I just bought my first house over the weekend; and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.
Here's an analogy to give you a better idea of what it felt like:
You know when you go to a bar, and for a split-second, lock eye contact with that really cute girl in the yellow dress sitting at the table across the room? You’re faced with two options: 1.) go introduce yourself or 2.) do nothing.
In your head, Option 2 is the way to go. It’s the path of least resistance. It’s low risk, you have no chance of embarrassing yourself, and your life will continue on as usual. Easy.
Option 1 on the other hand, is a beast of its own. It requires you to go all in. You are putting yourself, and your ego on the line. You could trip and fall on your way there. You could run out of things to say. Her boyfriend could be sitting next to her.
But like Super Mario, it's necessary to fight battles in order to save Princess Peach. Option 1 is where the fruit lies (no pun intended). If you’re going to get what you want in life, you need to take risks and win wars. If you don’t, your life continues on as normal. Normal Mario doesn’t sound so cool.
So how exactly does this have anything to do with buying a house? These were my options: 1.) start building wealth for myself or 2.) do nothing.
Option 2 would’ve been SO much easier. All I’d have to do take ten minutes to write out my twelve cheques, drop it off to the landlord, and I’m done. Worry-free for another year.
Option 1 is dark and scary. Even after signing off on all the papers, it’s still dark and scary. You’re dealing with more money than you’ve ever dealt with in your life, and you never really know what you’re signing up for. Leaks, cracks, floods, and fires take tripping and falling at the bar to a whole new level. There is A LOT that can go wrong.
But then there’s a lot that can go right. If my goal is to be ‘financially-free’ in the next 5-10 years, this is a step in the right direction. My three roommates will help pay down my mortgage, and who knows what the house will be valued at in 5 years.
With that being said, I didn’t force myself to buy this house because I think it’s a sure-fire investment. It’s almost anything but. What’s more important to me, is that I continuously flex the muscle in my brain that’s responsible for choosing Option 1. Opportunities arise every day, and I want to mentally condition myself to choose the ‘high-risk-high-reward' scenario. If I’m going to get where I want to be, it’s the option I need to choose.
And if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that high-risk is often low-risk, and vice versa. If this whole real estate venture doesn’t work out, I can sell the house, and maybe lose a few dollars at worst. I'll be internally satisfied to know that I tried, and I'll have newfound knowledge that I can take with me moving forward. If I were to opt-out of this decision, I would lose out on the potential returns it could have on my financial future, and I would be more prone to taking the safer, life-as-normal option. To me, that is HIGH risk.