How do you know when you've made a mistake, or you just need some more time?
Think I wish I could turn the clock back :-(
, Apr 18 2012 11:49 AM
11 replies to this topic
Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:49 AM
Going to be a long story I apologise :-(
DH and I haven't made the best financial decisions over our 13 years together, after we bought our first house (10 years ago), we got into the cycle of borrowing money for renovations etc, and didn't really make a dent in our mortgage (which was a modest mortgage). DH has been on very good money for the past 5 years or so (I don't work) so we paid our bills and lived well, but weren't responsible with our money.
DH is also a bit of a dreamer, and we've lost money along the way on investments and a couple of "schemes". Last year we went into business with our neighbours (long horrid story). The business was mildly successful, but we couldn't work with our neighbours and had a massive falling out. We lost only a bit of money, but the relationship with the neighbours deteriorated to the point where we had to move.
So we bought another house, significantly increased our mortgage, and now I think I'm regretting it. I think we rushed into it. We had been looking generally for a year or so, thinking we would need to upsize the house eventually, we wanted a pool etc. But now I'm really suffering regret for all the stupid mistakes we've made over the years which has now placed us in this position. We have a large mortgage, a house I don't "love", it's a great house, good potential but it needs some updating. Our last house was much smaller but we had fully renovated it and I loved it. We won't have the money needed for renovations here for a while.
One of my DDs just hasn't settled in to this house, she desperately misses her home, and we had a great backyard space at the last house, something we are sorely missing here, although we do have a pool.
DH earns excellent money and if we knuckle down we could pay off the mortgage in 10 years (we're in our early 40s), but I just can't shake the feeling we made a mistake. We really only added 3 years to our mortgage compared to the other house, and this house has huge potential to make money over the years (way more than the other house), but I still feel "yuck".
I just can't get out of this funk I'm in. I yearn for my old renovated house, I desperately want this one to be the same, but it'll take a while. I hate the size of the mortgage. Have others felt this way about moving into a new house? How do you know if you've genuinely made a mistake or just need some time to settle into a new situation? How can I look at things differently?
Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:55 AM
I would go see a financial advisor and talk about your goals with money and some strategies to meet these.
If it helps, I feel like this about holidays, I'm constantly going on extravagant holidays and I feel a deep regret that we don't own a house because of this. I don't know how to fix it so will be watching this thread for advice.
Good luck xx
Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:56 AM
I'd give it more time and plan some fun ways to learn to live your new house - is DS still young enough to love fairies? Could you change one of the rooms into a fairy den or something similar? Make the effort to make new memories in this house and you will learn to love it! I moved constantly as a young child, and I always missed my old house terribly - but making new memories is the way to go
Provided you can afford it and it is in no obvious way 'unsuitable' ie - has a bathroom and adequate rooms etc then I would just give it time. No house is ever perfect.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:01 PM
Yeah the last house we bought was a mistake. We were sick of looking and it seemed to have potential and we rushed into it big time. We sold it after a year or so of frustration.
The good thing was, we made a tidy profit on it, so I really don't regret buying it.. it was a good investment.
I kind of knew after about 3 months that we'd made a mistake in buying it... I didn't hate it, but there were some aspects that were very impractical and to change them would have cost more than they were worth.
Can you think about selling in a year or two OP? Perhaps think of the home as a live-in investment for a while?
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:02 PM
It seems to me like you might be feeling this way because of the circumstances of your move rather than it being a problem with the new house itself. Could you compromise a little by doing a minor cosmetic reno (eg painting/ mini landscaping refresh etc) while you knuckle down on the mortgage? Is there any possibility of picking up some temporary part time work to speed that along? Your DD will probably be picking up negativity toward the house from your own feelings, could you create something positive for her to help? A special area outside or a bedroom makeover?
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:05 PM
Is it possible that your house has become the focus for your anger and regret over past decisions? If this may be the case, I would try committing to knuckling down for two years. You don't need to suddenly become budget extroidannaire's (sp?) but perhaps if you can give yourself an opportunity to prove you have changed, while still allowing yourself an 'out' in two years, you can work through your feelings.
As a sidenote, whenever my child pulls the 'oh my goodness my life has changed! it's allll bad' I take the time to point out the good points. Rarely is a change completely for the worse.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:15 PM
I know my PIL wished they could turn back time. A block of land they could have paid $250k for, is now worth about 16 times that.
They were also offered other parcels of land for $16K that are now worth $70K.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:16 PM
I couldn't quite work out how long you have been in the new house for, however if you like the rough layout of the house and the location then I would stick with it for at least a few years.
What DH and I do when there is something we want to spend money on in the house is we set ourselves a goal to reduce our mortgage to a specific amount on top of the standard repayments then we can do the renovation.
For example we really want to put a deck out the back and do up the outdoor area. So our goal is to pay off an at extra $10000 on the home loan before we start this project, then we we re-draw $5000 to spend on our project.
