Friday, April 15, 2011

Disposable Housing

D works with someone who is in the process of buying and selling their 4th house. Each time they do it, they've lost money. We don't get it.

The first time, it was because they realized they didn't like old houses as much as they thought.

The second time, it was because the new house didn't have enough character and felt bland.

The third time, it was because they wanted to try moving out to the country for some more space and then found it too isolating.

Now, the forth time, they want to be in a city where there are more services and are hoping the perfect house will finally be found.

Each of the homes have needed $20K - $25K worth of work so that has meant an equity line of credit which eventually gets wrapped into the next mortgage.

The time frames of house ownership have been between 2 - 4 years with the ages of this couple in the 30's.

If there was ever a scenario of "disposable housing", this is it.


  1. Not only is that process expensive, but I can't imagine the stress! DH sometimes entertains the idea of moving, but I loathe the process so very much, that I insist we're staying put until there's an extremely good reason to move. We're approaching 5 years in our first home, and I've never been happier. When we were renting, it seemed like we moved every 8 months-bleck!

  2. It's funny, we bought our "starter home" knowing it would only serve us for no more than 5 years. But we had the future in mind! We cleaned up the place, freshened the pain and flooring, replaced the roof and put a lot of sweat into it. It paid off, we were able to sell our starter at a tidy profit and move into a new home on the outskirts of town for an excellent price. We thought it was going to be another rung on our property ladder, but the neighbourhood turned out to be ideal for our young family, and the house has somehow grown with us very well. It has appreciated by more than double in the 11 years we have been here, and it looks like we may stay for the duration of the mortgage(7 years to go). It turns out our dreams have shifted from acreage to mortgage-free, and that was a huge shift for us! Things don't always go as planned, sometimes you have to know when you are happy even if it wasn't what you THOUGHT would make you happy.

  3. It sounds like the problem is with the occupant, not with the house. At what point do you say, "To be happy, we need to change ourselves instead of our house?" I think the same thing when I see someone contemplating their third marriage.

  4. Sounds like they're still young, and unsure of what they really want. I'm not excusing it, and imagine that it's a painful lesson for them. A little helpful guidance form someone might have helped them choose to rent in the different markets to find out what they really wanted before purchasing. I particularly like the title of your post because it typifies how the growing economic uncertainty has made all of us more restless.

  5. Hi psychsarah;

    I cannot imagine it either as I am a creature of habit. There is peace with stability.

    Hi Pol*

    The big difference is you had a plan and have become wise. Just following whimps and your nose does cost time and money.

    I'm thrilled that you only have 7 yrs to go on your mortgage. It'll be here before we know it!

    Hi Robert!

    The search for perfection is what this couple is after and until you mentioned it, I never made the connection with finding your "soul mate" either. That's a great analogy. I know a few of those types of people too.

    Hi Adam;

    I do believe it is becoming painful this time around. They are adament about owning though and I feel that puts even more pressure to find "the house".

    The thing is, our wants and tastes change as we grow. I don't believe there is a "perfect house", maybe just a perfect house for right now. Isn't that why people re-decorate?