Have you ever regretted NOT buying a property?

21 Replies

There are lots of stories about buyer's remorse, but have you ever regretted NOT buying a property?

If so, what caused you not to buy the property in the first place? And what did you realize later that made you regret not pulling the trigger?

Most importantly, how did this experience shape your future decision making process?

@Ron Averill  My answer would be no.  Not because I never watched a good deal go by, but because I can't do anything about it now...and more importantly,  there's always the next one.

Joe Villeneuve
REcapSystem
A2REIC

@Joe Villeneuve   That's a good answer and a great philosophy. But realizing later that you missed out on a great deal must have affected your decision making process in some way on future deals. What lessons can you teach the rest of us from this experience?

Nope.  If I find a property I liked and the numbers work for me I buy it.  If the numbers do not work I pass.  If I get out bid then so be it. If the seller won't come down to a point that make the numbers work, then so be it. It's just like playing cards.  You have to get your money in the pot when you have the best hand. If you get beat on the river then so be it, you can't control that.  I TRY to remove emotion from the equation all together.  At least for me when emotion gets involved that's when mistakes get made.

Yes I have, it was a great deal from a wholesaler but since I was pretty new to buying investment properties I wound up losing it to analysis paralysis. He told me it was mine as long as I told him I wanted it within 48 hours and even though I had done the numbers and had a trusted person go out look at and agree it was a deal I still froze up and lost it. I learned that if I see something that I know is a good deal to just jump on it cause someone else will.

Originally posted by @Ron Averill:

@Joe Villeneuve  That's a good answer and a great philosophy. But realizing later that you missed out on a great deal must have affected your decision making process in some way on future deals. What lessons can you teach the rest of us from this experience?

 Well, first is that deals are not the same (good or bad) for every investor.  What's great for one can be terrible for another.  Many factors go into what makes a deal what it is...not the least of which is the available "entrance and Exit" strategies.

Having said that, if I know that a deal that doesn't work for me might work for someone else, I just tie it up and wholesale it to them.  No need to leave money on the table.

Kind of a spin off of the previous paragraph..one lesson is to build an extensive buyers list.  With that list, I have a large number of potential exit strategies available to me.  It means those deals that don't work for me, but work for them, can still make me $"happy"$.

Nothing easier than just filling orders.

Joe Villeneuve
REcapSystem
A2REIC

Originally posted by @Chris K.:

Yes I have, it was a great deal from a wholesaler but since I was pretty new to buying investment properties I wound up losing it to analysis paralysis. He told me it was mine as long as I told him I wanted it within 48 hours and even though I had done the numbers and had a trusted person go out look at and agree it was a deal I still froze up and lost it. I learned that if I see something that I know is a good deal to just jump on it cause someone else will.

 This is the tagline at the bottom of all my emails.

"The things that come to those who wait, are the things that are left behind by those that got there first".

Joe Villeneuve
REcapSystem
A2REIC

@Neil Schoepp   You are right that emotions have to be removed from the equation. But there is more to it than just the numbers. Many investors have bought based on good numbers, only to find out later that the deal was not as good as they thought. Many posts address this previous experience and the many reasons why it happens. In this post I'm trying to tease out experiences on the other side of the buying decision.

@Chris K. I'm still relatively new to REI, and I am a natural born over-analyzer. I try to check this trait at the door every time I evaluate a property. So far, I have not lost one due to this, but I almost expect it to happen to me some day.

Absolutely have kicked myself, several times, but one really stands out. It was a farm house and barn, just over 3 acres outside the city limits on the southeast side. It was a booming area and about 500 feet from the south Sam's Club. I was going to put my mortgage company there. Thought about for about 4 days and lost out!!!!! Probably lost 1.5 M by dragging my feet.

Have regrets on the selling side too, further east from my missed buy out about 5 miles I had an acreage that I was using as an out of town second home get away. River frontage with an A frame (I could stand on either deck level and spit in the river, saying it that way to say I'm on the water) property had a barn, corral, tennis court (previous owner was a tennis coach so it was a professional court) pond, grass pasture and an old cabin. As things go, it was just a weekender and a long story but bottom line, a very wealthy neighbor ask me what I had to have for it, like an idiot I opened my mouth, in a few minutes he said write it up.

I learned to act quickly and to say no to those I know.

Now, I'm single and retired!!!!! Minutes to all kinds of shopping and services yet secluded from city life. A perfect retirement spot, I can see myself riding a good horse, having all my toys in the barn, knocking the ball around, kayaking in my backyard or just jumping in and sitting on the rapids having a cold one.

Please excuse me for awhile, now that I've been reminded again, I need to go kick myself some more!  

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

@Joe Villeneuve You make an excellent point about deals being good or bad depending on the investor's goals and current situation. I just returned from a lunch meeting with a realtor regarding a property. The property fits nicely into my niche, but we are too far apart on price. I am confident he can eventually find a buyer at his price. It is just not an ideal opportunity for me.

@Bill G. Sorry to dredge up bad memories. Those are good lessons for the rest of us, though. Thanks. 



But there is more to it than just the numbers.

@Ron Averill  I totally agree with you. When I say numbers what I am really saying is taking everything into account, crime, school districts, tenants background etc. do the numbers work for me.  A property is being sold for 50k and is worth 50k I find out the tenant is a little shady. To me the property is now valued at 40k at 40k the numbers work for me.  The seller passes on my offer and sells it the next week.  The new owner has no problems with the tenant and sells a few years later for 100k. I have no regrets because at the time the numbers didn't work for me. I hope I explained it properly. I am not the best writer and always prefer the phone or face to face.

