I Sold My Forever Home. Here’s Why

A person putting a House for Sale sign in the front lawn of their property.

Image source: Getty Images

Forever turned out not to be very long after all.


Key points

  • Many people want to buy a forever home.
  • I thought I had purchased my forever home, but I ended up selling it because my needs changed.
  • It’s a better idea to buy a home and plan to stay in it for at least five years, rather than “forever.”

When my husband and I got married, we decided we wanted to wait to purchase a property until we found our forever home. We found getting a mortgage to be a big pain and moving to be an even bigger hassle, so we didn’t want to go through the entire process multiple times.

In the end, we did find a home that we thought we would be in forever — and a few short years later, we sold that property. And then we actually did that againselling our second forever home.

This may seem illogical since we bought those properties with the goal of staying in them for the long term — but it actually makes perfect sense. Here’s why.

There’s a very good reason I sold my forever homes

The reason I sold my forever home(s) is simple. My life circumstances changed in ways that I was not expecting and my experience in the houses wasn’t what I had anticipated it would be.

My first forever home ended up having problematic neighbors — and there was no way to tell upfront that this was going to be an issue. Flood insurance costs also rose dramatically during the time I lived in the house due to some re-zoning we hadn’t expected, so the house just turned out to have all kinds of problems.

And my second forever home turned out not to be such a good fit once I had kids and realized how my life would change as a parent — which is something no one can ever really anticipate. My preferred location also changed, since it turned out that I preferred being near theme parks rather than being near the beach.

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I couldn’t have anticipated either of these things until I actually lived my new reality and experienced living in the houses — and the basic fact is, forever is a long time and it’s almost impossible for anyone to predict what their future desires will be years down the line.

Buying a forever home is a fool’s errand

Ultimately, through my experience, I learned that no one can anticipate the direction that life is going to take — and waiting to purchase a home or justifying spending more than you should on one because you want your “forever” property could set you up for heartache.

Rather than focusing on finding the perfect property you plan to stay indefinitely, it’s a far better decision to find a place you’d be happy to stay in for at least five years that is well within your budget. Five years is a much more manageable time frame to plan for, and it’s a good time frame because staying put that long generally means your property should go up enough in value to cover the transaction costs associated with a home purchase.

By setting this more realistic goal, you can avoid delaying homeownership for longer than necessary and start benefiting from building equity and rising home values. You can also ensure you don’t get carried away with emotions and purchase a house that is too expensive.

Looking for a “good enough” home that you’ll be in for a while is much more likely to lead to success than searching for that elusive forever property — and if it turns out you end up wanting to move, you’ll be more financially and mentally prepared to make that choice.

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