catching up with Amy

Buying and selling and relocating, oh my!

By Laura Kapp

August 2019

Amy bought her first house in Grand Rapids, Michigan at age 23. Fast forward 2 years and she has since sold that house and relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 2 houses in 2 years at just 25? Here’s one millennial who isn’t sacrificing homeownership for mobility.

The relocation shuffle

Although Amy was perfectly happy with her first little house and made lots of friends in Grand Rapids, a job opportunity popped up that was too good to turn down. She recently relocated to Pittsburgh, where she serves as a regional sales manager for a major food distribution company.

Before her move, she experienced the ups and downs of both buying and selling houses in 2 different states.

Selling a first home in Michigan

“Lucky for me, Grand Rapids has a shortage of homes for sale and a lot of buyers. I didn’t have a chance to make any improvements on my house, a farmhouse built in 1904, but I did add a simple deck and lots of flowers and new bushes. It has more curb appeal than when I bought it,” Amy said. She said that the hardest part about selling a house was making sure it was clean all the time and ready for prospective buyers to tour.

Amy ultimately sold her house for $161,000, $21,000 more than what she paid in 2017. Even in that time, she accumulated some equity and walked away with a total of $28,000 when the sale closed.

Buying a new house in Pennsylvania

The next step was to find a house in Pittsburgh. Home prices are higher there, compared to Grand Rapids, Amy noted. She wanted to buy a nicer, more expensive home this time around.

“I found one that was a little bit above my price range at $200,000. But it is in perfect condition, I don’t have to worry about repairs or anything,” Amy said. Plus, coffee shops and restaurants are within walking distance.

As a single person who works long hours, finding a low-maintenance home was important to her. But she also wanted to keep some money in the bank, just in case.

She explained, “I could have used all of the proceeds from the sale of my house as my down payment.  But I didn’t want to drain my savings account. I used private mortgage insurance (PMI) again, so I could put less money down. I could have put 10% or $20,000 down, but I opted for a 5% down payment of $10,000 instead. My monthly payment is a little bit higher, but still affordable. Thanks to PMI, I could buy a bigger, better house and still have money in the bank.”

Kimberly Smrek

Love the article. I think we're finding the young generation are hesitant to purchasing because they don't want to make a long term commitment. In this article it shows they don't have to. thank you MGIC. :)

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Laura Kapp is the former creative director of the writing and design team at MGIC. Now she works from her 1958-ranch-style home, accompanied by dust bunnies. Her messy home office proves the saying, “Creative minds are rarely tidy.”
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