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Must. Resist. the Real Estate

Must. Resist. the Real Estate

While visiting relatives in the Midwest recently, I spent a little time browsing through a booklet of homes for sale that came with the paper. At first I was just curious about price differences between a small town there and a big city here, but then a picture caught my eye.

It was a pretty little brick two story house in a reasonable neighborhood. It was a triplex, for $89,000. Now there wasn’t much information about it in the ad, and the picture was outdated (showing snow on the ground), so I decided to just walk down and take a look. Maybe it’s falling down, I thought.

Nope, we got there and it looked decent. It also appeared to be the smallest house in the immediate area, which was a big bonus in my book. People were even out actively working on the exteriors of a couple of the nearby homes. And there were late-model, expensive cars parked in some of the driveways.

Just like that, I found myself with the impulse to buy a house.

I debated with myself off & on until we left. Maybe I should just call up the Realtor and see the interior. Maybe it would be in bad shape and I’d be discouraged. Surely there was something wrong with it if it had been on the market since it snowed. And how could it possibly be a triplex? It didn’t look that big. Maybe I could convert it to a duplex instead. Wood floors, cleaning up those weeds, a new roof in the next couple of years and it would fit right in with the other smart-looking houses. Was that a building in the back too? Surely the rents on this would result in a positive cash flow. And I could cover the mortgage myself if there was a problem. Other rentals in the area have done great. It’d pay for itself. Oh, maybe I could make it my IRA. There’s just so much potential here.

You can see how I think.

I wanted that house.

But then my husband said one thing to me:

“I can’t believe you’re thinking of buying that, remember how you felt about the one in Texas?”

“Yeah, I know…but…” I trailed off.

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Reality set in, and I realized that he was right.

I remembered the whole paying a handyman to put in a 25 cent washer thing. The paying of the property managers, but not really knowing for myself exactly what was going on. And more.

I am very much a hands-on person. Even if everything went perfectly, it would still bug me to not be able to do the stuff myself.

Plus there’s the little matter of wanting to be ENTIRELY debt free. So I’ll give it a couple of years, and then save up for something that I can manage hands-on instead. But I sure wish that house were here. (And $89,000.) AND that we’d already paid off our own house.

Still, this is a good thing. I managed to stay focused (with a little help) on the biggest priority, and I’ve proven to myself that I really do want to get back into real estate in the future. Guess I have another thing to add to my list of goals.

View Comments (2)
  • Good for you for not reacting to the impulse – though I’m inclined to agree with you that real estate is a good investment especially now. If you’re able to take advantage of foreclosed homes that are going at a bargain now’s the time to buy them.

    I can’t wait till I’m able to get into real estate as an investment vehicle.

  • RE that is selling in the Midwest does lead to some pretty tempting properties, but you did a good job thinking it all through. By the time you are through with updating, renovating, insurance, finding renters, and all that (from afar, no less), would it seem like such a great deal?

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