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Whether you’re planning to move to a bigger home or downsize, you have to answer a key question. Is it better to sell your current home first, or buy your next home and then sell?

I’m wondering about this because my wife and I are thinking about downsizing, and we haven’t been in the housing market since 2000. I turned to my Facebook personal finance community for some thoughts on this question, and they didn’t disappoint.

There was no consensus on whether to sell or buy first, but I did get some useful input:

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  • A lot depends on where you live: “In Edmonton, most homes in my neighbourhood have sat for months unsold. You couldn’t take the chance of buying first and then selling your home in this market.”
  • Think about stress: “Sell first, then look to purchase your next home. Then the ball is in your court with no pressures.”
  • Give yourself lots of time: “Sold first and then bought. We asked for a long closing time, which gave us plenty of time to look. Plus the market had cooled a lot and prices were declining a bit when we were looking. It all worked out for the best!”
  • You may need a place to live between the time you sell and take possession of your next home: “[I] put a 10 per cent down payment on a new condo just being built, then sold the house. Was only supposed to spend two months in various vacation rentals, but it became almost five months because the building wasn’t finished when promised.”

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

The bank with the 2.8-per-cent savings rate

If you’re in touch with interest rates on savings accounts these days, you know that 2.8 per cent is quite high. Here’s a review of the bank offering this rate, Motive Financial. Note: It would not be a surprise to see this rate lowered at some point. Be prepared.

Senior Ladies Living Together

That’s the name of a Facebook page created by a 69-year-old Ontario woman looking for roommates to help make a place to live more affordable. She figured on getting five or 10 replies and now has roughly 600. Great insight into the financial pressures single women may face in their retirement years.

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It’s OK to cheap out on these kitchen tools

Do not spend a bunch of money on paring knifes, peelers and more.

Married couples save more

Two partners can make saving a team effort, which means a greater likelihood of success. Chalk up another example of how singles can be financially disadvantaged.

Today’s financial tool

Prepare to be blown away by this investing fee calculator – it shows how much of your returns are being eaten up by fees paid for investment products and advice. Remember to consider both the amount of the fees and the value you’re getting in the form of advice, coaching and more.

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Ask Rob

Q: We are snowbirds and recently sold our Florida condo. We would like to invest the U.S. dollars that are currently sitting in our U.S.-dollar account at our Canadian bank instead of it just sitting in the account earning nothing. We do not want to convert to Canadian dollars to invest, as we may need the U.S. dollars down the road. What are the best options for Canadians to invest their U.S. dollars with minimal tax consequences?

A: One option would be to set up a U.S.-dollar account with your bank’s online brokerage arm and invest the money that way. The proceeds from selling your condo could remain in U.S. dollars, and you’d have a wide range of investments to choose from. Here are some tax tips on investing in U.S. stocks.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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