And what did you realize later that made you regret not pulling the trigger?


I don't consider it a regret, because at the time I thought it was a prudent, though it really wasn't. I once passed up a property because the seller wouldn't come down 5k. He was at 219 and I at 214. I could have easily paid the extra 5k (the numbers still worked out for me) but pride got in my way.  I later on a different property paid an extra 3k so not to make the same mistake. I still hold that property with some nice equity now.

Of any of the properties I've made offers on and didn't get, I have no regrets.  I tried at the price I was comfortable with, and if someone wanted to pay more, then bully for them.  I'm not doing it.

The only thing I have a little regret is not taking more action to obtain more capital to buy more properties.

Dawn Anastasi, Core Properties, LLC | http://www.coreprop.biz | Podcast Guest on Show #29

@Neil Schoepp   and @Dawn Anastasi    I guess the theme is that you have to make decisions based on what you know at the time, and accounting for all the factors that you can. If you execute your game plan and things don't work out, then no regrets. 

The more experience I gain, the easier it is to look at it this way. But I am still new enough to REI that I wonder if I will regret not buying a property because of something that seems like a big deal to me now, but that might seem trivial when I am a little more experienced. It might be a few thousand dollars, as in Neil's example, or something else like under market rent. One person's challenge is another person's opportunity. Experience and wisdom are needed to turn one into the other.

Yes, I have a property I passed on, an 8plex, and I kick myself everyday.

Beautiful building, very good numbers.

What's worse is that I have to drive past it regularly.

Ticks me off to no end.

It's been over a year now, and some of the pain has subsided, along with acquiring a 4plex with better numbers, but I could have had them both...

@Arnie Guida   Why did you pass on the 8plex? If the same opportunity became available today, how would you know to move forward?

@Ron Averill  see I told you I don't write well that sums it up very nicely.  

Take peace in knowing that you will pass on deals because of something that seemed like a big deal at the time and turned not to be. The point isn't that it turned out not to be.  The point IS that at the time you made the decision it WAS a big deal.

@Dawn Anastasi  I agree with your take on capital.  That in part is what has lead me here. I want to become a bit more aggressive in my ventures. 

@Arnie Guida  any chance you would be willing to share your story.  If not no worries. Why did you pass on the 8plex?  In hindsight what would you have done differently? 

How can you not regret missing out on a deal.  But I can't say that I regret missing out on the deal because my offer was too low - which is typically the case. I still regret missing out on the deal. But that doesn't mean I would ever change my offer. 

Although there have been times when I've tried being greedy and was hoping the price would go even lower. Then someone else came and picked up the house. Those are ones I regret. I'll still operate that way though.  

Sometimes its better to miss out on some deals if it means the ones you do get are really great deals because of it. 

There's one house that really bothers me. It was a hud house that my realtor was bidding on about once a week. I kept putting my number in. No counter. Nothing. Every week. Then one day it just disappeared. That was back when you could see all the bids too. Turned out the winning bidder got it for less than what I was bidding.

That was early on in my investing. Needless to say. That one caused a change in my process. My bids went in every day after that..... To this day, I still drive by that house every now and then (its on a busy street) and can't help but think they stole that one from me. :-)

The worst part is the thing needed no rehab (less than 10k anyway) as it was in great shape. And they put it on the market about 6 mos ago for about 60k more than I had for my "all in" number (purchase plus rehab). 

So I'd say that I regret missing out on a ton of houses. But that regret hasn't gotten me to change my investing practices as of yet - other than putting in my hud bids far more frequently.

Absolutely.  Two immediate deals come to mind.  

A 2/1 in Aurora that I passed up for 54k.  Needed no work and cashflowed.  I convinced myself that those properties were not my focus despite having solid economic indicators for the area (i live 2 blocks down and attend many neighborhood and city meeting).  House could sell today for 130k and 250/mo more in rent.

A 2nd house I did not make an offer on.  I let my former realtor convince me it wasn't worth the time to low ball that property.   It sold for 30k lower than what i would have asked.

I allow myself to regret both because it they stick with me as great lessons. 180k in equity and $500/mo missed cashflow have helped me greatly. So In that aspect, i guess there are not regrets.  Got to love the gray world of real estate.

@Neil Schoepp and @Mike H.  Thanks for the good advice. 

The coolest thing about BP is that I can gain years of experience in one afternoon.

@Jason Miller   Regarding your Aurora property, have you allowed your focus or niche to broaden as a result of the lost opportunity? 

I sometimes wonder if a narrow niche is healthy or short-sighted. I started off with a narrow focus, but find myself opening up to different types of opportunities as I become more comfortable with the REI business.

Yes and no, I'm still buying rentals there and have widened my criteria, but I don't invest in other types of real estate at this time.  I may pass on a good office space under similar circumstances since it deviates to much from my gameplan.

Seen a for sale by owner yesterday. Called to feel out the seller - how much, how anxious, property condition. Thought about it overnight, called this morning to make an offer.  Too late - SOLD. There will be more but this was a decent deal, which seem more difficult to find everyday.

The most regretful deal I ever seen walk away was at a auction for a 160 acre farm next to our home place. Basically a once in a lifetime opportunity to own it. I quit bidding at $50,000 over what I wanted to pay. ouch.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you