In early 2005, at the age of 28, I took out a $1,220,000 mortgage to buy a $1,523,000 house in San Francisco. After having bought a modest condo a couple of years earlier, I wanted to go all-in. In retrospect, this was a crazy amount of debt to take on at that age.
When the downturn really started getting nasty in 2008, I was sweating bullets. By 2009, my firm had already gone through seven rounds of layoffs. I knew numerous people from other firms who had gotten laid off.
Thankfully, I didn’t get laid off. After failing to sell the house for $1,700,000 in 2012, I tried again in 2017. It sold it for $2,745,000 to the one and only interested party. Not only did it feel amazing to walk away with a profit, it also felt great to get rid of $815,000 in mortgage debt.
When I decided to buy my current much cheaper house, I thought about taking advantage of low mortgage rates. However, I kept remembering the wonderful feeling I had when I got rid of the rental property mortgage in 2017.
Besides, I wanted to sell some stocks after a 10-year bull market and use a true all-cash offer to get a better deal. It ultimately worked through a couple real estate love letters and one breakup letter.