Cattle prices are at historical highs, interest rates are at historical lows and you have decided it's time to buy another farm. Properties are not on the market for long and record prices occur weekly.
Part of you thinks that prices are unsustainable, and something must give. The other part worries that you have sat on the sidelines for too long, and you just need to just suck it up and buy.
You've found the right farm, have inspected it three times and you think you know what it's worth. Your accountant has run the numbers and the bank said it would lend you the money.
Auction day arrives and you decide to go to $2000 an acre, which is above what you think it's worth but you're willing to pay a little extra to secure the right place just down the road.
The auction starts, you sit back thinking you will jump in when the bids slow down. The bidding starts quickly and runs straight to $2100 per acre and instantly you are out.
You cannot believe the price; it's unbelievable, almost ridiculous. Must have been a rich neighbour, someone with lots of money from selling their place to the mines or just some idiot with too much money. Disappointed, you go home with your tail between your legs and decide it's all too hard.
This tale, or a version of it, has been playing out throughout rural Queensland for a while now and with interest rates and high cattle prices where they are many think the heat might come out of the market, but the demand and trend could well continue.
To be clear, I have absolutely no idea whether prices will continue their trend upwards or whether there will be a correction. Only time will tell but what I do know is that you shouldn't let disappointment defeat you. Let it drive you.
A true failure is choosing to give up and throw your hands in the air. Dust yourself off, re-evaluate and then make the hard decision. Decide to buy or not but make an active, well thought out decision.
If you decide to buy, make a plan to do it. Keep looking for another place, adjust your expectations, find a way to sustainably borrow more or find some other creative funding model.
If you choose not to buy at all, find another way to build the family's wealth. Improve the capital value of the land you already have or consider investing in off-farm assets.
If your decision is to buy but not right now because you think there is going to be a cooling, correction or even a crash, you must remain prepared. Keep a close eye on the market and have a strategy in place to know what the trigger point is for you to buy. Also make sure you have a clear plan when to re-enter the market if the crash you predicted does not eventuate.
Whether you buy or not carries risk and either way you will need to be bold. That requires you to be decisive, have a plan, review it and never become paralysed with regret.