Selling 

Starting to look forward to the idea of being a salesman. The idea used to intimidate me, but it can be enjoyable if the circumstances are proper. 

Back in my assembly days, many customers would bother me to find nonsense around the store. I’d shoo them away with the line “I don’t work here” and go back to business. But oftentimes, the customer would ask for information about a gas grill. When this would happen, I could give great insight into the construction and constitution of each grill, explaining which one is constructed best. I would rate them in order of price to value by construction, which as you can imagine put the higher-end  grills mostly on top, as you do pay for quality. 

…I could ramble for a steady hour, purely on the massive difference in quality between Home Depot and Wal-Mart. 

Then I could expose the complexity of the assembly process. I would start off by saying, “it only takes 16 minutes to assemble that grill”. Then I’d look at him/her and ask how quickly they thought that they could build it. 

…Following up whatever answer they gave (if any) and say “not even close”. And I’d likely chuckle a bit. I’d point at another guy with me, “what about him? . . . 45 minutes, and it’s his sixth one this week”. “Do you even have a cordless drill? This is a nightmare with a screwdriver. I guess it comes down to, would you rather spend 4 hours reading jibberish and trying to understand the worst drawn assembly instructions on the planet or give H.D. fifteen bucks to assemble it for you?”

Some ladies would retort, “that’s what he’s for!” Awesome. But usually it didn’t matter either way because I was typically slammed with work. A sell changed little to nothing for me in the moment since I made no sells commission. 

The fact that I was not pressured to create a sell helped me relax and have fun with the interaction. I trash talked the different grills over their poor qualities openly with the customer. I spoke about others’ problems with specific issues and warned of conflicting interests. It was fun to enlighten them while typically pushing them to go for quality – as much as they could afford in their budget. 

I sold a fair many grill and helped many men become more manly by convincing them to buy huge smokers instead of a sissy, frail, little gas grill. 

Though next time, it’s for larger chunks. And the sell will matter. Though I do plan on selling the “assembly ” also in one form or format. 

…this thought was spiked due to the sells pitch to the guy that came to see my bike. 

Do you think he imagined that I had just placed 3 strategically-placed guns, just in case he was a nut job? Nothing wierd, he came to my house, so I prepared. Backed my car into the drive so the trunk faced the house. Opened the trunk and put the shotgun there – closing the trunk partially. Then, the rifle is lying on its side on the rug by the front door. Plus the pistol in the front seat of the car. 

…Am I paranoid?

…Always. 

But anyhow, the selling was fun. Told all I know about the bike, good and bad (not much because it is quality). He was pleasant. No one was murdered. 

Says he is gonna checkout a couple other bikes. So we shall wait and see if my salesmanship panned out. 

3_22_2027 Wednesday, 8:04pm

IS CASHFLOW OR CASH MORE IMPORTANT??

Leading up to the purchase of my house I had several plans for the future. 

Basic Details 

  • December of 2013, (37 months ago)
  • $78,000 (now owe 74,800)
  • @ 4.125%
  • 1,083 sq ft
  • 3 bed, 2 bath

The #1 Plan
House was to be lived in for one year while improving the interior and landscaping – expecting to use ten to fifteen grand to complete the rehab. Most of the money would be spent on materials – aiming to do much of the installation myself. 

Keep working at the current job for a couple years at the same (or better) income, while also renting my investment property to strangers.

The total cost of rebuilding would come out of my pocket over six months time. I had around 1,500 worth of disposable income each month with 3 day weekends! Time, budget, and *physical performance were all peaking about that time.

The investment would have been wonderful like that. I could have already earned an easy 300/mo of income for two years (300 x 24 = 7,200). This would be reinvested into dividend stocks. 

The plan continued as: save up around 21,000 (30% down payment for a 70k mortgage). Find a nice deal again and repeat, but without living there again. This 20k would have taken around a year and a half at most. Then rinse & repeat – speeding the down payment savings time with each additional house. 

Plan #2
Once the house is remodeled after around one year, I planned to rent room(s). Offering rooms as weekly or monthly – aiming for contractors like myself. There are two smaller rooms and a master (private bath) that I would rent for 400-600 per month. This is well known as house-hacking these days. This would/could have paid for all of my housing costs. 

