The Rent vs Buy Argument

With my whole mold dilemma going on it has me revisiting the idea of buying.

I’ve been in the real estate business for about seven years now doing mainly rentals and I’ve always thought that buying and renting are personal decisions. For the most part they are, but with everything happening in my life right now, I’m leaning towards buying.

I’d say it’s also heavily dependent on your financial situation. For some, renting is the only option.

Here Are The Benefits Of Renting.

1)It’s Flexible.

I like the idea of having a lease that’s short term. Either 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, it’s nice to know that you’re not fully committed to a property. I can leave at the end of my lease if I’m unhappy or if it becomes too expensive. You can usually leave mid-lease if you’re able to find a takeover tenant that qualifies. Overall, I believe that the flexibility is great for people who travel for their job, relocate or need something that offers financial flexibility. (Example: if you work on commission and earnings change year to year)

2)Initial Costs Are Low.

Most of the time you can find an apartment without a broker by contacting the property management directly. Websites like Apartments.com, Zillow and Trulia make this possible.

Even if you have to pay a brokers fee, it’s usually no more than 1 months rent. Up front fees include security deposit which could be as low as $500 to 2+ months of rent.

Compare that to your closing costs which are 2%-5% of a homes value plus a 20% down payment! Not everyone has that kind of money available.

3) Allows You To Stay Liquid.

And that brings me to my next point, if you’re you’re able to put together a down payment and closing costs, that means you have the financial opportunity to pursue other investments.

Generally it’s said that a home isn’t a good investment. The only value you really get is a roof over your head at a somewhat stable cost. It gains an average of 4-6% value each year depending on your location and that’s with inflation plus the updates you’ll need to put into it. Compare that to the stock market, the Dow Jones historically has gained 8-9% each year. So stock would be a better return but is more volatile than buying a home.

Pitfalls To Renting

1) Neighbors

Generally, you’re not in control of who your neighbors are and they are a lot closer to you when you’re renting. Renters usually are in apartment buildings where neighbors are sharing walls and tight living quarters. If you buy, you can choose the neighborhood and even a property that is more isolated with less risk of a nuisance neighbor.

2) Absentee Landlord.

The owner of a rental is obligated to make the apartment habitable and make reasonable repairs to the apartment. Somehow that doesn’t motivate some management companies to act correctly and do basic work like fixing leaky pipes or sealing drafty windows. I would say most landlords, even those with massive wealth, would rather wait for the attorney letter demanding repairs than make major repairs of their own free will. Repairs tend to cut into their profit and they hate that.

The Benefits To Buying

1) Tax Incentives

The tax incentives for buying a home and getting a mortgage are pretty nice. It’s almost like a rebate on part of your purchase, that’s how good of an incentive it is. You can write off your closing costs, mortgage interest, and any major repairs on your house. My dad once told me his housing tax incentive was equivalent to a $6000 tax credit.

It’s also a great way to shield your income from tax obligations if you’re in a higher tax bracket.

2) Control Over The Property

As I learned with my whole mold situation, I have no control over my environment as a renter. Mold is literally growing underneath my floorboards and I had no idea and no control. When issues arise, the landlord can choose how they want to fix problems and sometimes they go for the quick fix.

By owning a home, you have complete control over the property. And can choose the best and most efficient option to repair. You can do your own repairs, if you’re skilled enough, and you can make changes to the finishes as you wish.

3) Building Equity

Like I mentioned before, buying a home isn’t the best option for an investment when you’re looking for a high return but you’re still building equity and personal wealth by paying off the principle of your mortgage.

There is some flexibility if you want to increase your liquidity for investments or capital ventures but they involve more risk. Once you’ve paid a significant enough percentage of your principal balance, you can apply to refinance and get a personal loan, apply for a line of credit against your home or for a second mortgage. This is a bit more risk, since defaulting could result in foreclosure, but this allows banks to lend money to you at a better and lower interest rate.

Pitfalls To Buying.

