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[personal profile] abqdan
On Friday we signed the seller's counter on our offer for a condo in Palm Springs. That clinched the contract - though there are still finance and inspection hurdles to go through. By Sunday night, buyer's remorse was setting in. Sunday evening I started re-working spreadsheets for my retirement funds and the costs of the condo, and became concerned that I simply couldn't afford to do this.

While there has, according to our realtor, been a 10% year-on-year growth in house prices in the Palm Springs area, that isn't necessarily reflected across the board. One of the advantages of working with an agent for a period of time is the chance to access sales records for multiple properties over a long period. It became apparent fairly quickly that at the price-point we were considering, there hadn't been that much appreciation. Over the past two or three months, we've actually seen a number of properties being priced down, rather than up. What this means in terms of our purchase is that we can't expect rapid appreciation of the property. When you sell a property you take about an 8% hit due to commissions and other costs. So to be able to sell this unit in the future, and get back what we are paying for it, it needs to appreciate at by least 8%. I doubt that will happen for at least two years.

Not that we are anticipating selling in the short term; but this is the kind of scenario that steals my rest at night - the 'what if' of a major (for us) purchase. And so, with several completed analyses, I headed to bed, but did not sleep. At 3am I was back at the computer, adding in costs and other items I'd neglected in my first analysis.

By the time Bill (my rock, in these situations) had arisen, I was exhausted and convinced the purchase was a bad idea. Our discussion calmed me down somewhat, and Bill essentially left any decision to proceed or cancel up to me. After three very large cups of coffee, I was sufficiently awake to start working again on "what if's" and was eventually surprised to find that things were going to be OK after all.

Looking back over other such purchases, and major life decisions, I see that I approach them all this way. First enthusiasm (sometimes excessive) followed by a period of severe doubt, then a period of re-analysis, and finally a decision to proceed or not. And despite the frustration for myself and those around me, this process seems to work - for me. I rarely come to regret the choices I make after this process is complete.

So now, enough with the hand-wringing; it's back to being excited about our new project... and the potential for actually sleeping through the night!
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