Advice I'm Glad I Never Took #1
From my prior post:
Co Worker #1: "Shtinky, you need to buy yourself a property – ANY property..."
Shtinky: “I can’t afford it with my student loan payments.”
Co-Worker #1: “Yes you can! Just talk to my broker. He’s got so many amazing mortgages he can offer you. You can get a mortgage where your monthly payments will be around where your rent payments are! And besides, you’ll get tax deductions and you can pay off your student loans with your mortgage!!”
Yeah. Your broker would have given me a negatively amortizing, option ARM, subprime loan and I'd be homeless now.
Lesson Learned: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Advice I'm Glad I Never Took #2
During the housing bubble heyday, several people told me I should take money out of my 401k and plunk it in real estate. "You're taking money from one investment to another -- One that will NEVER lose money!" Uh-huh.
One friend told me that her single friend took money out of her 401k to buy a 1 BR condo. She said I should do the same since I'm pissing money away in rent on a 1 BR apartment anyways. Fast foward to now: That single friend is now married, moved to Northern California and let her 1 BR condo go into foreclosure.
Lesson Learned: Don't tap into your 401k to buy property because that's a clear sign that you can't afford the home.
Advice I'll Never Take #1
I have a co-worker who bought a home beyond his means. Last September, he was fretting that his mortgage will re-adjust in April. He couldn't afford to refinance since his loan is a jumbo loan and the mortgage rates are more than his adjustable rates are. He was thinking about refinancing to a 5-year interest-only loan.
Anyhow, he advised me that when I buy my first home that I shouldn't be discouraged if it's a small place. He suggested that I keep trading up like him. Ummmm... Yeah... No offense, but I don't think this guy is a role model.
Lesson Learned: Don't keep trading up if you can't afford it.
Advice I'll Never Take #2
Remember Co-Worker #1 from above? He said that he uses his second home like a piggy-bank. Every time the value of the home goes up, he takes money out. Since it's his second home, I guess it isn't as bad as what another friend has done to his primary home. (It's still bad advice, though.)
Below is a true and graphical example of what this other friend did. It's a picture perfect example of "what not to do with the equity in your own home".
Lesson Learned: Your house isn't a piggy bank!