That was the message I delivered to my realtor yesterday.
In truth, I knew all along that right now was a bad time to start looking to buy a home. But I was tempted by the promise of “building equity” in a property instead of flushing my rent payments down the toilet, and so I started the search.
What was I thinking? The housing market in Seattle right now is insane, and prices are being bid up to ridiculous levels. Furthermore, I have no idea where we are going to be in two years. I don’t have any reason to believe I will stay in my current job long-term, and buying a house would only reduce my flexibility if I wanted to look for something else.
But you know, it was a good distraction from the important things in my life that I don’t want to face. I could spend hours poring over listings and building spreadsheets to calculate the ROI of owning versus renting.
It played into my scarcity mindset perfectly: “If you just stop renting and start building equity, you can save thousands of dollars a year! It’s practically free money!” Never mind that the whole process of purchasing a home consumes countless hours of my precious time, and after that I will have the privilege of handling all of the upkeep and maintenance myself.
Do I want to own a home eventually? Yes, absolutely. Just not now.
The funny thing is that it only took a couple weeks for me to realize that I had made a mistake, that now was not the time to buy. And yet… the realtor would send me a couple listings each week, and I inevitably opened that email just to take a look. What’s the harm, right?
Even after I had already convinced myself that I was going to stop looking for a house, I would immediately forget my decision once I opened one of those emails. I’d spend another few hours obsessing over the details of the neighborhood and the financing. How far is my commute? Is there a nearby park within walking distance? What about schools? What would the monthly payment be?
I didn’t really make the decision to stop looking until I broke up with my realtor yesterday.
It was on good terms, of course. I assured him that when we are ready to start looking again, he will be the first person we call.
All four of them are excellent at crafting emails that get opened, and I am a sucker for it. And what happens once I open an email? I inevitably end up looking at a few articles, which leads me to a few more, and then two hours later I’m considering a new online business idea that I hadn’t seen before.
I think it’s time to break up with all the mailing lists that I have signed up for. They haven’t gotten me any closer to creating a business, but they have provided plenty of distraction in the meantime.
I know that I need to say no to everything except the one project that I’m pursuing right now. But as long as I keep opening those emails just to see what’s inside then I haven’t really made this decision.
If my business idea was a girlfriend, then I am basically telling her that we should be exclusive but then using Tinder behind her back. I know we are right for one another and should spend the time to develop the relationship, but… you know, I want to keep my options open, right?
I’m such a shitty
boyfriend wannabe entrepreneur.