One of our dreams is to someday retire, have a little boat and live on the ocean. Oceanfront property is not cheap in the Northeast. However, with interest rates as low as they are, we decided to have a look around to see what was out there. It wasn’t long before we found a gorgeous property just a few miles from my in laws.
The view is out of this world. It sits on top of a 100 foot cliff and you have views in 3 directions. My husband went diving right off the beach and caught 5 lobsters which we ate for dinner the next day.
The problem is that this is what the house looks like. You know it’s a fixer when the ad says “rebuild or tear down to turn into your dream home.” Yup, you sure have to have vision to see potential in this place. And the front view of the house is it’s best angle. The back has a falling down second floor deck adorning it. It is owned by a politician and an article was written up on it called “gloom with a view” citing severe neglect. The result is a boarded up shack sitting on severely eroded land that is now deemed a landslide hot spot. The neighbors are very nice, but not surprisingly they are not very happy with having a dilapidated property next door. My husband went back to it a week later and found squatters camping in the yard. (I suppose that’s a lot cheaper than actually owning oceanfront property.) Needless to say, despite the great location, it needs a lot of work and a $180,000 sea wall.
Well, we still tried to see if the numbers would work out with a very low offer and I’ll tell you that when I saw the monthly mortgage payment for just the land + seawall, I wanted to throw up. This was my “gut reaction.” Yeah, oceanfront property would be nice, but not wanting to throw up thinking about making those payments is even nicer. Plus, we’ve always had an unspoken rule that our fixed expenses could always be covered by one income in case of job loss, and this would definitely break that rule.
It reminded me of the time I was trying on wedding dresses with Babci and my MIL. Every time I tried on a dress, Babci would ask “how much cost” in her Polish accent and I would respond, “not now, I’ll tell you later”. Anyway, when we finally left the dress shop and my mom was walking down the stairs, I told her the last dress I tried on was $1500. Well, my mom just about fell down the stairs. She grabbed a hold of the railing and stopped to take a breath before she said “$1500, for one day!?!” My MIL then scolded me for almost giving my mother a heart attack. She was right in saying that I should have at least waited until she was at the bottom of the stairs before giving her sticker shock. (For the record, my mom made my wedding dress for $250. )
I digress, but what is a post without a Babci story?
Anyway, the ocean front thing could work if we used it as a rental until we were ready to retire. I think saving a bigger chunk of down payment would definitely cut down on the gag reflex. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable spending that kind of money on anything, but hey, it’s a lot easier to save when you have a fun goal in mind right?
So my question to my more frugal of readers. Does making a big purchase sometimes evoke a physical reaction? Am I the only weird one that gets a physical manifestation of stress that says…”Woah, Nelly, you’re going over your head here!” The term Gut Reaction must have come from somewhere. Some people may call it intuition. I personally like that I have a backup safety reflex that keeps me from making dumb financial decisions. Rock on GUT!