“My wife is always right” — I’ve seen men sporting these T-shirts lately. They make me chuckle a bit, because obviously our wives can’t be right all the time (but don’t tell my wife I said that! Lol!). Sometimes, us guys are a bit too arrogant and it would do us good to open our ears once in a while. I know that’s been my experience…especially with that one time my wife was definitely right…
3 Years Ago…
Track with me back in time a minute. My wife and I were both 32 years old – we had a 2 year old daughter, and had a son on the way. It was 2018. I had big plans for our finances (in fact, I would often ramble numbers to my daughter when I took her on stroller rides through the neighborhood), and we were going to become financially independent…and in record time too!
Here was the grandios plan:
- We were going to continue renting out the property that we already owned (we paid cash for it back in 2016)
- We were going to purchase one more project house, fix it up, and rent it out
- Then, we were going to start saving cash like crazy to buy our next home outright, while keeping our primary house for another rental property
In the end, we’d have our new paid-for primary house, and then three paid-for rentals that would net us roughly $35,000 a year.
Sounded like a pretty awesome plan, right? I thought so!
With absolutely no debt, I could quit my job and we could all live on that $35,000 a year (plus whatever I’d make with this website). It’d be a dream come true!
But, here was the big issue. To save up enough cash for a bigger house and some property, it was going to take us roughly 7 years of extreme saving – like over half of our income every year for those 7 years.
At that point, our daughter would be 9 years old and our not-even-born-yet son would be 7!
One day, my wife literally broke down with this whole plan of mine (I say my plan because that’s exactly what it was… a plan put together by me and instilled upon my wife without really getting her buy-in). She was pregnant, had a young daughter to watch after all day every day, and then she saw this slow slog of a life in front of her…for the next 7 years.
I was annoyed that she was questioning my plan. I still thought it was a great idea and I knew it’d be great for our long-term future, but I was trying my best to not be stubborn (After all, that’s basically what ended my last marriage…This time, I decided to be a bit smarter and more caring…).
Seven years earlier than I expected, we started looking at homes with acreage.
Thankfully, my wife was sensible. She made it clear that we didn’t have to be in a hurry and buy a place. She just wanted a property with acreage in the next year or two…not seven.
I agreed, and we started our search.
The Dream Property
It was roughly day 2 into our search and the dream property smacked us right in the face.
- This place has a barn
- It was on 13 acres
- There was a stream running through it (much like she had when she was a child growing up)
- And there was a quaint farm-house that was laid out well, but needed quite a lot of fixing up (which was actually exactly what we were looking for)!
Oh, and it was only about 5 minutes from my work!
Wouldn’t you know we’d find the place of our dreams in the first few days of our search??!! Isn’t that how it always works?
But here was the issue…
We didn’t have any money for a down-payment.
The most we could muster up was about $5,000 for this $250,000 property. We had no other liquid assets that we could quickly sell to secure this property.
We had to let it go…so we did.
And of course, someone else snatched it up just a few days later.
Prepping For and Buying the Next Dream
After we lost that property, we decided to be ready for the next one.
Our second rental property (a fixer upper that we were now in the middle of re-constructing) was now going to become a flip-house, not a rental. This way we’d have a HUGE down-payment and hopefully not miss the next opportunity that came up. Then, we vowed that after buying the new place on acreage, we’d sell our old primary house too, and then just keep the one rental property.
This way we could move up in property sooner, but do it without going into debt.
I didn’t love the new plan since it would mean 20,000 fewer dollars in cash flow each year, but it would make my wife happy. And honestly, I didn’t mind the idea of living out in the country either! That small city lot was just getting smaller and smaller as our family continued to grow!
The Dream House
Crappy house after crappy house came up on Zillow. We looked at a few, but passed on every one.
Then, we finally saw a decent one!
The location was great – near Lake Michigan. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with about 1,900 finished square feet. And, the basement was completely unfinished, which was another 900 square feet that we could grow into!
And, here’s the big kicker. It was on 6 wooded acres. A completely private paradise!
They were asking $285,000. We offered $275,000.
Long story short, they accepted a different offer, the buyers ended up backing out of the deal, and we were later awarded the property for $275,000. We quickly signed the deal, moved in, and we’ve been actually been there for over two years now.
That Time My Wife Was Right
From the very beginning, we felt like this new place was truly home. Even at that early stage, I was glad that we made the move.
- We enjoyed the new den space that we didn’t have before (a whole other room for the kiddos to run around in!)
- We had a designated laundry space on the main level (instead of the dingy basement)
- And, we spent hours in the back woods, exploring the trees, moss, squirrels, and quite a few deer!
It was great!
And then Covid hit…. and I started thanking my wife every day since.
Instead of spending our days cooped up in the house or in our miniature yard, we were outside exploring, creating trails, and setting up forts all over the place!
We have a little piece of heaven with this property, and I’m so glad we made the move for that reason.
“But Derek”, you might say, “What about the financial hit you took in upgrading so early? Now you’ll be working for so much longer to become financially independent.
Maybe yes, maybe no.
Sure, we gave up that initial $10,000 extra in rent by selling that rental property (and then later another $10,000 since we were going to turn our old primary house into our 3rd rental house), but my projected 7 years to save up for that next property was COMPLETELY wrong given the upswing in prices. ESPECIALLY for homes in the country!
Remember, we bought our home for $275,000? We really haven’t done anything to it and I’m sure we could sell it today for $350,000.
That’s a $75,000 increase in just two years! The fact that we bought this house and we’re experiencing that appreciation, that’s just AWESOME!
And, if we didn’t make the move and make that purchase a couple years ago, think of how much longer we’d have to save to get a comparable place out in the country! Our 7 year plan would have almost certainly turned into 10. And that would have been far too long.
So, needless to say, my wife was right…
Not only were we able to move out into the country and feel instantly relaxed, we may have also improved our overall net worth with this move!!
Sometimes it just pays to nod your head, listen to your wife, and do what her heart is telling her to do.
I doubt her less and less with each passing day. And you know what? Our bond is stronger than ever these days.
Do you need a “My wife is always right” T-shirt? Maybe I should put in my order… 😉
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.