As home prices and costs skyrocket, some forced to make emotional move out of state

EVERETT, Wash. -- Moving is physically draining but for Tony Anthony it’s the emotions that is the hardest. “It’s been a very emotional journey,” Anthony said.

Anthony just lost his wife of 28 years.

The question now -- how do you pack away the decades of memories?

“A lot of it has sentimental value so I am taking it,” Anthony said.

He's taking his memories and leaving the Puget Sound to survive the future.

“The cost of living -- and every time you turn around there is a new tax,” Anthony said.

Anthony, a retiree, says he can’t afford to comfortably live in his Everett home anymore.

“I’ve seen my taxes go from $1,400 a year to $5,200,” Anthony said.

He says he can’t afford it anymore so he plans to sell his longtime Everett home and move to Arizona.

Broker George Moorhead, with Bentley Properties, says he is getting more and more clients like Tony.

“That’s one of the biggest concerns right now is housing affordability for retirees,” Moorhead said.

Moorhead says retirees worried about the cost of living are considering moving out of state or to places like Eastern Washington.

New numbers on Tuesday showing that the Seattle area is No. 1 in the entire country for home price gains. The city’s been No. 1 for the 16th month in a row with about a 13% increase in one year.

One example of skyrocketing costs is a listing of a small Phinney Ridge home. The one-bathroom house is listed for $750,000.

With less than a month’s worth of inventory coupled with high prices, many sellers are cashing in.

Attom Data Solutions says Seattle is ranked fourth in the country for sellers making a profit.

The profit margin for Seattle-area sellers right now is 67%.

“I’m glad to see it,” Anthony said.

But some people may not realize there are hidden costs for sellers.

“Probably the bigger hidden cost if you want to call it as such is people are unaware that Washington state is one of a few that has a state excise tax that’s 1.78%,” Moorhead said.

So for a median King County house, that’s about $12,000 in just the excise tax.

When it’s all said, with the excise tax, closing costs and upgrades, Anthony will pay more than $40,000 to sell his home.

Zillow’s data released on Tuesday says for a home that costs about $476,000, you can expect to shell out about $43,000.