I was hiking in the middle of nowhere a few weeks ago when I ran into a couple in their early 60s.

    We struck up a long conversation and I learned that they currently lived in Palm Desert. They’d recently relocated there from the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years before selling their almost free-and-clear home for $1.5 million.

    They ended up paying cash for their Palm Desert home and are now retired, traveling and loving life!

    Homeownership As A Retirement Plan

    This is a recurring theme that has come up with many of our buyers:

    • “Sheila and Bill,” for example, bought in Concord, CA in 1985 for $150,000, then moved up in Concord for $300,000, then bought a “fixer” in Lafayette, CA for $600,000 that is now worth almost $2 million.
    • “Jose and Anne” bought in Martinez, CA in 1989 for under $200,000, then moved up to San Ramon, CA, then moved up again to Walnut Creek, CA and now live in Alamo in a home that is worth $2 million.

    All three of the couples above have a lot in common, and it is not luck!

    How They Were Successful

    1. None were wealthy, as none had particularly high incomes.

    2. All got into the market early, in their twenties (even when others told them not to buy “because rates were too high,” for example).

    3. All three couples avoided the temptation of taking “cash out” of their appreciating homes.

    4. All three lived on budgets to stay within their means.

    5. None worried about timing the market when they bought, as they bought in both valleys and peaks.

    Many young people are not buying real estate today because they prefer the ease and mobility of renting, or because they think now is not the best time.

    But, we like to remind every young person that real estate is a great inflation hedge, an excellent appreciating asset, an excellent forced savings plan, and a great source of retirement funds.

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