1) Fluctuating Costs

The nice thing about renting is that you always know what your rent is going to be. It’s not a surprise and any repairs that need to be done, the landlord is supposed to be able to fix. Housing costs for a renter should remain stable.

Compare that to a home, which depending on the condition you bought it in, may have some major renovation costs down the road.

My parents have owned their house since 1991 and I’ve watched them pour money into it like it was a bottomless pit. Over the 30 years they’ve owned their home they’ve done a bathroom renovation, built a bathroom out, windows replacements, insulation installments, kitchen demolition and renovation, roof work, landscaping each summer, boiler replacement, basement refinishing, installed backyard and front yard pavers, tree removal, central air installation and bought new laundry appliances. This is an exhaustive list.

After all that work, I don’t feel like my parents came out with much of a profit. There were definitely months where they had to go into debt or take loans to make these payments. They bought their home in 1991 for $190K and it’s probably worth $450-500K at this point. But with 30 years of inflation and renovation costs, it’s not a particularly great deal.

2) Less Flexibility

Because the initial costs to buy and sell a home are so high, including closing costs and broker fees, buying a home is impractical if you plan to move within 5 years.

A home is more of a long term investment just to break even with the costs.

If you’re a person that’s constantly relocating or unsure of where you’ll be in 5 years, renting is a better option.

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Overall, for me the choice seems to be leaning towards buying. The uncertainty of renting is starting to wear on me.

Buying is one the biggest financial decisions of your life so take your time and weigh all the options.

Here’s a great buy versus rent calculator. You can find out which is a financially better option. I’ve always used it to consider whether my apartment was a good deal.

Happy real estate shopping! ūüôā

This is 30: Turning 30 Year’s Old

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I’ve been reflecting on my age. This year I turned 30 and was expecting some sort of wow moment but it hasn’t happened yet. I remember being 20 and looking towards my 30th birthday with distain. Wouldn’t that make me middle aged? But 30 definitely isn’t as bad as I would have thought. It’s kind of like being in your 20s but with more confidence, money and grace. There’ll be some things I would miss from my 20s, but 30s has been pretty awesome so far.

I definitely miss being young and flirty. Life got serious for me early when I had my first daughter at 24 and married; but I still enjoyed being carefree, managing to grow my career and being free to move around.

I’ve enjoyed the benefits of being considered conventionally attractive and now that I’m over 30, I definitely notice I’m not as much on the radar. I don’t really need to be as noticed anymore, as a mother and a wife, but you can’t help but miss the days when your whole future was ahead of you and possibilities seemed endless. I’m not someone chasing after my youth but keeping up my appearance was so much easier in my 20s. There was more free time to look after tweezing, waxing, and shaving; beautifying was generally easier. Nowadays, I can go weeks looking like Godzilla. I’ve also cut back on the makeup time. I used to blend, sculpt and contour every day and, goddamn, I was able to look extra flawless after 20 minutes of caking it on. At 30, with 2 kids in tow, I can barely manage to throw on mascara and lipstick.

I don’t miss being broke and unestablished though. That was the worst. For the longest, I could barely maintain a balance of $500 in my bank account. It was so stressful not knowing if I was ever going to make it. I spent years going into debt. Sometimes, I would imagine what my life would be if I had a job that was stable. I always imagined I’d have more in my life; a bigger apartment in a better location. But things aren’t too bad. I’m now more established in my career and could job hop to most comparable companies.

I recognize that the next 10-15 years I’ll be the most marketable based on my experience and age. Just trying to capitalize on that and make as much money as I can, while I can. Then I’ll probably get an masters or law degree if I feel I’m aging out of being competitive. Or I can start a whole second career; to be honest, real estate is starting to feel tired.

Compared to my 20s, the relationship side of my life is pretty stable. From 20 to 23 it was fun to date. Parties and meeting people seemed so exciting like I can meet the love of my life at any time. Nothing happened because I actually met the love of my life at 18, who I married at 24; but the idea that I wasn’t settled yet and living spontaneously was amazing.

