Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It's what the recession taught me.

Something is not an asset if you can not sell it. It seems pretty obvious, but I lived though one of the few times in history where you could not sell a house at any price really. Hell, there were a few years where you almost couldn't GIVE a house away. And until you have lived that reality....... you really don't know what an important lesson this is.

Why do I bring this up? I'm about to embark on a really intense construction project. Kitchens and bathroom remodels are childs play compared to this project.

I bought my place about a year into the recession with a very big defect. I planned to fix it within a year or two of moving in. Then the recession hit. To be honest, there were a few years where I wasn't sure I was going to be able keep this place.

I'm a disaster baby and I always need to have a backup plan. Especially when it comes to houses. People really don't understand how easy it is to lose your stuff.  I had FIVE backup plans. The recession ran through four of them. I barely managed to escape with my life and now I have this money pit of a project I have to do. Because after all of these years the problem has grown so large that I kinda don't have a choice. But when you are underwater the kind of money I was during the recession.... you are going to let the place fall down around you before you put this kind of money into a house.

If I tried to sell my place right now - I could sell it....but you would need the right buyer willing to take on this project. If I fix it, I might not get the price I want, but I can sell easily. And that is the better of the two worlds. Even though it does seem like it.

Every time I buy a house I try to figure out if I had to jettison the house - how much work and money would it take for me to get out. It's like I'm buying and selling at the same time in my mind. The worst thing in the world is to be trapped and not be able to sell.

So.... this is where I'm at now. And I'm sort of freaked out because the market really feels a lot like 2007. I don't think I will every see the housing market seize up like it did during the recession. When anyone with a pulse can get a house - people don't realize how valuable they are. Now it is very hard to get a house. That changes the market dynamics. But wow... this is not the time to be running through money.

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