale price. In 2016, we put in an offer of $456,000 on our home. New construction, beautiful layout, brand new appliances, etc. At the time, it was the highest sale in our neighborhood as many other comparable homes were 200 square feet smaller that lacked many things our property offered. We knew Nashville home prices would continue to climb and they most certainly did over the course of the last 4 years. Average home values soared, new constructed homes continued to go up, and it was rumored that over a hundred people were moving to Nashville DAILY. Nashville is a unique real estate market mostly driven by reasonable home prices, a metro area with lots to do, and continued growth from companies relocating their headquarters to the greater Nashville area, as well as new sports teams being added too. All of these amenities led to our asking price of $615,090 to our tenants which agreed (with a seller to pay $5,000 in closing costs) and became our buyers.
After agreeing to our asking price, we set the closing date at 12/15/2020. Closing on a home during a Pandemic one might think would be a challenge, but fortunately for us, the entire process went smoothly. Prior to closing, we opted to have the property remeasured for accurate square footage as there was some discrepancy with tax records versus our original closing documents from 2016. A difference of 200 square feet is a significant, considering that’s how the value of a home is measured. It was completed and measured matching what our closing documents represented. Next the buyer’s appraisal needed to meet or exceed the sale price we agreed to. The appraisal was completed and we were cleared to close. We completed our portion of the closing documents from our attorney on Monday, 12/14 and overnighted the documents to our attorney’s office for the buyers to complete Tuesday morning, 12/15.
Successful Closing, Successful Debt Payoff, and Successful Net Proceeds From the Sale
Using a real estate attorney proved beneficial. By going this route, it saved us nearly $29,000 of our profit that would have gone directly to the realtor’s percentage. Since the attorney charges you per hour worked, this is a minimal expense compared to giving up 4-7% of the sale to a realtor. Because we bought when the neighborhood was still being gentrified, the home prices were lower and since then, nearly 5 years later, home values have skyrocketed as more homes went up and more people were moving to the area. In total, we successfully pocketed $200k in Net proceeds from the sale. These proceeds became a Sinking Fund for a future plot of land or home we wish to renovate and pay in all cash. This route isn’t for the faint of heart or for those who are impatient, but for us living the rest of our days without a mortgage is the real American Dream.
We plan to allow that sinking fund to remain liquid, but not sit in a basic savings account. We opted to place those funds in a high yielding savings account in the interim while we continue to pay rent at our town home after exiting full-time RV Life. This real estate market has no boundaries at the moment and there are too many instances of homes and properties overvalued and we’d prefer to wait, save as much cash as possible, and once we are ready we plan to buy our next home completely in cash and avoid another mortgage altogether. At the very least, we plan to have well over 20% for a down payment on a 15 year conventional loan instead of a 30. The goal is never to have more money, it’s always to keep they money we have and work hard for. Avoiding life long interest payments is the only way to keep most of what you make.
We’re sorry it didn’t work out, but had it worked out for us, we would have never found RV Life, we would have likely not found debt freedom, we likely wouldn’t have the choice to retire early if we choose, and last but most importantly, we wouldn’t have been in a position to have a family of our own. Good things often come from situations you least expect. We had high hopes for Nashville, but because it didn’t work out, we found some pretty great things in life. This isn’t to say that we didn’t have happy moments from our time in the 615, it’s simply that those happy moments were just that…moments in time and we were looking for everlasting happiness and not the kind that comes and goes. Thank you Nashville. We’ll be back to visit again one day.