I also hadn’t mastered the concept of “all in good moderation” when it came to drinking. I was drinking garbage $5 vodkas like Smirnoff and watered down wine coolers. 30 year old me would prefer Grey Goose and Cranberry or an aged wine.

Being 30 years old, parties are fun. I mean, not in the same way they were in my 20s, but I finally learned how to relax and just enjoy the moment, and that’s pretty amazing. I also learned how to small talk. I’m not socially awkward anymore and I no longer have high expectations that I’ll either be meeting my partner for life or my new best friend. I can just enjoy people as they are and that is a gift.

On the other hand, I don’t miss being naive and unexperienced about life. I spent a lot of time in my 20s not knowing how life works. I couldn’t accept that life was unfair and I wanted to correct it so badly. Questions like: why are there homeless people, why are people so greedy and selfish, and why does that guy ignore me but like her? Now I can accept the answers as they are: the world is complicated and imperfect, not all problems can be fixed and the world doesn’t revolve around me. The world’s darkness doesn’t disturb me like it once did. I guess I’ve gotten used to imperfection.

I have a good handle on what’s happening around me and feel confident that I have enough life experience to handle confrontations/disagreements at work and in my relationships. I used to feel like I didn’t have much to offer and constantly allowed others to walk all over me. I can stand up for myself better now. I’ve also learned how to let things go when they aren’t going my way and not to dwell on the negativity that other people bring. That’s a skillset I wouldn’t trade for anything.

For me, my 20s was about being independent, learning about myself, enjoying my youth and beauty, and trying to get established. My 30s are going to be about gaining security, growing in self-confidence, gaining perseverance and taking my life to the next level. Looking forward, I finally have the resources and experience I need to do those things. There are really no excuses. The next 10 years are going to determine whether I spend my 40s in a midlife crisis or whether my 40s will be the most exciting years of my life. But overall I feel like my best years are just ahead of me.

So this is 30. I’ve made it to the 30 club.

Check out my other posts:

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 18

How To Make A Change in Your Life

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: The Power Of Family

 

 

 

Tags: Life after 30 years old, 30 year old girl, important life lessons, over 30 years old, 20 years old, turning 30 year old woman, almost 30 years old, I am 30.

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

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Lately I’ve been going through a slump. Like I haven’t been falling behind and I haven’t been getting ahead. I used to be so motivated in college, I even graduated a year early. I graduated college in three years with top grades. It seemed like everything was going to pan out and for the most part everything did. But after college I’ve kind of been worn out.

Life gets to you after a while; with jobs and relationships that fall apart. And even though it’s not where you imagined you’d be, you finally settle someplace comfortable.

Sometimes I miss being in college and feeling like the whole world was in front of me. It made me self ¬†motivated and kept me going. Now that my life has settled with kids, a husband and a semi career, I find it harder to keep that positive energy I once had. Yet you hear stories of people pushing themselves to the limits. You see people going to school and graduating valedictorian while raising three kids; climbing Kilimanjaro and ¬†Everest in the same year; running an ultra marathon. ¬†I look at those people and realize I need motivation. ¬†How can I get the motivation to take my life to the next level? How do I maximize my potential so that I’m getting all I can out of life?

Here are my fail proof tips on finding motivation and how to make goals/dreams a reality!

1) Make A Schedule

This seems so obvious but making a schedule and sticking to it is harder than it sounds. Your schedule needs to align what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a salesperson, you might schedule more time trying to prospect leads vs doing paperwork vs organizing your office.

Your schedule should optimize your time so that the most rewarding tasks get prioritized and the least productive ones aren’t but are still tended to.

I absolutely hate prospecting leads but it’s what will give me the biggest return for my effort, so I make sure that I do that every day, no matter what’s on my plate.

2)Break Up Goals

Nothing is more demoralizing than having what seems like an impossible goal. But unless you are trying to defy the laws of physics, like turning a flower into a rock, no goal is truly impossible. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.

