Monthly, I get to write for Coldwell Banker Bain’s blog, Fences & Flowers, which is very cool. The blog is cool, of course, but the guest spot gives me opportunities to expand topics for my own blog.
I recently wrote a piece entitled “Into or Out of Homeownership: 3 Ways to Craft your Future Life” where I mention how current homebuyers who may have taken a break but remain in the market or who are considering jumping in should be able to find some great deals as their leverage over sellers has dramatically improved in recent months. No one should be afraid to ask for a price reduction when placing an offer.
Roger and I are finally considering a tiny upgrade as we watch home prices come down. That also means the equity in our condo has diminished, too. Oh, it’s still significant considering we purchased our place on Seattle’s Capitol Hill in 2014. There’s really nothing to pout about (other than we missed the steaming hot peak of the market), yet so many fail to remember just how much their home has gained in the last 3 or 4 years. A little downturn means we’re getting closer to a balanced market, and it’s oddly unfamiliar.
All that said, we’ve discovered something unexpected. It’s more important for us to think about the next 10 or 15 years, more of a medium-term brain-storming for just how we want to craft our lives. Here are some of the questions we obsessively toss about like jacked-up ping pong balls:
- Do we want to continue to be homeowners?
- If yes – to the above – where around Seattle would we most like to live? If no, what would freedom from the clutch of owning property allow us to do differently? How would it feel?
- Can we leverage the equity – upon sale or while living in our home – to buy a small flat internationally or in a warmer climate in the US? Would we lease that place out to longer-term renters or have it managed for travelers looking for an extended stay? How do we book ourselves in so we, too, can travel more and spend time relaxing into another culture?
Answers to these questions aren’t easy to come by. And, attempts to answer any one of these raises a whole lot of new questions. This is a time for the ‘patience is a virtue’ thing while striving to have a good time charting new courses.
Roger and I are in our 50s which is why we want to look just a decade or so down the road while also continuing to plan for a long-term future. This age, right now, feels like an important juncture where career, home and life balance intersect. Sure, they’ve always crossed paths, often at immense odds with one another. For many intense years, it has seemed like it was necessary to choose or prioritize these rather voluminous aspects of my life all the time. Now, each of these different parts seem to demand a balance, a wholeness, an interplay with the others that makes room for all the pieces of life to thrive. But, only if we take the time to really contemplate what we want while actively exploring the avenues that might make it possible.
So, will we use the equity in our home to invest in a cozy walk-up in Le Marais in Paris where flinging open the paned floor-to-ceiling windows to the street life below would wash every care down the City of Light’s medieval sewers…at least for a time? Possibly. It’s just one avenue of discovery. And, we’re on it.