I thought I would share with you my personal experience over the last few months.
Once our children married and left home, we realised our home of 37 years was too big, and we started to think about downsizing. It’s a 4 bedroom, comfortable home with a pool on a relatively large block. The maintenance was starting to take its toll on my husband and the cost of running the pool – when there was minimal use – was also significant. There could only be one answer.
We were after a home that was walking distance to shops, preferably on one level, 3 bedrooms, a big garage, and a small courtyard. Although looking “on and off” for about 10 years, the right property never turned up.
Then on a wet and miserable day on 11 March we inspected a property.
It was ideal – beautiful area, 300 metres to shops, double garage, and lovely courtyard. However, it was two storeys, but the main bedroom, ensuite and walk-in wardrobe were downstairs. Upstairs were 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, which we need for when our son and family visit us from Shepparton.
It was absolutely perfect. We loved it, and it was going to Auction on 21 March.
At Auction, the price was pushed up too high, however, we loved it, so we increased the bid and were successful.
Meanwhile……. in the background….. Coronavirus was gaining momentum.
Panic buying was in full force, and toilet rolls were disappearing from the shelves.
The following Wednesday, we met with the Real Estate agents to sell our house. They were extremely positive, especially as our house was close to schools, and had all the hallmarks of a wonderful family home, in the right area.
The house was valued, and we organised “bridging finance”.
Then public Auctions and Open House Inspections we’re banned from 29 March!!!!
We were now left with “Inspection by Appointment only”, and “Virtual tours”.
Additionally, who was going to commit to buying a house when their employment may be hanging on a thread, and the future was so bleak?
We had one offer – $150,000 less than the house was valued at.
Not the best start.
We had another 3 groups come through – some developers – as they were all sniffing a bargain.
A lovely young family finally game through. They loved the house, and put an offer in the following day – however, it was subject to finance!
This was another hurdle we had to endure. Unlike with Public Auctions where offers are unconditional, private sales do not have that benefit.
After a very long, and agonising 10 days, the sale finally went through.
Settlement is 2 weeks after our new home is settled, so we have plenty of time to move in.
It has been one of the exhausting, and emotionally draining experiences of our lives.
No doubt, the horrific pictures and statistics on the Coronavirus being fed to us incessantly was pulling us all into a very dark place.
We are so grateful that Australia has not suffered like the rest of the world, and hopefully the worse in over. However, financially, maybe not.
Yes, ideally, we were hoping to have some extra funds to invest from our “Downsizing” experience. But it didn’t happen. We are fortunate to have “broken even”.
However, if I had a choice of ending up with surplus funds, and living in a “just so so” home for the rest of my life, OR, living in a home that I love, I will choose the latter every time.
These are MY priorities.
It’s important that we all identify our own PERSONAL priorities and GOALS, because only then can a plan be put in place to achieve them.
Moral of the Story
We can never, ever, TIME our investments, as we don’t know when some extraordinary event may occur. Sure, this is unprecedented, but other events occur that throw a spanner in the works. All we can do is invest in well-researched products, and be true to ourselves regarding our priorities.