My biggest financial mistake was when I short-sold my condo here in the Bay Area when housing prices were at their lowest in 2012.
I bought the condo at the peak of the bubble in 2006. When the housing market tanked, a lot of people were walking away from their homes. And this freaked me out into thinking that was the smartest thing to do as well.
But I wanted to do it the “right” way, so I short-sold my property instead of just walking away like a lot of people did.
I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about my financial situation at that time. The realtor who was helping me was mostly interested in selling the property because he was representing me and the buyer as well.
I remember that I had some friends who told me not to do it, but scared and stubborn young me back then decided to proceed with it anyway.
I really wished I had a financial coach who could have guided and coached me through the pros and cons of short selling the property. I offer one-off coaching session for quick questions like this now since I have gotten similar questions like “should I sell my property or not?”
If I were to coach my younger self now, I would definitely be telling her to hang in there.
I’d first tell her, she wouldn’t lose any money unless she actually sells the property, and secondly, it’s Silicon Valley. If there is anywhere you would want to own real estate, this is one of the best locations to own one.
Whoever bought my condo ended up doing really well. Not only are they making good money from the rental from paying down the house in cash, but the value of the property is already back up to the original high price I paid for it.
This definitely served as one of the main inspirations that got me into financial coaching so I can also help people in this type of situation.
So what was the biggest financial mistake you have made and what would your present self tell your younger self now?