Don’t ever take real estate advice from me.
We sold our house in December 2019. It didn’t go well, from a financial standpoint.
Zillow now shows our house — that no one seemed to want — as worth literally 2x more. 2x. I recognize this is somewhat arbitrary, and that these estimates are imperfect. And also –who cares, right? We don’t own it anymore; what’s done is done.
But now that we are sort of house shopping again it just makes me seethe, even though it is no one’s fault.
Reasons we are (sort of) house shopping:
Reason #1: I think it would be nice for each kid to have a room. And since Josh really needs/wants an office, this means a 5BR or 4BR with bonus space. Our current rental home would be a great size/layout if it had one more bedroom.
Reason #2: Our rent is going up by an annoying amount. Not an insurmountable amount, but an amount that has me completing the NYT Rent vs Buy calculator and sighing. Of course, purchase prices have gone up right alongside rentals! It’s a totally different market than it was ~2 years ago. (And not in a good way, if you are a buyer.)
All that said, we might stall 6-12 months and hope the market stabilizes a bit. Knowing us we will be wrong on that move, too!
Reason #3: I guess I have come to accept that we are probably not moving any time soon. I don’t love everything about South Florida, but our jobs and proximity to family are two factors that would be hard to replicate elsewhere. Other than perhaps someday back to NC (my parents plan on moving here eventually and my sister is there).
Reasons I should not whine about any of this
We never planned on ‘winning’ in the real estate market.
We have still done fine from a financial standpoint, and will be fine even if we have to buy a mildly overpriced house
We moved because we had to (job change that made sense for Josh), not because of a strategic real estate move
At the time we were not ready to buy in Broward because we really didn’t know/understand the landscape up there.
We did our Q3 financial check-in last weekend (yes, even though I use Quintiles in my personal planning, we do our financial reckonings in regular quarters!) and we remain on track to meet this year’s retirement savings goal (20% pretax income, in a mix of pre- and post-tax savings/investment vehicles), plus we have built up other shorter-term savings funds as well – travel, emergency fund, 529s (still have LONG way to go with these, but I think we are now in a good routine), eventual new car fund (this is many years away, but I want to be able to buy in cash with a fund pre-reserved for that purpose!), etc.
I know that we will mess up the balance if we buy too much home, so I’m really hoping to keep our purchase (if we make one) reasonable — or as reasonable as is possible for the space we would like.
So, there you go. Don’t ever take real estate advice from me. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!