I think one of the best financial and lifestyle decisions my husband Mark and I ever made(besides moving to NE Indiana in the first place!) was investing in lake property.
Our children were about 5, 9, and 11 back in August of 2001 when we took the risk to buy a property on Syracuse Lake, knowing nothing about lakes! I was not in real estate back then either. That did not happen until 2010. Not only did we bank so many years of fabulous memories there for our whole extended family and our dear friends, but we also banked a profit on the investment in just seven years. What could be better than that!?
As I always say, we know you can't time the stock market, but you can time the real estate market. In 2008 when the value of this Syracuse Lake home had increased, my husband said we just had to sell. After seven years of hard work building and finishing it, I did not want to, but we did, and he was right. If you are pretty sure you can get X for your home now and you turn it down, then you are essentially buying it back for that sum. When you look at the potential profit you could make, you also have to ask yourself, "how long do I have to work to make that amount? To save that in my 401K?" When I looked at those things, I knew it would be irresponsible of me not to sell, given that I persuaded Mark to buy in the first place because it would be a good investment.
We did sell high in that seller's market in three weeks and downsized to a lake condo on Wawasee. We stayed there for seven years and fixed it up. (Updated, well-appointed sell homes the fastest, which means at the highest percentage of ask). During the buyer’s market of 2017, seven years later again, we sold our lake condo and bought a Lake Wawasee home that needed a total renovation.
Now that we are still in a Seller's market, and our kids live all over the world and can only visit the lake once a year, Mark said we should sell. So, we closed on that sale in June. And I feel really good about the decision and lifestyle change. Now we can travel more to see our three kids in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Seattle, WA, and Washington DC. And for now, we will stay at the Oakwood at Wawasee when we need our lake "fix" and when I need to stay for closings and work appointments.
If you want to discuss your lake home's value with me. In that case, I will welcome the opportunity to discuss your options, especially if you are not using it enough to justify all those expenses and the missed opportunity cost of selling now. The lake market is still so strong for sellers.
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