Tuesday, May 1, 2012


We've made a lot of investments over the years.  We come from a generation where the simplest thing often yielded great results and I think that a lot of people in our age range came to expect that everything they touched would turn to gold.  I mean really, try explaining Beanie Babies as an investment to someone who didn't live through it.

Our parents bought homes for less than we pay for used cars, and we bought homes for what one year of college might cost our children.  Homes were investments that we almost always could count on to be good.

And then there are emotional investments.  Those were always a little more shaky.  We've all had relationships that have gone bad or gotten emotionally invested in something that didn't work out the way we hoped, but we've survived those and there were probably lessons to be learned along the way.

We're also physically invested in a lot of things, whether it's our health or a competitive sport or even just working hard at a job that we love.  Physical investments almost always pay off since we alone determine our success and, quite frankly, we just abandon those physical investments that aren't working out.

Getting our home ready for sale has been a gut-wrenching trip down a trail of poor investments.

We're certainly not alone these days when it comes to watching our home go from good investment to bad.  It could be worse - our home is worth about the same as what we purchased it for nine years ago, not including the improvements we put into it. And we are fortunately in a position where we at least know we won't have to put money on the table to walk away from this home. We will be able to sell it and have some change jingling around in our pockets as we walk away.  For that, we are grateful.  And the reality is, it has been our shelter for the past 9 years and investment aside, that same shelter would have easily cost more than $100,000 if we had rented.  So really, we're way ahead of the game if you think of it that way.

Emotionally, we haven't been invested in this home for a long time.  Maybe really never.  For reasons that I can't really put into words because I'm not sure of what those words would be, we just never connected with this area.  Or this house.  We've done a lot to try to make it our own, but it always retained the stigma of the former owners (for whom we have some very inappropriate and definitely not family friendly names). 

Physically, we've put a lot into this house.  And continue to do so as we are preparing to move forward and onward to something else.  That's probably the hardest investment to ignore.  We've come to terms with losing what we would normally expect from a financial investment and we've come to believe that our emotional investment will never pay dividends here, but the physical investment that we have put into this home is a bitter pill to swallow.  We could have done so many other things with that energy, and we could have earned those sore muscles and bumps and bruises in a much more rewarding manner.  Even worse is that it's an investment that has to continue - even harder than before - so that we can cut our losses on both the financial and emotional investments we have.  The unfinished projects have to be finished - and finished quickly - if we hope to list the home for sale in the narrow window of time that will bring us the most buyers.  And the return on that physical investment will literally be handed over to the new owners.

We hope.  Please let there be new owners.