Billionaire and renowned investor Warren Buffett has seen mammoth appreciation for a getaway home he owns in Laguna Beach, Calif. He purchased it in 1971 for $150,000. Now Buffett is selling the six-bedroom, 6.5-bath home for $11 million.
Are there any lessons from Buffett’s savvy investment that others can draw from who are looking for high appreciation over time? Realtor.com® spotlights a few.
Distinguish between price and value.
Buffett first bought the home in Laguna Beach not as an investment but simply because his wife liked the home. And he still paid top dollar for it. The equivalent of $150,000 in 1971 is nearly $900,000 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator. “While the town may have been no big deal at the time, the home’s nice layout and its proximity to the beach and to Los Angeles clearly offered value,” realtor.com®’s article notes.
Buy and hold.
Buffett shared some of his best investing advice with shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in 1989: “Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of mediocre.” Time in real estate tends to be on an owners’ side. Buy and hold property for, say, 46 years and you’re likely to see some appreciation (and pay off that 30-year mortgage).
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The Laguna Beach home was originally constructed in 1936. The Buffetts remodeled it several times over the years, taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the strongest sales points of the home as well. The Buffetts expanded the square footage of the home and added in views of the beach area from nearly every room in the home, says Bill Dolby, the listing agent with Villa Real Estate. They also added several decks, including an oversized viewing deck from the family room.
Buy what you want to own.
Buffett didn’t originally buy the house believing he was going to make a fortune from it at resale. He just wanted a getaway for his family and they liked the area. They’ve spent many vacations and summers there over four decades of ownership too. “Viewed that way, he’s more than gotten his money’s worth, regardless of the appreciation,” the realtor.com® article notes.
Source: “What the Insane Appreciation of Warren Buffett’s CA Beach House Can Teach Us All,” realtor.com® (Feb. 25, 2017)