One way to manage larger than life goals is break them up into smaller goals. Reaching 400 blog posts has been one of my larger goals and sometimes it feels impossible, I’ve only written 73 posts, but my goal has been broken up into smaller “just finish one post at a time” goals. When I’ve focused on how far I am from reaching my 400th post, it’s so discouraging. When I think “I just need to do one more entry or 2 entries a week” it seems more manageable.

3)Be Consistent

This means showing up and putting in the work. Don’t put in part time hours and expect full time pay. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. If only it did.

Stick with things even when it gets hard. I took a 6 month hiatus from this blog, mainly because it was getting daunting and I wanted to pursue something else. And it’s OK to take a step back once in a while to gain perspective but for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, you’ll need to show up each and every day and get things done.

4)Work With The End Goal In Mind

Know why you’re doing it! It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start comparing yourself to other people. Or start worrying about the wrong things. So often people want to do things for themselves but halfway through they start worrying about what other people think.

For me, my job is about earning money for my family, getting benefits, and having stability. I’ve written a few posts on how hard and negative the environment is. I need to keep my motivation at work. ¬†At the end of the day, I need to look past the petty coworkers, the rude bosses, and the unreasonable clients. The end goals is to pay off the loans and gain a bit of savings before I can move on. A lot of people lose sight of their end goal and let the small stuff run them out of their jobs before they can reap the benefits.

5.  Push Through Setbacks

No matter what you do, there will always be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back.

It’s how you handle the setback that matters. You could be saving for months then have your car breakdown. Then have spent $1500 to repair it and have that feel devastating because it took you so long to save. On one hand, you spent months worth of savings in one shot, on the other hand, you had $1500 cash handy and didn’t have to go into debt to take care of that expense. A person lacking motivation might say, “what’s the use of saving if I can never get ahead?” A person with motivation will just pick themselves up and start the savings again.

When faced with a major obstacle, just remember that it’s expected. In some cases, setbacks can help you grow and find ways to be more efficient or help you learn a lesson to avoid repeating the same stumbling block.

6. Block out the negativity

The most well-meaning people like to give advice and sometimes that advice is unwelcomed negativity. How many times did I had friends or family tell me you can’t do this or that, mainly in regards to my self employment. Or that I need more stability at the expense of my own goals. If you hear that enough you start to believe it.

When dealing with naysayers you’ll have to either avoid them or straight up tell them where they can go. Nothing should be getting in your way when it comes to keeping your motivation. They say birds of a feather flock together, so if your friends and family are telling you that you can’t do something, you’re going to believe that.

I would also recommend keeping positive and motivational posters at your work or on your desktop/phone to keep you in the right mindset.

7. Build a Support Network

And that brings me to my last point, once you’ve removed all the negativity surrounding your goals you’ll need to find a group of people who support you.

If it’s not your friends and family then you’ll have to find people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you and can help either coach you or give you the moral support you need. I’m a big fan of Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and general social media to help find other people who share your same interests.

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These may sound like easy things to do but mastering all 7 and being consistent day after day, month after month, and year after year is harder than you think. The key is to take it one day at a time and implement these tips in unison.  This is essential to set up goals for yourself

If you’re able to master this, you can watch your life change and your business flourish because putting in the time and work is all you need.

 

CHECK OUT MY OTHER MOTIVATIONAL POSTS AND SUBSCRIBE!

 

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

The Power Of Change

The Power Of Positivity

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Work Smarter, Not Harder

I was writing a comment on this article.  The article was about being a type A personality and it inspired me to kind of dig deeper because this guy was writing about how he has like 3 jobs and is a perfectionist and easily works 16-17 hour days. And he was kind of promoting this as a normal thing to aspire for. That he was type A personality, a perfectionist that demanded so much from himself.

I was short and sweet with my comment but was basically like, “You need balance, dude! Work smarter, not harder!”

