I can’t think of a whole lotta things I’ve bought that I’ve regretted.
This is probably because I tend to think very long and hard before I buy something (sometimes too long and hard!)
If you had asked me this about ten years ago, I might have said, “this house”.
We sold and bought at the top of the market in 2005, so in the first few years, our house value fell below what we’d paid for it.
This was particularly disheartening because it was a definite fixer-upper and we’d sunk a lot of our money into it just to get it to a liveable standard.
At the time, that money felt kind of lost. But the good news is that real estate gains and losses are only real once you sell.
We’ve hung onto this house for 16 years and now it has more than regained the value it originally “lost”. Also, since we’ve been busy paying on it, our balance is 100K less than it was initially.
And one more also: we put our profits from the townhouse sale right into this house, so we were never actually underwater with our loan.
My one sorta regret is this: if we’d sold our townhouse, pocketed the profits from that, rented for a year or two and then bought, we’d definitely have been money ahead.
On the other hand, that was the time of life when we added the fourth kid to our crew, and honestly, I might have lost my mind if I had to move into a rental and out of a rental during that time period.
kristin @ going country says
A (very) small one: Shower curtain hooks. When we moved into this house, I bought some shower curtain hooks that were thin metal metal and kind of clipped together to form a closed shape. They were advertised as being like hotel ones, and I figured they would last pretty well. They were about $20, I think, which is not a lot, but is not really all that cheap for shower curtain hooks. And I HATED THEM. They were so hard to unclip to get the shower curtain on and off for washing, so I didn’t wash it often enough. And once unclipped, there was a sort of sharp part that snagged the grommets around the holes on my shower curtain and pulled a few off. Also, the “stainless steel” started to rust.
I used them for three years, hating them all the while, and just replaced them with powder-coated metal ones in an open curved shape that cost all of six bucks. Which are so much better. So the moral: You don’t always get what you pay for. And now I know what NOT to buy when it comes to shower curtain hooks.
Like you, a house. We bought a house that we were renting at the time–the owners wanted to keep it on the market to sell, and I was postpartum and panicked about moving (again) with a small baby…and the house turned out to be a complete money pit, and neighbors moved in next door who were awful. It took us years to get out of there, and we sold the house at a huge loss.
Lesson learned–don’t be afraid to keep renting! We rent now, and really enjoy the freedom that comes with knowing that IF a neighborhood goes south, we can just move. For us, there’s really no security in owning real estate. The market can change so quickly.
A shed. Years ago we bought a cute wooden shed kit and built the foundation for it with concrete piers, sturdy wood framing and pressure treated decking. We opened the enormous box and discovered the kit was completely “assembly required”. We had assumed (what were we thinking?) that the shed was basically pre-fab. We pulled out a bunch of individual pieces and looked at each other. My husband was working out of town and was only home on weekends, and not even every weekend. We put it back in the box and he said we’d work on it later. We NEVER DID. We finally got rid of all of it, foundation included. What a waste of money!
Ruth T says
Your last note about risking losing your mind if you had to move in and out of a rental right after kid #4 made me laugh! That’s real life, right there!
I let my kids talk me into buying a couple of apple fritters to share while we were at WalMart this morning. Then as I was eating it I was thinking, “Oh wait… I was going to eat really good today. Crap. And why am I wasting calories on donuts from WalMart????” That’s my purchase that I wish I hadn’t made!