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Missed opportunities
Old 07-12-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
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Missed opportunities

As DW and I quietly celebrate our 58th wedding anniversary, we spent some time on Zillow going over some of the 22 houses we owned or lived in during our years together. Two of the memorable ones were back in the 1960's , when we lived in Cape Cod.

The first was on Martha's Vineyard, which we rented, and almost bought except it was a little out of our range @ $30K... so we rented for $90/mo. It's now a B&B that rents for $8400/week in the summer.
The 1720 House - Home

Current value here:
152 Main St, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 | Zillow

The other house, we did buy, for $10K.. in Falmouth Mass. We borrowed another $1200 for a new furnace and remodeled kitchen, both of which I installed myself. despite having no building skills.

Here's the current valuation:

Most of the other houses have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in value, including my Rhode Island birthplace home, which was $6500 when we were married, and just sold for $254K.

A few hours of Zillow and Street View, and a whole lot of memories. Thinking that taking promotions and moves might not have paid off as well as just keeping my store manager's job, and living on the Cape. (naw... too much fun in the interim).

Life is Good!

Now... did you miss any opportunities?

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Old 07-12-2016, 04:35 PM   #2
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Congratulations, imoldernu, on your anniversary! What a nice way to enjoy some good memories together. DH and I will mark 30 years next week, but we've only lived in 5 places together so our reminiscing would be a lot quicker than yours!

"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:46 PM   #3
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Happy Anniversary! I love that you have been married for 58 years and are still enjoying your lives together. We are going to my sister's 50th anniversary party this Saturday.

I have never thought to go to Zillow to look at our previous houses that we have owned. We have only owned 2 other houses, but it will be interesting to look at them. I will have to wait until DH gets home and see if he remembers the house addresses. I think that I remember the first address, but did not own the second home for very long. (I am amazed at the memories of people on this forum.) I am sure that neither of the houses in Columbus OH have went up in property values, the way your houses did.

When I think of missed opportunities, I tend to think of stocks that I could have bought, but did not. Stocks like Apple, Microsoft, Google and many others. My DH tends to think about muscle cars that he could have kept or bought back in the early 70s and the amount that you could sell them for today.

I agree that Life is Good!

Wishing you and your wife many more years to come!
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:26 PM   #4
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DW reminded me that there was another house where we spent lots of time when she visited me at my college before we were married... My best friend's mom owned the Stowe House, where Harriet Beecher Stowe lived and where she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin...
Many long hours, he and I spent in his room, in the attached barn (not there any more) freezing hard cider on the window sill for weekend parties.
We actually spent even more hours studying tactics for our ROTC classes... working at the exact same secretary where HBS wrote her novel... and next to the original Franklin Fireplace that was in the room since it was built. Even then, young and busy with life, a sense of history... knowing that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had roomed there when he was in school.
Though the school now owns and has restored the building, the estimated value is over $3Million... not that it matters. My friend's mom once considered selling for $150K, back in 1956.

Evolution of a Landmark: The Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the History of Brunswick, Maine- Katherine Randall '16 (Bowdoin - Enhancing The Humanities At Bowdoin)
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:32 PM   #5
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22! I've owned 5 houses or condos since buying my first house for $50,000. at age 28. I can't imagine 22 moves. I have looked up my first house on Zillow and was astonished that it sold for nearly $350,000. a couple of years ago.
How cool about the Stowe house. I have visited it as I published an edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin some years ago (great book and well worth reading btw) and did the literary pilgrimage. Beautiful area.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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A very impressive wedding anniversary. Congratulations!

I occasionally track the house I grew up in (Brooklyn, NY).
My parents paid $10,000 in 1948.
They sold it for $65,000 in 1972
Last sold for $350,000 in 2008
Current Zillow estimate: $394,840
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:46 PM   #7
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Congratulations on your anniversary, imoldernu! You and Mrs. Imoldernu must have some great memories.

I love learning about the history of buildings and you have lived in at least two historically important houses. I see that the Stowe house was also home to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his student days.

Here is a photo I took in Florence, Italy a couple of months ago, while staying at the Hotel Grand Minerva, where Longfellow stayed during one of his European journeys and translated the Divine Comedy. I think the inscription quotes him referring to the Piazza Santa Maria Novella as a "Mecca for strangers". It still is.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:59 PM   #8
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I'm sure I've mentioned it here somewhere along the way...but in 1995 Microsoft recruiting called me when I was right out of college to ask if I was interested in joining a security engineering group they were starting...a lot of my comp would be in these mysterious things called "stock options" that I couldn't spend right away to pay my college I passed...
Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:41 PM   #9
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Starry eyed dreamer here, and big on real estate, so yep, lots of missed opportunities (which was probably lucky). The retired airbase in Condon Oregon back in the late 70's, complete with a couple dozen military houses, a three lane bowling alley, officers and enlisted clubs and big asbestos wrapped steam lines going all over the place for heat. Display site . Dream was to sell houses to Californians - never did much but dream about that and get the prospectus.