We live in a work culture that takes advantage of these types of people and pits the work horses against everyone else for the sake of production. ¬†We don’t need to be promoting this type of behavior. Honestly, the writer was essentially sacrificing his relationships and health in the long term for more money short term. And that to me does not seem like a good deal.¬†¬†I guess he had to think it over, but he eventually commented back that he was only working this hard to build for his future for his finance and cut down his debt and that he agreed that this current workload was not sustainable.

It really did make me think about the type of people I often find in my workplace vs the type of employee I wanted to be.

There are really 3 types of workers:

Lazy workers- Typical worker, makes up a majority of today’s work force. Doesn’t care to improve or grow professionally. ¬†Happy with their slice of pie, only thinking about their salary increases and benefits. Looks at investments and business opportunities as too risky.

Hard workers- Time is money and these people tend to follow paper like it’s the gospel to life. They sacrifice all their personal relationships, free time, hobbies to work. These work horses generally are high earners in their company but leverage their salary for more responsibility and more hours. They are also adverse to risk and are only going to consider investments and business endeavors if it will reap quick money.

Smart workers- leverage their experience and time for more money. Unlike hard workers, who sacrifice time for money in positions that they are easily replaced in, smart workers focus on long term career growth ands specialize in niche areas that will be of great use and high demand. Or they recognize their unique experience to be valuable and come up with a business idea that blows up.

I think the difference between the three workers is really just attitude. The lazy worker is the worst, they are not really able to see beyond themselves and their long term contributions to their work. They don’t have the ambition or drive to give extra and see what it reaps. They often hold the belief that they are hard working enough and that they should get better pay for just being there. They often exhibit bad habits like lateness, lack of detail, lack of effort, a disinterest in the work.

My previous receptionist was this type of worker, I had mentioned her in a previous post. Her issue was that she knew the work but would “pretend” to forget or not know in order to lighten her workload. Over time this worked she had the easiest role in the office, leaving at 6 when me and our manager would often leave at 7. But when my asst. director came in to restructure the office, it became obvious she was the weak link to our production, so she was the first to be cut and the easiest to replace.

My old manager was a hard worker she would make sure all deadlines and reports were complete, it would be so detailed. Everything had to be perfect. Any reports that she did would take hours to compile. Her work was correct but at the end of the day none of the directors had the time to actually review it in depth so it went unnoticed. ¬† She was also a shrew that made sure she had a majority of all the deals so between the deals she had to close and the detailed reports she had to do, she was working 60 hours a week. Yes, she was making more money. But she was also working more hours and putting more effort to make more money. She wasn’t any happier either. For all that money she was making, she wasn’t enjoying it and she eventually pushed herself out of a good job with her self-created discontent.

I think the happiest kind of employment, the one I aspire for, is to be a smarter worker. I think it takes a lot of self awareness to pick which traits are marketable and in demand.  I also think courage to take take that skill and make it a business, especially if no one else has done that before.  And I think it takes a lot of confidence to put a price on those skills and stick to it.

When I was an rental agent , there were other agents charging less than a months rent in commission.  They were undercutting a lot of agents.  Considering you had to pay the brokerage a piece of your deals, taxes, and other business expenses, that basically meant that those brokers had to work on a high volume basis.  They were spinning their wheels, showing apartment after apartment in the summer heat.  They had to be dishonest to keep the leads and clients flowing.

I didn’t have the heart for all that. ¬†I focused on quality and getting the highest commission possible, almost 2 months worth of rent. ¬†I focused on creating value and marketing my skills for getting the best deals for clients so that my commission would pay itself off after the first year. ¬† Well, I wouldn’t say I was the highest earning salesperson but I definitely made just as much as the high volume agents with literally HALF the work. ¬†That was working SMART. ¬†I had people who were so happy with my service, they were referring other clients who would pay FULL commission. ¬†They were referring other clients who would buy properties with me!

I ended up leaving that work environment due to personal reasons, but I never forgot the lesson of what it meant to work smarter.