That situation could have gone on for two and a half years; when my contract was to expire. If I were to have one roommate for 500/mo (2.5 x 12 x 500 = 15k).  As the contract neared the end, I could sell it (or rent it) to a family while looking for the next job prospect. 

Plan #3
Same remodeling over one year and renting rooms – but aiming for a 2nd house quicker. By end of year two, having already had the 6k from rent throughout the year & 1k/mo savings, my cash pile would be at ~ $18.

Appreciation over two years should have been around ten grand. And there’s the ten thousand in upgrades during the first year. That is 20k if I sell. 

With a grand total of 38k, I could: 

  • put down 42.2% of 90k on a new house (with no repairs required) to immediately rent out for around 800/mo. Payments would be around 450, pulling 350 profit per month. 
  • put down 30% of 126k on a two-unit house. Payment of around 700, but each unit would rent for 700 each. 700/mo cashflow (8,400/yr). 
  • put down 31.5% of 60k for 2 houses in a lesser neighborhood where rents may reach as low as 500/mo, but 650 is common, and 850 is possible. Two loans at 41k each have payments of $355, totaling 710/mo. Profit could range 300 – 950 (3,600 – 11,400 per year). Likely ~ 7k/yr. 

Plan #4

Same as #3 – up to the bullets. I would cash out with 38k. Drop out of real estate until I feel settled into an area. Live as a nomad contractor and toss 30k straight into a range of dividend stocks. And begin to toss in all my extra savings into that. 

Plan 5  — errr REALITY

Plan failed. Laid off from the position, six months after purchase. Tossing me directly down a different path. Without a replacement job for an extended time and other twists of fate, my plans were slowed. 

But now, it appears that my house value may be as high as 110-120k (assuming it is fixed). If sold, that’s around 20-30k for my pocket. That could go a long ways to fix my cashflow. 

I have only need for a few thousand for appliance replacement and miscellaneous items. 

……….

So, I had written all that after a rough few days and had a mind to sell the house. This was February 2nd, I believe. I’ve changed my mind, for now, on selling. But I still entertain the possibility. The main point for now is to get the house in livable condition and then see which path feels appropriate. And pursue it. 

……….

* I had just been through a crazy year in which I had recently lost a massive chunk of weight and had been biking many miles each week. 

2_22_2017 Wednesday, 9:20pm

Property Lord

The steps that would be great for you to take:

  • round up all your connections and build a list of contractors / vendors.
  • talk with each one to see what expectations they have for you using them for individual services.

That will help you figure out what you need to offer to get work out of them on a less-than consistent basis. Talking to see how they handle their documentation of contracts, reciepts, payments, etc can help you learn the business side and decide how to structure all your documents and such.  

Between you and your husband, y’all probably know several contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. Who would all be willing to sit and talk to you.

overlord

.thinking about starting a company like this for years. .brother-n-law tells me him and his wife may attempt a company of the same sort. .i may want in on it, if for nothing but some type of write-off for taxes. .perhaps just as an investor, some cash, advice, and occasional labor. .i would love to own several houses to rent as a landlord, but I’m not really into active management at the moment. .one day, that may be my goal, but for now with only one house owned and expecting to rent it as a hopeful yearly lease – I want to leave it under other’s care and go chase the dollar with engineering contracts. .then as i can afford the next cheap house to buy, gut, & rent, i will figure it out then, but get it under care too. 

I figure that if I could one day own 4 houses; paid in full; using today’s numbers:

  • 4 houses worth 125,000 each
  • Totals investment of 500k
  • producing 1,000/mo rent
  • 4k/mo cashflow 
  • there would be maintenance costs & tax costs, even if those costs are around 40%, the profit is around 5.5%
  • A twenty year old house should last another 20 or so, that’s a good many years for easy profit. 

11/18/2016

location, location, location

When I bought my house, i was thinking about that mantra. Location is the most important aspect of a house. And growing up where i did, I was anti that (mostly).

It took until I bought my house and lived in it till I realized that location is the key to my happiness about my home. I don’t need much, just a place to stay where I can chill between my dealings with people.

