I sold my primary residence and made $57,000
That's a $57,000 increase in less than 3 years. BOOYA! I only put about $8,000 down on the house too so I'm walking away with way more than I put in. Pretty good return on investment right?
Buy in an appreciating market. I knew the Raiders were going to close in Nevada a few weeks after I closed, I knew marijuana was going to be legalized that year, and I know interest rates were low. People are moving to Vegas in droves and capitalizing on the mania was easy.
If you're in the real estate game, make friends with realtors. I was able to negotiate a 1% commission with one of the hottest realtors in Vegas simply because we became good friends over the last few years.
Get professional pictures. I know cell phones are ubiquitous now, but if you're trying to sell a home. Step up and get professional pictures from a REAL professional photographer. I had a friend list his house before me it's nicer than mine and in a better area and he still doesn't have an offer at the time of this writing. Why? TURRIBLE photos. Cell phones are unacceptable and that's how people judge whether or not to even bother to show up and see the house. There is a good chance I sold too early. I'm sure there are people who would read this and say "Alex Vegas is going to keep going up, you left money on the table. That is correct. In the long run I'm still bullish on Vegas, but I wanted to leave for some personal reasons (mostly boredom) and seeing that cash sitting there for the taking made for good timing to capitalize. In this instance I'm much happier taking what money I knew I could make and running with it rather than sticking around and trying to eek out another few percent with the possibility of it going down in value. The bulk of the short run appreciation in Vegas has occurred, last year it was up 12% alone, there is no way that's going to happen again going forward. As they say "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Going forward I only intend to buy a primary when I know the market I'm in will appreciate. Otherwise it's just an expense and if I'm going to have a big housing expense I would prefer not to have the liability and maintenance that goes with it. Now if you're someone who want to stay somewhere forever then buying often makes more sense then renting, but if you want to make money efficiently and you want your assets to create freedom rather than responsibility, then buying a primary residence is only viable when the market is appreciating. With all that said, because this one went so well I'm actively looking for an appreciating market that I can move to and buy another primary in. My top three are Charlotte, Nashville, and Tampa.