I Spent All My Money and Bought A House I Hate. Here is What I Learned.

Stella Guan
11 min readNov 2, 2020

How the 2020 pandemic housing fever shrunk my savings by 50%

From hindsight, I should have seen all of the warning signs, but the pandemic housing fever got the better of me.

In the summer of 2020, I moved across the country from New York to California to begin a new life.

I had been a homeowner for the past few years and things were going pretty well. When I was 27, I bought a cute condo with a killer view of New York City and enjoyed my time there for the most part. Nothing too crazy happened in my first home purchase except one offer rejection. The fulfillment of being a homeowner, tax benefits and the fact that I made decent money selling my first home convinced me that things are going to be the same, if not better, on the other coast.

Except that it won’t be — as a matter of fact, a series of unfortunate decisions spiraled into the worst financial disaster of my life and shrunk my hard-earned savings by 50%.

Here is what happened and what I learned.

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Gambling With High Interest Hard Money Loan In A Historic Low Interest Environment

In 2020, the pandemic hit. The Fed slashed rates to historic low levels. Tens of thousands of city dwellers moved out to the suburbs and other parts of the country seeking more outdoor space, better quality of life and lower cost of living.

On TV, in targeted social media ads, in your email inbox, almost every company related to real estate was telling you “there has never been a better time to buy property.”

It was indeed a golden window of opportunity for many to finally afford a bigger house at a much lower rate. A silver lining for the pandemic, right?

Except that it comes with a caveat for some people such as myself, who is newly self-employed.

I quit my 9–5 right before the pandemic in pursuit of my own business. It was a liberating decision that I still am very happy about. It…