I've found this encourages us to pay off our home loan as quickly as possible but still enables us to make the changes we want to our house.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:29 PM
OP, I can totally relate. When we sold our last house, we were in a great position and had found the perfect house in a great location in our favourite suburb. I picked DH up from the train station and we were going for a second viewing and to put in an offer..... until DH got in the car and told me he'd been given notice on his job.
It took me ages to get over that house. We went ahead with our sale and moved in with my parents. We ended up being there twice as long as we had anticipated and ended up buying this house after missing out on another (which was my preferred out of the two). Same as you, it was a case of "well, we need to buy SOMETHING". There was no way we could get into our favourite suburb as DH's new job paid less so we were forced to compromise on that too.
Practically, this house is much better for us. It's bigger, we can walk to school, shops and it has better public transport links. It's older though and needs some updating but none of it is urgent (think 20 year old kitchen - not horrendous, everything works, it's just not as nice as it could be!). Realistically though, it's going to be years before any of the big jobs happen as I won't be going back to work for a while. I get frustrated with it from time to time and think "I just want it DONE!" We have done some things which have helped make it feel like our "home" and after two years, I can finally say I'm happy here.
It would cost us over $20K in stamp duty alone to buy another house so that's not even an option for us. I figure if I'm going to spend that sort of money, I may as well spend it here!
Give it some more time and meanwhile, throw yourself into settling in as if you're never going to leave. Your mindset might just come around. Good luck.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:29 PM
I think you need to focus on this being a fresh start.
What's done is done, you can't change it. What you can change is how you make decisions in the future.
When you think about the money wasted in something, just remind yourself "Well, I'll know not to do that again"
The bigger mortgage .. doesn't everyone klind of feel a bit that way when they borrow? As long as you can afford the repayments at the moment, I'd be trying to put the mortgage amount out of my mind (yes I know, easier said than done!)
You don't mention how long you have been in the new house. I think it does take a while to get used to a new house. In your case, you had worked hard to get the old house how you wanted it, and probably feel like you have been forced to give it up. I'd be surprised if you weren't feeling regrets.
You need to time to make this new house your own. Maybe have everyone sit down and think of something they would like to change about the house, and something they like about the new house. Gets everyone thinking about the positives, and gives you an area to target. If everyone agrees they hate the colour of the curtains in the living room that you see every day, save and change that, that sort of thing.
If your DD is unhappy, maybe a bedroom makeover would be right. Get her involved. What colour would she like the walls painted. Find something to put on the walls - you can get wall stickers for not too much money. Maybe a new quilt cover and some pretty cushions for the bed. Little things that don't cost a lot, but makes the new bedroom into "her room". If she is involved in the process, that makes it hers, and even if there is other things that bother her, she will have her room.
Same with the backyard .. is there anything that can be easily changed? Add more plants, take out some gardens to make more space, trim the plants. Add a swingset? And give it tiime. Having a pool in the backyard is great ... just a bit hard to see the benefits of it when it's not the middle of a warm DRY summer
If it really proves to be the wrong house after a certain time, check out the housing market. Can you sell and make a profit (enough to at least the costs of moving house again). And maybe start looking again for the house that does feel right.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:06 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to respond and offer such helpful advice.
We've only been in this house for 4 months, so it is early days. We spent a bit of money putting new carpets in and the girls' rooms have been re-painted the colours of their choice, so we've done a couple of things that have definitely helped. There is nothing actually "wrong" with the house, it's huge, fantastic location (in the same suburb we were in, so it's familiar and we love the suburb), we're now in the catchment for a great high school, it just needs refreshing and I miss the new-ness and the decor of our last house.
A pp was right, we didn't leave our house because we wanted to (although we would have upgraded at some stage), but we literally had to move due to abuse being hurled at us over the fence and me being too scared to leave the house for fear of running into them. So maybe I am feeling like we were forced out. I said at the time I didn't want to be forced to move, in hindsight maybe we should have sold up and rented somewhere till we had our heads in a better place.
I really appreciate the posts, has given me good food for thought. I like the idea of not thinking that we have to stay here for ever, but seeing how "good" we can be in the next two years with our money and re-assess our position then.
I do plan on returning to work part-time this year (for the posters who mentioned it), I am currently doing some casual medical typing from home and plan to increase these hours, getting an extra job. My youngest has only just started full-time school this year so I now have the flexibility to be able to do that.
Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:33 AM
Yep one house we bought was a lemon. It had a spectacular view, and that sold me. But the house was WAY too small for our needs and although we had the money to do it up, there were no contractors available to do work at the time. Within 8 months we bought a different house, I was much happier. Eventually we sold the other house for a tidy profit (thank you housing boom). But the 8 months living there was feeling with a sense of regret and self annoyance, as was the couple of years we let it sit there, awaiting our efforts to fix that error.
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