It was only a short 12-18 months ago when we were sat watching the value of our small portfolio seemingly rocket in value month on month with no end in sight. My new business was (and still is, thankfully) doing well. Our PPOR was almost paid off, there was money in the savings pot and we were closely watching our finances, counting down the months & years to the point where we'd be overall mortgage free. Fast Forward a little to around April last year, the time was right to move up to our dream property and start looking at acreage. Decision was made, so it was time for a consolidation. We had to sell a UK property first followed by two in Western Sydney, we wanted to do that before even looking at listing our place and looking for our dream spot. The UK one was the worry, where we're from house just do not sell. We got VERY lucky and sold really quickly, then we lucked out again when a friend of a friend wanted to buy our PPOR at a crazy good price, the downside being we had to move fast and find our acreage quick smart so we upped our acreage budget. A very stressful few months followed as our PPOR sale couldn't go unconditional in time for us to do the same on the new purchase, luckily though, the first of the Sydney properties went to contract just in time and though some magic brokering by Peter T on here we managed to save the new purchase while we waited for the old PPOR to go unconditional and the second Sydney property to sell. As this all dragged on a few months, plus having hoarder tenants in the second property, we were late to the party getting the second Western Sydney property listed and caught the start of the down turn, so much so that we have just taken it off the market after having it's one and only offer (of about 20+% under peak value) fall over at the last minute on B&P clause. It was on the market from November 2018 to last week, so a good 6 months of slowly dropping the asking price every few weeks. We literally just finished a refinance on the new PPOR away from the expensive, (but necessary to get the deal done at the time), original financing that got us into the new place until the rest of the dominoes fell into place. We satisfied ourselves that the other Sydney place costs nothing to hold, so we may as well ride it out an hope the market has hit bottom. It was back to the spreadsheets, business still going well, bit less money in the bank after the moves, much bigger mortgage but all in all nothing too scary and figured the worst of it would be knocked over in the next 5 years or so. Planning begins on renovating the new house.... ...then boom, last week with zero warning Emma's company has a "restructure" and they restructure her straight out of a job! 11 years of loyalty, hard graft and amazing results and her two new Directors decide they can save face with the CEO and meet their budget for next year by cutting Emma's wage and carving up her role to all the people under her instead (they've truly got no idea). So, as it stands now, we can't afford our outgoings based solely on my income. How quickly things can turn, one minute you're looking at the potential to retire in 3-5 years then next you've talked yourself into the dream and it suddenly starts to turn into a nightmare. Don't get me wrong, we'll be OK (probably) and there's people doing it very tough, but it has highlighted the importance of a good buffer and shows how quickly things can turn. We have enough savings to prop the shortfall and tread water for a year or so before we have to panic. It would be shame to have to go through the life savings though just on interest payments! If there's no sign of a new job in the next 6 months we'll be off loading the whole portfolio to mitigate further damage and hold on to as much savings as we can, but I'm hopeful it won't come to that. What it has highlighted to me though, is that we could have pulled this off without the savings back up, if we'd have followed our "dream", rationalized by the fact we pretty much thought Emma had a job for life, we could literally have been bankrupt within months, we'd have totally drowned with interest payments and be facing losing everything we'd worked our whole lives for. It really highlights just how quick things can change, it's a long road up but it's a bloody short dive down! In many ways we have been super lucky, if this had happened mid-way through the sales and purchases when we had so many balls in the air we'd have likely lost the new place and had to go through with the sale of the old. The other bright side is the company had turned noxious when the latest CEO took over, Emma's working life has been a misery the last few years so I am so glad she's finally out of there, regardless of the current financial hit. We'll look back in a few months and realize it was a blessing, no doubt. So, emergency finances have been implemented and the hunt is on for a new role (hit me up if anyone needs a gun high level manager / change manager, she's awesome), and there's extra incentive for me to keep growing my business. Sorry for the rant, I think I just needed to write some of this down, I've been trying to stay super positive for Emma but in turn don't really have anyone I can talk about this sort of thing to. TLDR:- Get your buffers up, when the brown and smelly hits the fast and spinny things can go very bad, very quick.