If I am honest, the past month I have felt super guilty and a bit of a hypocrite. I blog about becoming nomads and traveling the world and in 2020, we sold our house to make a career change so we could do just that. Yet, here we are in 2021 closing on a new home.
How can we talk about becoming nomads and live a settled life at the same time?
That question has been eating at me a lot this past month. Because, while it was the right decision for us as a family, I wasn't sure it was the right decision for the blog - or rather that people would understand the decision.
But the purpose behind this blog was not to be perfect in the way people might expect us to be. It was to share our journey towards financial independence and full-time travel. Buying a house is a part of that journey for us.
The thing is, buying a house helps us start traveling full-time sooner.
In 2020, I quit my construction job to start on my own as a Realtor. Of all the hair-brained ideas I have had, this was probably the best one. Since then we've been able to pay off five-figure loans and are well on our way to becoming debt-free. Tasting that freedom from having to work for someone else also gave me the passion and drive to succeed.
However, despite selling our house in 2020, we knew we were not yet ready to start traveling full-time. We needed to pay down debt before we started traveling the world. Also, most of our income to travel was to come from real estate investments and we needed to grow those to fund our adventures completely.
So in 2020, we planned to move closer to the Gulf of Mexico and have more opportunities to sail before starting off full-time. But, being a real estate agent is very much a relationship business and we found that I was more successful at real estate where we were than in a new place where we didn't know anyone. Not saying it can't be done, it was just better for us.
This brings us back to buying a house this year and how that helps us travel sooner.
For starters, we've been renting since selling our first house and the money spent on renting is money thrown away. We didn't want to be throwing away thousands of dollars a year! Housing is the biggest expense in our budget and we felt we needed to reduce that cost - even though that cost reduction won't be realized until we sell the house.
Secondly, the place we were renting was small and unimaginative. Call us crazy, but Bridgette and I have discovered our environment affects our creativity and mood overall - both haven't been great since moving into the home we're currently renting. Our productivity and motivation have decreased a lot since moving here. We needed a space that enabled us to work efficiently toward our goal of traveling full-time. This new home provides that.
Thirdly, one thing we've wanted to do while we're still in the area of our friends is create a small group of couples that build each other up. More than even traveling the world, we want to leave a positive impact on those around us and the world in general. Part of that is helping others achieve financial independence and their big goals. Buying a home allows us to do that in a space that is large enough to meet in.
Don't get me wrong, buying this house did come with some serious apprehension from both of us. As a Realtor, one of the first things I tell my clients is that your home isn't an asset, it is a liability. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy one, it just means it isn't an asset - it will cost you over the long term.
Note I did not mention above that one of the reasons we were buying a house was for the saved equity. Sure, we will have equity in the home once we sell it but we're paying interest on that equity. If we sell the home in 5 years and it only appreciates 1% year over year we'd only come out with $6,000 more than we had going in. However, $6,000 is better than zero, and renting would cost us more.
Another reason that gave us pause was that we tend to live our lives without knowing where we'll be in the short term. The long term is a different story - our vague destination is traveling full-time but getting to that point is a very windy path.
That's where the name of this blog is from. Coddiwomple means to travel purposefully towards a vague destination. I think our lives sum that up perfectly.
By buying a house we were locking ourselves into a short-term plan. That makes us anxious. However, we could always rent the house out should we need to relocate or move out sooner than expected.
In the end, buying a house helps us travel the world full-time sooner because it keeps us from wasting money on rent. It also helps us creatively pursue and grow our businesses through a more positive atmosphere.
Until next time, Happy Coddiwompling!