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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Changing my Investments

Today I burst into tears when my new Realtor asked me, “Did you do anything special when you closed on your condo?” “Yes,” and I started to sniffle, “I had Ronnie and Cathy over for champagne.”

I wasn’t able to tell her that the next day our rabbi, my new Realtor is from my shul, came over and helped me put up my first mezzuzah and bless the house. That I hosted tea and challah for Rosh Hashanah for three years in a row there or that I celebrated my conversion there.

My condo is officially for sale, but you won’t see it online for another ten days. Someone (me) needs to clean and declutter.

So what is this all about?

Passover this year, I realized that I want to live where my friends live (Ravenswood) and that I can’t afford to buy over there. I also can’t afford to rent my place out, because I can’t cover the mortgage and fees with what the market rental rate is.

I decided it is time to change my investments.

For me, this condo was a huge personal investment. I was making about $30,000 a year when I bought it three years ago. Thanks to what became the mortgage crisis, I was able to buy with 100% financing. I had excellent credit and some assets to show I meant business. I guess we now know, I could have gotten the mortgage without either.

It quickly became evident that being able to get a mortgage and being able to pay the mortgage are two different things. Off I went, looking for a more stable job and a higher salary. I found stability as an admin at Edelman, but then I found a career here as I moved into digital PR via the me2revolution.

I’ve picked up a few personal finance books along the way and realized, thanks Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that owning property isn’t always the way to wealth. With taxes and assessment increases, my mortgage has always been a stretch.

So I’ve decided to change my investments.

I hope to be able to buy something in a less expensive market, that I can have as a rental. I’m thinking a small place in Indianapolis, Kansas City or St. Louis. A place where less buys more and management companies are there to answer the phone at midnight.

I wouldn’t have my career without my condo, that I’m sure of. I wouldn’t have been forced to grow up. I wouldn’t have known what it is like to lie in bed at night and think “I own this, I own this, I own this.” So now I’m ready to move on. The romance of answering the question of “How much is your rent,” by smugly saying, “I don’t pay rent, I pay a mortgage,” is over for me.

I’m ready to reallocate funds and change my investments. I know that someone else will walk through the door and realize what a stellar place I own. Close to the lake, close to the train, close to a very nice Dominick’s and miles above everything else in the neighborhood as far as quality. That buyer is going to walk through the doors soon and offer me the full asking price.

That is what I hope. Hope with me, okay?

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