Montezuma's Castle in New Mexico pre-restoration - got the prospectus on that place; it needed a little work, but they noted that there was three feet of guano in the attic that could be mined and sold...
Montezuma castle, other Las Vegas buildings now open for tours | Albuquerque Journal

McAfee's Rodeo NM home sold at auction - went for $525, the whole complex with antique Airsteams and matching vintage cars, Japanese armor, weird stuff, a restaurant, etc. that one we really coulda been serious bidders..

One might think there is a theme - derelict gigantic places that are located ninety miles from nowhere, but we also put an offer on a buried dome home overlooking Prescott Az; the earth berm home in this link: Home Inspection Gallery - Home Inspections Prescott Arizona Home Inspections Prescott Arizona The owner bank noodled around and we bought our La Quinta home - got a call from our agent saying the bank was ready to accept our offer as we were about to drive to the LQ house for the winter. Hah! had no need for two winter homes.. should have bought it and sat on it, ditto this one:
St George Utah was beautiful and had a home that was about three families too big for us that was very neat, backed into boulders and overlooking a golf course - regret not buying that as well.

Oregon coast had a small group of rental homes, a motel complex overlooking Depot bay; then there was a weird place in the middle of a national forest that I swear had to have been an ex CIA holding facility ...

I like our homes, particularly the Oregon house we spent 5 years restoring, but there were so many that we let slide - not willing to bet it all on a single toss - but our lives would sure have been different had we made other choices!
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:25 PM   #10
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My missed opportunity was to stay single instead of marrying my first wife.
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:47 PM   #11
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When I first heard about the iPod, being an Apple enthusiast, I thought it would essentially create a new market with huge growth. In my early 20s, I had no money to invest...
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:51 AM   #12
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Congratulations on the anniversary!

I'm sure if I thought hard enough I could come up with an opportunity if taken would have paid off handsomely. However, we have way more than we need, are 65, healthy, and currently in a big rental house on the OBX with daughter, SIL and 4 grandchildren. The path that took us here was just fine!
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:08 AM   #13
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Bought $5k of bitcoin in 2012 at $9 per coin. It's now >$600.

I sold when it hit $20.

Oh well.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:13 PM   #14
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Wow. Happy 58th!

DW and I are 55, married 33 years. I retired 3 years ago. She's ostensibly pulling the trigger end of this year. We'll see. We've only owned 2 homes, both in the same town. We also briefly rented a house and an apartment together, while in college. Growing up, we also had only 2 houses, both in unassuming suburban areas. I stay current with all the old houses on Zillow and Street View. But it's not nearly as interesting as some of yours and only takes few minutes.

Not real estate, but here's my missed opportunity story, FWIW:

I was granted, and mostly vested in, a small mountain of hi-tech Megacorp stock options in the late 90s. After the dot-com bubble burst, I waited for the stock to recover. It never came close and most of the options expired. That missed opportunity cost a bit north of $800K and knocked several years off the ER plan. $800K is based on the peak price. I could have exercised and sold at any point during the decline and still made some money, but I was convinced the stock would recover before the options expired.

From that point forward, I exercised in-the-money options as soon as they vested and plowed the money into stock index funds. To make matters worse, ~50% of my 401K back then was Megacorp stock (my choice) and I rode it all the way down before exchanging for a stock fund. The only good news from that period is that I continued to collect grants at really low strike prices, and the stock did eventually regain about half it's high from mid-2000.
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.7% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:41 PM   #15
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Not real estate, but as a 17 year old high school junior in 1981, I could have bought the 63 split window Corvette with my own money from working. But alas the cost of insuring a 17 year old male driver in a 63 Corvette was too much for me to afford. So instead I bought a 74 Vega shell and dropped a 350 V8 into it, which became my college and 1st year working car for 6 years total. I think the Corvette had better value appreciation............. even if the Vega was faster.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:12 PM   #16
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For every missed opportunity there was a different one we took. Maybe interesting sometimes to think about the road not taken, but more interesting to think about the ones we took and where they led us.
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
For every missed opportunity there was a different one we took. Maybe interesting sometimes to think about the road not taken, but more interesting to think about the ones we took and where they led us.
Yup. Opportunities or choices? On occasion I also reflect on the choices I've made, the paths we've taken, and serendipity.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:34 PM   #18
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Madonna went to my high school, but a few years later. If only I'd been a little younger, we'd surely have met and who knows?
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Madonna went to my high school, but a few years later. If only I'd been a little younger, we'd surely have met and who knows?

Whoa! It's an honor just knowing over the Internet someone who almost knew Madonna.

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Old 07-13-2016, 05:52 PM   #20
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Other than that townhouse in Huntington Beach I sold, I have none.

Or perhaps everything.

All my life I've been a "professional slacker", I did the smallest amount of work needed to get by. I got out of school with a 2.4 GPA and it took me 5 years at that. Flunked a few courses and had to repeat. But I did maximize my party time. Same with employment, I never looked to be promoted. When I was promoted it went badly, so I gave up on that quickly.

I want to do what I want to do. So I did as little as possible of what other people wanted me to do.

It all worked out well and I'm now a retired financially independent bon vivant -

Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
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