During the winter time of 2005 I was looking to move out of my parent’s house. I had saved a nice sized nest egg and I was ready to leave the nest.
I contemplated long and hard whether to either rent or to buy a place. I sought advice from anyone who would give it. I listened and took note of each person’s opinions and positions on both. Some advised to rent a place, and others told me to buy.
I carefully weighed the positive and negative aspects of both. Renting would afford me the freedom to move anywhere at any time and not have the responsibility of a house. But by renting you don’t build equity and have nothing after paying into it and moving away.
Buying a home on the other hand would give me equity that I can build on but I’d have to put a large chunk of money down and be responsible for the work and maintenance around the property. In addition I would have to take out a large loan in order to buy a home in a desirable neighborhood.
After months of research and debate I deiced to purchase something in between, a condominium! I thought it had the best of both worlds, I didn’t have all the responsibility of a house and condos weren’t as expensive but still had equity that I could build up.
Some people asked if I was sure that I wanted to spend my entire nest egg on a condo. But I was excited to become a property owner and naively replied “property is the best type of investment, even if the market drops I can wait it out and besides the market was rising every day”.
And there was the problem; in 2005 the housing market was rising to a climax, each year property soared higher and higher.
About two years after moving in an foreseen circumstance came about and I got a job transfer requiring me to move. The housing market was still pretty high but things leveled out, I thought not a big deal, I can at least get my money back. I ended up moving out of state and then the housing market plummeted.
It took three years to sell my condo, for a huge loss. I lost over a hundred thousand dollars and my credit was damaged because I had to sell it as a short sale (where the bank also takes a loss).
I have regretted buying the property ever since. If I had only rented, I would have had the opportunity to buy a home that I wanted in the area I desired at a great price after the housing market tanked.
I thought I did everything in my power to not to make the wrong decision, I sought out advice and analyzed it, weighted the pros and cons and did research on houses and condos.
So if I had done all the right things, why did I feel so terrible about making the wrong decision?
It was something out of my control that no one can predict. Timing! The poor timing of entering the property market and the poor timing of getting a job transfer caused unforeseen conditions.
I have gotten past the regret of that investment mishap and I learned a valuable life lesson in the process. I realize that I can’t control the world around me and no one can predict the future. It was just bad timing to buy that property and worse timing to sell it.
When bad timing shows up in life, it’s a temporary setback and it will not stop me from being successful in any area of my life.