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Family Physician
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My question is a little obscure - its a deep psychological

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My question is a little obscure - it's a deep psychological question in relation to a possible investment property purchase....
I have been looking around my city endlessly for a good investment property to buy, for many weeks. I started with an open mind about which suburb and for how much, but wanted to make sure it was manageable for me to repay the mortgage in the immediate term (e.g. a good repayment to rental income ratio) and also that I had reasonable expectation the value will increase over time.
I have also honed my criteria significantly through the looking process and have a clear idea of what I want now to include: 2 bedroom apartments; decent size = older ones; must have car space; must be on a quiet street; no more than 500m from public transport etc.

There are 2 properties up for auction in the next 3 weeks that meet my criteria, and pending the price they fetch are affordable for me. both these properties are near to places I used to live when I was a uni student (I live on the other side of town now, after having been overseas and interstate for over 10 years). I have loved driving around those areas whilst scoping properties, and it has been bringing back a lot of memories. In particular those days were very difficult financially and emotionally for me because I did not have support from my parents - I was always very tired from waitressing to support myself and I felt quite depressed and alone. I did at the same time feel excited and invigorated about being away from home and I loved the area where I lived as well as my university and the restaurant where I worked. In many ways I "grew up" in this part of town.

I have an OK relationship with my parents now, but I am still aware they were far from perfect and did not really have their own lives in order when I was a kid/teenager. I would say with confidence that nowadays aged 35 I am more mature than they are or ever have been...

It struck me this evening that the properties I have my eye on to purchase represent more than just a financial investment to me. They represent that I have risen above the hardship I experienced as a young, poor student, and that I am now in a good financial and emotional position thanks to my own hard work and strength or character. Yes I have done the sums and believe these properties will be a good buy if they sell within a certain range, but on another, psychological level, they represent a "victory purchase" for me, in terms of where I've gotten to in life.

IS THIS HEALTHY? Or does it represent an unhealthy/perverse hang-up with the past? Should I be focussing my financial and emotional resources in the here and now (eg paying off the lovely apartment I live in on the other side of town)?

On one hand, the properties do make financial sense (ie they are not irresponsible purchases). It has occurred to me though that perhaps paying off my current mortgage and having more spare change to enjoy life for a while could be good. I don't have a partner yet, may be I should "back myself" that I will find someone and that future property purchases may be joint, with greater shared income and need to take another person's preferences into account. Should I be looking to that more, instead of driving aroudn my old stomping ground looking at single-woman investments? Or is it good/ok that I draw on my knowledge of that area to make good decisions and investments, as well as get a kick out of the symbolism of finally being able to own a little piece of it? And since I am single now, would it be a bit foolish to wait for "Mr Right" to buy property, when he may not come along?

I hope this makes sense. I would be very grateful for some perspectives from an observer!
Thank you for your question:

For a pure economic perspective, you should make the decision on objective factors; potential return on investment, "cost" of ownership (including your time/effort, actual expenses etc).

The emotional attachment you have to this area may provide you with additional non-economic gain which is less easily quantified. Much like finding a job, you DO need to consider the emotional/personal issues. If you hate your job because you don't like the type or work, location, co-workers or boss, you are not going to be happy with your "career" even if you are making lots of money.

You may also want to consider the fact that your investment in this area will help younger students have the positive experience of this area that you did some years ago. You could think of this as "paying it forward" by keeping this area attractive and available to students.
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