Sunday, July 08, 2007

Point of No Return

Well, yesterday marks the point of no return for me. And, so now I will share with those who are not yet in the know the reason I need to raise cash.

I bought a house. It might be an incredibly dumb thing to do right now, but it had to happen sooner or later. House prices in the areas that I was looking at have flattened out over the last couple of years. And, mortgage rates are still low by historical standards, and the tax-break is appealing. Also, we're technically in a 'buyer's market'.

But, let me say that "buyer's market" is not what you (non-Bay Area folks) think it means. Silicon Valley is still a bit nuts. The first two houses that I put in offers for wound up being multiple-bidder situations. The first one had 4 bidders, and I came in 3rd after the counter-offering was completed. The winning bid came in $2K below list price. The second house had 3 bidders, and from what I understand the person who ultimately bought it simply gave an offer equal to the list price. Just think... these are not in 'hot' areas here. The hot areas like Cupertino, Mountain View, etc. are still seeing houses being picked up 10% above list price. Scary.

In any case, all the buyer contingencies were removed yesterday, and the 3% deposit check was cashed. I am very soon to be a homeowner, for better or worse. I should be closing in early August. I suppose in 4 or 5 years I'll look back and think... wow, what a monumentally stupid decision, or wow, I sure got a bit lucky to buy when I did. I'll definitely let time tell me which it is, as I've been too stressed out by all of this house stuff to give it much more thought.

I guess this brings me to the dreaded topic of the partial portfolio liquidation. I expect that a little over half of the Long-Term Portfolio needs to be sold off to raise the cash required to close. I've put in a great deal of thought about this, and still, I'm not sure exactly of what I'm going to do. I have a few weeks before the cash needs to be ready, but I will be making some firm decisions very soon. I'll keep everyone posted.

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