I write it myself several times a week, and I see the words over and over – due diligence and ‘don’t let your heart rule your head’.
But my goodness it can be tough…
The trouble can arise when you’re looking for a property that you’d like to make your home, not now, but at some point in the future.
My partner and I love our current pad, so we’re not really planning on going anywhere at the moment.
But when this delightful yellow home popped up on my screen (as so many dozens do every day), I couldn’t help but be drawn to it.
Which was my first mistake.
Heart over head
Straight away this gorgeous little ray of sunshine struck me as somewhere I’d like to live, and I started eagerly clicking through the pictures like a home-hungry owner-occupier.
Except I wasn’t one of those.
Having liked what I’d seen in the photographs, the pull of the open inspection was too strong, so off we toddled that very weekend to check out picturesque house that was situated, we had already learnt, right on a busy main road.
It was one of those dream viewings whereupon the reality matched the pictures perfectly, rather than the images having disguised a dozen sins.
Perhaps the biggest giveaway that I was listening to my heart and not my head was the fact that I couldn’t get over the kitchen.
It was a lovely kitchen, just the sort of country-style that appeals to me (note the use of the word ‘me’, not future tenants), but the thing is, I don’t even cook! I’m a disgrace as a chef, and only tend to venture into that part of the house to fix myself a bowl of cereal!
Gliding around the place in a fug of ardour, I was picturing my knick-knacks adorning the windowsills, and already had a perfect spot for the piano.
When my other half sensibly reiterated that we didn’t even want to move, it was my heart that started planning the prospective tenants we’d get into the house for a year or so, not my head.
Had my head been employed at all at this point, it would have pointed out that rental yields in the area were by no means high, and that, in fact, the amount we’d be able to obtain from our imaginary tenants wouldn’t actually cover our repayments.
But it was my heart that was entertained by those window seats in the bedroom, and so my heart was telling me that if I loved them, lots of other people would too, thus rent wouldn’t be a problem.
After the viewing
I left that viewing with an extremely unprofessional level of excitement fluttering in my veins, as my partner and I chattered about all the fantastic conveniences of the place – so close to a great bus route; supermarket just over the road; in the very suburb we’d lived on first arriving in Queensland.
I’m ashamed to say, dear reader, I went home and gave the agent an opening offer.
Luckily it was only an opener (and nothing in writing), because life came and slapped me in the face that very evening, changing our immediate circumstances with a bang and ensuring that now was certainly not the time to be getting into a new investment.
Just days later we learned, on the grapevine, of some rather unsavoury elements in close proximity to the gorgeous little house, and while these would almost certainly have raised their head through the due diligence we’d have undertaken, I couldn’t help but feel I’d had a lucky escape.
I drove past the house at the weekend, and saw the new owners moving in.
A little pang of jealousy was very soon replaced with a sense of relief, and a little chiding from my inner property investor.
See the original article here.