A few years ago we moved to Orlando. For the first eleven months or so, Caroline and I rented an apartment close to where I work. It was great, but we realized that we were throwing a lot of money away when we could be investing our housing costs in a home.
At that point in our lives we had decided that Orlando would be our home for the next five or more years, so, we decided to save for a down-payment. We were fortunate to find a great first home about ten minutes away from our apartment.
Over the course of the next year we put a decent amount of money into that little yellow house. It needed new insulation in the attic and a new AC unit with a heat pump, and a new electrical panel (among other first-time homeowner expenses).
Fast forward about a year and we had welcomed our first child into the world. About six months later, we realized we wanted to raise our kids close to our families and extended family—in Ohio—but we’d already sunk a lot of money into our first home.
We decided to sell anyways.
Even though we hadn’t given the home much time to appreciate, we still walked away with cash for another down-payment in Ohio. Instead of losing over $1k every month to rent, we were able to re-invest a decent portion of the previous year’s housing costs and expenses into a new place to live.
So the thought of the day is this:
Don’t let the notion of sunk cost scare you away from a big decision, whether it be financial, or otherwise.
There might be other factors that deter you in a decision, but please don’t let that be the one that puts the final nail in the coffin on a decision or an idea you’re kicking around and praying about.
Leaving Orlando was the hardest thing we’ve ever done. We had such a rich, vibrant community there. Yet, we’re glad we didn’t let those previous financial investments tie us down for another five years. Postponing our decision likely would have only let to a more difficult decision down the road.
I know this isn’t everyone’s experience, and that a decision like this could have gone the other way… But we’re thankful we decided to take the leap of faith, and that we were seeking God’s wisdom along the way. We’re thankful we we’re able to do what felt right for our family at the time; looking back, we can see how God used it to set us up for this current chapter of life.
We’re also thankful for the generosity and support of our families, whose miscellaneous resources also helped make the transition possible. What a life lesson in sacrificial love!