Home Buying & Selling a House Why Buying a House is a Bad Idea and Why I Did It Anyway

Why Buying a House is a Bad Idea and Why I Did It Anyway

by Ali Wenzke

Rebecca doesn’t want to move. She loves living in Chicago, but her husband accepted a position in Cleveland. So, off they go, like the millions of other Americans who relocate every year. The thing that’s stressing her out the most is that they can’t sell their Chicago home.

 Rebecca speaks passionately about this. Yet, when I ask her about their Cleveland plans, she tells me that they’re buying a house. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances force you into a situation that goes against everything you believe in.

Why Buying a House is a Bad Idea

Chicago home

I wish we never bought our house.

When Rebecca and Josh moved to Chicago from Pittsburgh they had one weekend to look at houses. Rebecca believes their Chicago purchase was a hasty one. She tells me, “I wish I could go back and kick myself in the butt. I just wish we never bought our house.” Josh’s company set them up with a realtor and, looking back, Rebecca recalls that the agent only showed them her own personal listings. They didn’t know the area and they trusted the agent. So, they bought the house several years ago and now they are having a very difficult time selling it. With only weeks away from moving, their house remains on the market. They’ve gotten very little traffic, despite repeated price drops. It’s been a nightmare for her family. Rebecca can’t emphasize enough that her biggest tip to others who are moving is to not buy a house.

Why Rebecca Is Buying a House Even Though She Said You Never Should

American flags

The Republican National Convention thwarted our housing plans.

When I asked Rebecca about her plans for Cleveland, she tells me that they are in the process of buying a house. I couldn’t believe it! “Why would you do that after your painful experiences?” I asked her. She explains that they hadn’t counted on the Republican National Convention. Rebecca and Josh visited Cleveland in February to look at rentals. They wanted to live in the best public school district, so their new house needed to be in a specific neighborhood. Unfortunately, there were very few rentals in that area. To make matters worse, many homeowners wanted to rent out their houses for the Republic National Convention. According to Rebecca, some people were asking $30,000 a month to rent their house. The timing for Rebecca and Josh couldn’t have been worse. Their June start date interfered with the convention. As with many moving stories, you get thrown a curveball and you need to go with it.  Rebecca couldn’t help but go against her own advice.

Do Not Overbuy a House

Maybe Rebecca and Josh needed to buy a house after all, but they were determined not to overbuy a house. They knew how much they wanted to spend on a house in Ohio and they stuck to their budget, despite attempts by the realtor to show them higher-priced housing. It didn’t matter that they were used to the pricier Chicago housing market. Rebecca and Josh didn’t want to buy the more expensive house in Cleveland simply because they could afford it. They wanted to buy a nice house in a good school district, but without buying the bigger, more expensive house.  Primarily, they worried about resale. They’d been through this a couple times already. So, they considered their house purchase through the lens of what would happen if they needed to move again.

Why Rebecca Doesn’t Want to Move

When I asked Rebecca how she felt about moving, she told me, “I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. Not at all.” She likes where she lives. Yet, she knows her husband could not turn down this job opportunity in Cleveland. Rebecca isn’t concerned about leaving her friends because she’s moved before and she’s always kept in touch with old friends. Technology helps. “It’s not like it’s the 1950s and you’re writing letters. You have Facebook and you see your friends and talk to your friends regularly,” Rebecca tells me. Her main issue with moving is starting all over again with no family or friends around. She’ll need to get a new driver’s license, a new doctor, a new dentist, new insurance and everything else. She finds the logistics frustrating even though she knows how to do it. Just like many of us, she is not looking forward to that part of moving.

How Rebecca Will Make It Work


Seeing the positive in our new home

Rebecca is going through the motions of moving. She’s trying to sell their house while taking care of her four-year-old daughter. She is focusing on getting to Cleveland, taking care of her house, and getting through all of that. Rebecca is taking everything one step at a time. She can’t even think about what is six months down the road. She can’t see it. She’s focusing on now. Rebecca also reminds herself about the positive things. Their Cleveland house will be more updated than their Chicago home. They’re also closer to family and friends in Pittsburgh as well as Josh’s family in Canada. Even though Rebecca would rather stay in Chicago, she’s making the best of the situation.

Rebecca’s Advice to Others Who are Moving

When I asked Rebecca what she would tell someone in her situation, someone who doesn’t want to move, she said, “It’s going to be fine. Getting rid of stuff and moving is fine. It’s just dealing with high priced items like housing. Moving costs money, but it’s not like dealing with your assets. That’s the major problem.” She understands that she and her family will be okay when they get to Cleveland. They’ll create a new, happy life for themselves there. To help you avoid the stress she’s going through, Rebecca cannot emphasize enough that you should NOT buy a house…even if she couldn’t follow her own advice.



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Julie September 11, 2016 - 10:46 am

I love that most cities have great apps now so hopefully all buyers can be well informed when choosing. The pocket listings are challenging though as it takes away from the level playing field of the MLS.

Ali Wenzke September 12, 2016 - 8:53 am

Thanks, Julie! Are there any apps that you recommend in your city or do you have a favorite?

Jordan Blake February 5, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Loved your piece! Given how the housing market is moving nowadays, renting, instead of buying a house should be the go-to option for young professionals.

Ali Wenzke February 7, 2018 - 10:41 am

Thank you, Jordan. If people don’t know a city well, renting instead of buying will save them time, money and stress.

Henry Collins April 24, 2018 - 12:30 pm

Thanks for the advice. I’ll will think it thoroughly before making the decision of moving a new city.

licofindia.site June 17, 2018 - 12:47 pm

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for
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Mery house services June 29, 2018 - 10:06 pm

Great post, I think buying a new house can be a stressful, expensive and complex & your advice will help me before buying of my new house.


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