I have always been a strong believer in getting things done. Procrastination is a dirty word. If something can get done, it should get done. Leaving things for tomorrow has never made any sense to me. This is certainly the case when it comes to personal finance. The earlier you start the better you will be. I recently came across an article in the Globe and Mail by Rob Carrick as a memo to twentysomethings to not be too eager to buy real estate. You can read the article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/…/patience-…/article23295965/
This “advice” drives me nuts. Sure some twentysomethings should avoid buying real estate, but for many, if not most, buying a home early in life can be one of the best financial moves they ever make. Like most things in life, with real estate, the earlier you do it, the better the long term return. Language and music skills, athletics and yes, finances! The best thing I have ever done for my personal finances is buying real estate early in life. Yes, it forced me to grow up a bit, but that is okay. Being a responsible society contributing adult is not a condition to be avoided! Why was it such a good idea? For starters I got lucky (this is an important caveat), I hit the rising market homerun-but that is not the whole story. I also lived for free. Yes, for free. I was able to do this with renters/roommates paying for my mortgage and bills. In your twenties you are a lot more open to a frat style house and this is great way to own and live. I essentially went through college building tax free equity on the hard earned dollars from other college kids, or those twentysomethings that didn’t want to own, but were happy to pay me to live in a home. I learned how to be a landlord, manage renters and maintain a home. I had real world experience and responsibility, but could still play like any college student -as my living cost was paid for. There is no way I would have done this later on. If I had waited I would have not wanted roommates (I am too old for that!-Would be the excuse). I would have missed an opportunity and frankly missed out on 10 years of investment gains that I will never be able to make up in my lifetime. This move set me far ahead of my peers from a financial standpoint (I still lack that tall gene), simply from owning a home long before any of them thought about it. Did a sacrifice a bit of freedom? Perhaps, but the long term gains, have made up that “freedom” in spades.