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A Seller Contingency

Dear Monica: I want to sell my house at a price high enough to buy another house, keep my Prop 60/90 property tax, and pay my capital gain tax. I am afraid if I sell my house I won’t find another that allows me to do all of these things. What would you advise? Grace W.
Dear Grace: You are not alone in wanting to do what you describe. Alas, our housing market is tight and prices are rising so this will not be easy to do. First of all, you don’t know yet what your own house will sell for. Therefore you don’t know whether you can buy the next property at a price that allows you to keep your property tax rate and pay your capital gain. In this market of multiple offers, you will have a hard time convincing a seller to accept your offer contingent on selling your present house at a certain price.
One strategy that could work is to accept an offer on your current house contingent on buying another one that fits your financial plan. Because inventory is still low, you should be able to find buyers willing to wait for you to find the right replacement property. This seems the only way you can be sure you will cover all your costs before you give up your present house.

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