In 2005 I watched the real estate craze from a front-row seat in San Diego. My home value rocketed up to insane levels. Those with homes were drunk with excitement on how much money their home was worth. I got suspicious, just like I got suspicious during the craze of the dot-com days. After lots of research, which included reading the 2nd edition of Irrational Exuberance, I came to the very unpopular opinion that the party was about over and home prices would plummet.

Irrational Exuberance 3rd edition
Irrational Exuberance 3rd edition by Robert J. Shiller – This is still one of the greatest books ever written on investor psychology. Highly recommended.

I was told by many people:

  1. Real Estate never falls in value.
  2. Once you sell in California, you are forever priced out.
  3. I was making a mistake.

Well, the house sold in early 2006 and I escaped to the rental market where I have been ever since. We all know what happened next. Real estate prices fell hard. However, up until yesterday, I did not have a hard number to tell me what would have happened to me personally had I not sold my home.

My old house was sold in February 2010 for $200,000 LESS than what I sold it for in 2006. And this is after the new owner put $100,000 of upgrades into the home, including a swimming pool.

On March 9, 2006, in the post Won the Lottery, I said this:

Yesterday, I received the money for the sale of that house. It was A LOT of money. The amount of profit was insane. I am another winner in the California home seller lottery. The reason I’m a winner is because I’m not buying another home. More on that topic in another post.

Well, that “another post” I referenced 4 years ago is today. The reason I didn’t buy another home is that I believed a price collapse was coming. Prices did collapse and I got away clean. Vindication.

1 Comment

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  1. Good man…I made a similar move but it was in ’03 that I sold after doing much research not long after the 911 catastrophe and the dot com bust. A year and a half later I bought a mobile home on a small lot that nobody wanted because they were to busy upgrading to bigger homes and suv’s.
    Looking forward to your follow up post.

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