We recently prepared for a very successful First Time Home-buyer Seminar (ask us for details) and we were surprised to find all the success stories in our database. The success stories all involved clients of ours who squeezed into properties when they were very young and who now have over $1 million in equity.

    These people did not “time the market” or do anything unique; they simply bought young, lived frugally and house-hopped from “cottages to castles” as we say in our seminar.

    Here are two examples.

    Gwen & Tony’s Story

    Bought in Concord, CA 1985 for $150,000 at age 23. Bought in Concord, CA again for $350,000 in late 1980s. Bought in Lafayette, CA in late 1990s for $700,000. Lafayette, CA home is now worth $1.6 million. Gwen and Tony now have $1 million in equity.

    Rod & Karen’s Story

    Bought in Martinez, CA in 1989 for $212,000 at age 25. Bought in San Ramon in late 1990s for $400,000. Bought in Walnut Creek, CA in 2000 for $500,000. Bought in Alamo, CA for $1.2 million in 2011. Alamo, CA home is now worth $1.6 million. Rod and Karen have $1 million in equity.

    Their property values went up and down, but they stuck out the market, paid down their mortgages, moved up when they could, and ended up way ahead.

    Both actually bought in the late 1980s during a market peak and lost equity for a while.

    Moral of the Story: Buy young, stay in, and don’t worry about timing the market.

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