· Perspective,Life is Short,Work Life Balance

The list price doesn't always say what it's really going to cost you

We do long distance real estate investing and have purchased all of our properties without stepping foot in them. It was a bit scary at first but if you do your due diligence, manage to set up a team remotely, and do it several times over, you'll eventually get the hang of it.

We do tour the house over FaceTime but the only time we get to physically see the house is when my husband and I go over there to tackle the renovation. Mostly him, I do the design and admin part. We go to the property, live in it for a few weeks until he's done making it pretty.

Everything has been smooth so far but there was one in particular that threw us off. House # 3. The list price was great and the house itself in decent shape. When we got there though, we discovered several things that somehow "fell through the cracks." That's a nice way of saying someone f*cked up along the way. The driveway was jacked up, scraping our car each time we came and went. Leaks we weren't made aware of despite the inspection. A bug situation that was manageable but again wasn't brought to our attention. Electrical and chimney issues that cost us a pretty penny that somehow the inspector overlooked.

We arrived with a certain expectation of doing mostly cosmetic repairs but after our physical walk through, we realized we needed twice the budget to have it rent-ready. Good thing we had enough to make it work and it all paid off when it appraised for almost double the purchase price. We were lucky.

Looking back, had we known the reality of the house's condition, we might've still moved forward with the purchase. But if we didn't have those few thousand dollars to spare, we wouldn't have. Again, we lucked out.

There are similar situations in life where we find ourselves looking at the amount on the price tag, not considering the real cost. It could be a new project or business we invest time and money in, a relationship we invest time and our hearts into, or a new job we invest time and our skills in.

You might be considering bringing any one of these new things into your life right now. Take a moment to do your due diligence and see if what it will realistically demand of you is worth its real price and not just the price presented to you on paper. Dig a little deeper. Check in with yourself to see if you indeed have the time, the heart or the skills it requires before you make the investment.

Especially with time. It is the one constant that you can't fix and flip if you realize it's not worth the investment. You can never take it back. Check out all the angles and possible sunk costs in different worse case scenarios before sealing the deal. And hopefully, in due time, you can reap more than what you've put in.

Your biggest asset is yourself,