How do you decide whether to stay or Go?

July 16, 2009: From Ken

Okay, I bought some California real estate at a terrific price from the bank that took it over after a foreclosure. I wanted some exposure to depressed real estate, and now I have it.

What do we do now? We’re tempted to decorate it, fill it with stuff, and live in it part of the year.

We equally tempted to continue the longest vacation we’ve ever had. The easiest way is to make the house nice and rent it until we want to use it ourselves part of the year, or until it doubles in value and we make a nice profit in our investment.

Where is the quandary? We don’t have any rational basis for a decision. When you devote yourself to going where the wind blows you, and not making any plans, you also lose the basis for choices.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

That phrase means that it doesn’t matter which choice we make. The two roads will take us in different directions, but we don’t know where we are going, so either road will take us there.

To move in, means we kind of revert to our old life. Community. Friends and neighbors. Tennis. Regular work outs and exercise. Schedules. Dates in the date book. Appointments. Good healthy things.

To rent it out means we take the easy way. We don’t have to buy a lot of stuff. We can continue our floating from place to place. A week or two in Malibu. Bounce to Vegas to meet relatives. Maybe run up to Oregon and Washington to see why those folks seem to love living there. (In spite of the clouds, drizzle, and absence of sun.) Head down across Wyoming, Idaho, and winter in Palm Springs.

I imagine my doctors would tell me to settle down, get regular checkups, get more exercise, make new friends and build a good support network.

My dreamer friends would tell me to follow my dream, stay on the road, go where the winds blow you, and come back and tell us what that’s like.

I think we could make either choice and make it work. Tell me what you think we should do. And tell me quickly, because otherwise I suspect we’ll send for our stuff in storage and go toward living in the house.

I should mention the weather is absolutely fantastic.


Chapter 22: the answer to the dilemma