What a novel concept?! Can you just trade homes with someone else? 

In this hot Portland real estate market, just trading homes seems a lot easier and more doable than trying to sell and then trying to buy in a competitive market. But can anyone trade houses? The short answer is yes. It's kind of another way of selling and buying property but it is more beneficial to someone who's moving to a different location and simply wants a similar place to live in. Of course, it has to work both ways for the trade to be effective.

House Exchange

So how exactly does that work?

It's basically buying and selling at the same time but you are exchanging the same house, rather than the seller going to live somewhere else. It's a "I'll buy your house if you buy mine" type of transaction. It usually closes on the same day and both parties can pay off existing loans and obtain new financing on the home they're buying.

One of the benefits is that you can save on commissions and advertising fees, plus, you may not have to stage and market your home as you would putting it up on the general market. Also, you won't have to worry about double mortgage payments since owners pay off the mortgage on their existing home and then obtain a new mortgage on the new home, all closing the same day.

Training homes can also reduce moving hassles as it eliminates the need for storage and finding a replacement place for your stuff or even yourself if the home is not ready yet.

The disadvantage is finding someone that will want to live in your house and the chance that you want to live in theirs. That can be quite challenging but not impossible. This concept may not be ideal for someone who's really picky about their housing would want to move to a specific neighborhood unless the neighborhood also has a homeowner willing to move to the other homeowner's neighborhood.

So how can you get started?

There are a couple different ways you can go about beginning a house trading process. Find a real estate agent in the area in which you want to move. Tell them that you are interested in this type of transaction and if they have anybody that may want to move to your neighborhood. They have a network of other buyers agents and brokers in the area that may also be looking for a trade type of transaction.

You can also reach out on social media. Let every one of your friends know what you are wanting to do. They may know someone as well looking to move into your neighborhood. You might be surprised as to who you find.

What you cannot do.

What you cannot do is simply trade mortgages. You can't move into someone else's house and just are paying their mortgage because if you default, the bank will come after the previous homeowner. If you're simply trading houses a quitclaim deed is really the best but the lender will probably want to issue a new loan because this is a new borrower with new risks and collateral.

The best thing to do is be honest, forthright, and do things the right way so that the deal doesn't come back to bite you in the future.

If you are interested in doing something like this throughout the Portland area or even Vancouver, contact us today. We'd love to help you find the right home, whether it be an exchange or a new investment.

More Tips for Today's House Hunters:

Should you sell now, rent a while and buy later?

5 Strategies for House Hunters

How to Spot Rental Scam Listings