Now I’m working ¬†a salaried position and I’m constantly trying to find ways to make my time more valuable, be an efficient worker and to do more with less and be more productive. ¬†I’m hoping my company would value that and reward me at bonus season. ¬†I’m also trying to find ways to leverage my other talents and skills, to hopefully something profitable.

There’s no one rule for working smarter but if I had to name one thing that will definitely help you, the #1 way to improve efficiency at work: ¬†STOP DOING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING. ¬†Most people are not smart or even hard workers. ¬†Following the status quo is the recipe for mediocrity.

Share the ways you were able to find better use of your talent and time below, I’d love to hear it.

Feel free to read my other posts:

Playing The Game Of Life And Winning: 5 Approaches To Success

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

My Job is Killing Me….

Status Update: Don’t Over Do It!

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My Experience Shopping High End Luxury

I usually shop Macy’s or Century 21. My mom taught me the satisfaction of getting a good deal from the clearance racks. Actually, Century 21 is as luxurious as I ever get. The only time I’ve walked through Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus was to get from the parking lot to the inside part of the mall. ¬†Luxury shopping was only a fantasy.

Why would anyone pay $500+ for a pair of shoes or $1000+ for a purse?

Then I met K’s family and every Christmas his parents would buy something extravagant for eachother like a Burberry bomber leather jacket or new shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo.

I would exchange gifts in awe, kinda wanting to reach that level of success where I could buy my own luxury item or be able to gift it to someone I loved.

This fall we’re going to a family wedding and as members of the bride’s immediate family it’s kind of expected we’ll go all out.

K and his Dad (FIL-father in law) decided to get matching suits from Hugo Boss. I would describe shopping with them to be fun. They go in there like it’s any other store. Meanwhile I’m an old pair legging and some beat up chucks.

Still that wasn’t stopping them from getting the freshest suits they could find at Hugo Boss. Of course, FIL knew the salespeople at Hugo Boss, so they greeted him warmly. His Dad let the salesmen know that they were going to get identical suits for the wedding. I would describe the salesmen as charming, cleancut and well dressed in the brand’s suits.

The younger salesperson, I never got his name so let’s call him Cesar (he looked like a Cesar!), already knew FIL’s size and was quick to measure my husband to get the right fit. They put on this dark royal blue suit and I knew right away it was the winner. K always looks good in blue. Cesar looks to me asks me what I thought. I told him that’s the right one. As his Dad makes plans to pay for the two suits, the store manager greets us an offers us some water or juice. We thank him but Cesar has already made sure we had water and juice for our daughter S.

The suits are given to us on a hanger and garment bag with Hugo Boss etched on the front. They tell K to come in again a month before the wedding so they can custom tailor it.

Overall, I would consider that to be an exceptional customer service experience from the moment we stepped into the store to the moment we left.

Carrying our Hugo Boss garment bags, we sauntered into Salvatore Ferragamo. Those salespeople pounced on us. They saw us as the branded bags we had and knew “cha-ching!” they were making quota today. Maria, FILs salesperson from Ferragamo was there and he made sure to go to her. I guess that’s what you do, once you find a good salesperson you keep going to them so they get their commission and keep taking care of you.

Compared to the cool and collected nature of the Hugo Boss salesmen, the Ferragamo were nearly desperate. I couldn’t help but notice that the store was nearly empty, with most of the traffic strolling in and then strolling out.

Leather purses and designer shoes line the walls and we settle in the back on these plush couches, exhausted from all the shopping we did. At this point, I’m all shopped out. Maria and their sales manager are bringing out shoe after shoe for my husband and his Dad to try. They finally settle on one of their classic leather shoes. They aren’t done yet, they still need to meet their sales quota and set their eyes on my mother in law (MIL).

“Oh what about that blue bag you were looking at the last time you were here?” Maria cooes.

“You know its discounted new now for our regulars…” she continues.