Now, it takes 35-45 minutes to get to & from work.

  • I’m going to put a map of how my house is setup in relation to Big Town, Work Town, Downtown Area, & My House.
    • The dots, lines represent actual distances only. This is certainly not a “to-scale” drawing.
  • My house
    • .
      • .
    • Work Town
      • .
      • .
      • .
        • .
        • .
          • ……….Downtown Area
          • .
            • .Big Town

 

Just 3 years ago, the traffic was say 25 minutes 2 work and 30 minutes home. Not much better, but i think that 50% has been added since a year or so ago.

When I was in house buying mode, I took all blinders off, looked at the good and bad of each property. I was quick and did not care about too many aesthetics really. Just bones of the homes and their location. And mostly price-point in comparison to the estimated cost of renovation. For this house:

  • 82k versus 10-15k in renovations/repairs, value should even out to the comps in the area to 100 to 110k along with comparable appreciation.
  • Estimate of rent per month, as i plan to rent it to a family upon time of completion of renovations: 800-1200/mo.
    • With my mortgage payment at ~650/mo. If I can rent at 1k and owe 650, that is profit or maintenance funds of 350/mo ($81.40/wk $4,230/yr).
      • OR using a property manager, as I expect I will move out of state for work and make the setup of personally doing it difficult. I believe the charge is around 30% of rent per month.. that’s 300 bucks a month.
        • I could only save $50 bucks a month for maintenance.
      • This is a near stress-free approach and will pay off handsomely in about 10 years when I decide to payoff the mortgage in full. That would send an additional 400/mo in cashflow, not to mention all the appreciation in rent over the years, i’d be profiting over 50 within a year or so.
  • I imagine at some point in the next ten years, this city will finally grow and have some business around to boost the value of my area. Yet, that is unknown, because my area loves to stay small as possible, even though they are growing like mad.
  • It was like the 3rd house I looked at, out of 7 and it was the ugliest house of them all, inside and out. But I knew I could have it up to par within a year.

I’d like to start this paragraph with my own quote above, “But I knew I could have it up to par within a year.”.

That line is prophesy that never came true. I was overly positive without the security required as a foundation for the investment. I was laid-off from work and had much trouble in getting the second job. I won’t say that year was all bad, thanks to support from my parents, I pulled thru without losing my house or truck. And I managed to finish my Associate’s degree. But the experience was embarrassing, stressing, miserable, and financially devastating to my savings goals.

BACK ON TRACK

My desire now, is to move to the area (see “map”) that is Downtown.Where all the bars are, not that I really drink much, and the location where I enjoy riding my bike, relaxing, and reading in the sunshine. The area where all the cool stuff happens.

  • Traffic to work allows the time to be around 20 minutes and coming home would be about 20-25 minutes.
  • If I wanted to go downtown, well-i’d already be there.
  • If I wanted to go to Big Town, then that’s ten minutes away
  • If I wanted to go to my parents or a friend’s house, that’s near My House now. And anytime except from 6:30am to 9:00am & 4:00pm to 6:30pm, the trip is a 40 minute ride.

For after work, I’d love my routine to get into the likes of such:

  • Leave work 4:00, go to WholeFoods for a huge salad off the buffet.
  • go to gym a couple miles away. Do some quick heavy routines, add an hour of stretching/yoga, half hour in the sauna, & shower. That’s till around 8-9 o’clock.
  • go to a coffee shop or like, use the laptop for “this blog”, gaming, coding education, or whatever I’m into at the time.
  • go to park for my martial arts training.
  • go home

Currently, If I were to do that, I still have a 35 minute drive home at midnight. When, if I wanted to have some beer, I now have to wait-out the alcohol.

If I lived downtown, well that’s a 5 minute bike ride.

…If only I wasn’t saddled with laziness. I haven’t been on an exercising regiment in nearly a year, nor the martial arts, nor the yoga. I need to get back into it, I know it keeps me well-rounded, sane, and actionable. And all that extra driving as now, just helps me feel helpless to my bad rut, sitting here in a location that is a half hour from where I want to live.