Got a comment on my most recent blog post that I think speaks a lot of truth. Here’s that comment:
I don’t think many people buy (homes), expecting to move in less than 5 years. But it happens a lot, due to job changes, family changes, etc. […]
Exactly!!!! My hunch is that most prospective homebuyers buy their first place with the best of intentions. They imagine spending decades in their future abode, establishing roots, and engaging in their community.
But then life happens.
They have more kids than they originally thought they wanted, they get a job offer somewhere else, a loved one gets sick and needs constant care, or maybe they still love their house but hate their neighbors. The numbers say it all, most people in their 20’s and 30’s, who buy homes, don’t live in said homes long enough to realize much of a financial benefit. They kiss their profits goodbye when they eat the 10% sellers fees. They were nothing more than glorified renters who could paint their walls.
I’d like to introduce you to this simple little test I’ve created. I call it the Vehicle Litmus Test.
Unless you live in the heart of a major metropolitan area (San Fran, NYC), I’m going to assume you own a car. If you don’t, this whole post is pretty much a waste of your time. My bad.
Alright, let’s start the test. Ready? Begin…
How long have you owned your current car? And how long did you own your previous car?
It seems about 99% of people who buy new, or even new-to-them, cars always say something like “Oh, I’m going to drive this car in to the ground. I’ll have it at least 10 years.”
You probably said, or thought, something similar. Didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU!!!!!
But did you actually follow through with that promise?
How you answer that question says a lot. You bought a car thinking you would drive it in to the ground, but then made a total 180 and justified a change for something more fuel-efficient, more modern, larger, smaller, newer, cheaper, faster.
I get it. Your priorities and desires changed. That is exactly why you should use the vehicle litmus test as a resource before you buy your first (or next) house.
Are you really going to stay in the house long enough to make buying worth it? You like to think you will, but does your track record say otherwise?
Drop a comment below with your answers to the litmus test, the responses should be interesting!
My answers to the vehicle litmus test…
Car 1: Bought my Scion tC in 2006 brand new. Seven years later, still love it and have no plans to sell.
Car 2: Our 2006 Honda Pilot purchased in 2012 with 70k miles on it. Bought with intentions to drive to 150,000 miles.
Previous car: Girl Ninja’s 2005 Corolla she bought in 2006. Sold after six years so we could buy the Pilot. An upgrade we fully recognize was unnecessary.