Before Maria is done with her sentence the manager comes by with the bag. MIL is thinking it over and looks inside and out to make sure it’s not damaged.

“Just get the bag if you like it,” FIL says to her anticipating her reservations over price.

Cha-ching! They’ve made goal!

Next they set their eyes on me and see if they can entice me into a sale. The manager brings these beautiful evening shoes.

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I am not prepared to try them on, I haven’t had a pedicure in months and NO ONE is going to see my feet. Also it would have been a pretty impractical buy, what other event would I wear them for?

I say I’d rather not and they finally give up on their final sale.

Overall, the level of thirst I experienced at Ferragamo kind of left me from wanting to buy from them again, although K’s family is all about the quality of their shoes.

But I still needed some nice shoes for the wedding and was mulling it over on what to wear. After listening to “Bodak Yellow” on repeat for a week, I decide I should get something ostentatiously obvious and expensive. I should get Louboutins. I’m thinking it over and considering stopping by the Macy’s where Louboutin has a corner boutique.

One day K and I are finishing up running around and doing errands. We decide to make a mall trip out of the end of the day and shop around. K suggest that I get my shoes now, we’re not going to have time later to buy them, our weekends have been packed lately.

So we stroll into Neiman Marcus’s shoe department and I go right to the Louboutin section. Mind you, I look like crap on a stick with the same converse and leggings I was wearing when I went to Hugo Boss and I still didn’t get that pedicure I desperately needed.

I lift a shoe over and see the price. $875. This one is a platform nude with the red bottom signature sole.

The nearest saleswoman sees me and starts to make her way over.

“Do you need help?”

I hesitated for a moment. I could either reply that I was just browsing or I could engage the sale.

“Actually, can I try this on.”

“Sure, what’s you’re size?”

I look at her like I don’t even know. I tell her 8 1/2 or 9. She runs to the back room and grabs both sizes.

I’m so embarrassed to take off my shoes because my feet feel so gross.

But I try on the first pair of luxury Louboutins and they feel FABULOUS! But a little tight in the front. You know how there’s always that one foot that bigger than the other. I was concerned about that and whether these deathly tall heels would be decently comfortable.

I ask her if the patent leather will have any give later on and become looser?

Monica, my salesperson, was honest and said there wouldn’t be much give and that the toebox is usually tight. So I asked her for another shoe one size up. I guess European girls have small feet, not me.

She brings back the pair I wanted and I try them on and they fit perfectly! I stroll around and see the shoes in the mirror and they are solid! This is the biggest purchase I’ve made on shoes so I want to make sure they make sense for me and were comfortable. Now that the shoe is bigger for one foot, what about the other? It’s sliding a little bit and I point it out to Monica.

“You can also put an insole in one shoe if you feel like one is slipping.” She goes and grabs me an insole. I look at her like she’s a miracle worker, both shoes fit perfectly. There’s really no reason for me to not buy these shoes…except the price. I decide to swallow the purchase and get them anyway.

At the register she rings me up and tells me about their credit card program. Of course I’m a sucker for any deals on these outrageous shoes! So I sign up for the credit card to get some points and so I can also break up the payment of these shoes in three parts.

Overall I would consider Monica as a pretty good salesperson. She overcame all my objections, solved the problems, gave me good customer service and was really knowledgeable on the shoes, the fits, and materials.

Compared to the usual frenzied shopping experience I have at the Macy’s shoe dept, I can see how people would shell out for a high end product like this. There was only one other couple shopping for shoes so It was pretty much a one on one experience on a Saturday.

At Hugo Boss, Ferragamo and Neiman Marcus I felt a lot more catered to. I was offered water and beverages and the salespeople had business cards! Like, business card really do make it more official than having to poke your head around the department asking for “the lady who was nice last time.” It was also a lot less crowded and a cleaner presentation.

So here are the shoes and me wearing them. Definitely a good purchase that I will be able to use for the next 10+ years.

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I’m also wearing a Guess Skirt and Vince Camuto Blouse.

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