Hey, race fans! How's the old double-hung window hanging?
The BB Crew has been down for a couple of weeks due to stomach flu. Fun! But we're back in the land of the living now. Kind of.
Main Avenue hit a snag with the dissolution of our contractor. Yep, the contractor's company dissolved. Which left us in a bind, but we think we're off to the races again on the job with a new contractor. Here's an object lesson on the concept of "back up." Stay tuned on this fun little project.
Barbour (the elephant) is done. We've decided to hang on to it for a while. We're going to use it for another purpose for the next six or seven months. After that we may sell or rent it out.
Finally, we hired some outside consultants on the potential next stage for Box Bend. Suffice to say that we are considering placing a foot on each side of the development-corporate landlord aisle. This will be a six to twelve month project, and way beyond what we have done before as spec home builder or landlord. Which brings up a couple of points:
We've ripped off and bastardized the British Special Air Service motto -(He) Who Dares Wins. Basically, no guts, no glory. A lot of people talk. A few do. Right or wrong, scaling the peaks or flat on your backside, the only shame is in not trying. One can improve the odds, though.
Education. One can purchase education with time or money. Or both. A good education helps to steer the ship clear of obstacles. We've found the best education is to invest time and money with those that have done what we want to do. This year, so far, we've spent thousands of dollars on our education. This is not unusual for us. If you want to be different you have to do things differently. So far, it has paid off.
When we couldn't afford steep tuition rates or courses or consultants, we bought books on tape and lurked incessantly on websites that dealt with real estate or businesss. We also had (and still have) library cards.
So now we're investing again in ourselves with consultants that have achieved what we want to do. After the consultation, we'll know without a doubt if we are going forward or not. How much is removing a question mark worth? We think it is invaluable.
Okay. Enough of that. In other news, we are officially unemployed. This has been a long time coming, but we're happy to report that as of September 1st, we are gainfully unemployed. We will be working with our consultants, working on a few other projects, and looking at a few opportunities that have been waiting patiently in the wings for us to be... unemployed. We prefer "full-time investors." Either way, bye-bye day gig.
Main has exercised some restraint and some modesty. This is evidenced by the fact that the top is now back in place. That is, the roof trusses are on like Donkey Kong.
Meanwhile, we are searching for the next deal, but we are warily watching a market where wide-eyed cowboys are paying up to 90% of ARV and expecting to make a profit. It may be time to take cash off the table and wait for everything to go back on sale.
In regards to the title, we apologize for the crooked nature of these photos. The Main project shot was taken about 34.3 minutes past the butt crack of dawn last weekend. That's our excuse and we're sticking to it.
The rest of the photos, well... it's Barbour in the remaining shots. Elephants are always a little unseemly in appearance. (Please reference earlier Babar post on this subject.)
We're pretty excited about both projects.
We met Mike -the contractor on Main -for an early AM check handoff for a smoking hot deal on a double oven. Get it? Smoking? Hot? Oven? Okay. Never mind. Mike is storing the oven until the little Main that could is ready for that bad boy. But that's not all. Take a look at the very crooked politicians' photo of Main. See anything beyond sheathing and a topless, bomb shelter-looking thing? Yeah! That's right, son (daughter). "Them there trusses are on der ground, hos." (North Dakota meets North Carolina.).
Yeah! Alright! Topless shame no mo'. Or so goes the plan.
And Barbour also benefited from a secret meeting with Mr. Steve -the contractor on that job. Here's a little insider info: contractors like to get paid. So does Mr. Steve. And thus the top secret, Defcon 5-level, meeting. We paid Mr. Steve.
Mr. Steve has been very busy putting in new flooring and features at this fantastic modular manufactured home. He should be wrapping up this bad boy (with sunroom, garage and over an acre of land) in the next few weeks. And then, cue the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, we're releasing this catch back into the wild.
We've sold our 5 Acres on Richmond Road and are in the process of selling the old farmhouse on 20 acres in Sanford. But lately, our mind has been elsewhere.
New beginnings and old doors being opened and closed. And then, to add self-absorption to self-absorption, a couple of medical scans have been burning in our minds like a small candle in a huge and dimly lit hall -barely noticeable but still perceptible. Today is the second scan. The day one of us goes nuclear with a PET scan. Fun. Nuclear. Nuclear?
But as far as the Box that Bends goes, we have to hand it to our erstwhile realtor, Judson Vickery, for making that puppy known as Richmond move. Truth-be-told, we bought it wrong. And we were debating working it over into a rental. Which, by the way, is one thing to do when ego overcomes the brain. Turn it into a rental and slowly decrease your downstroke. But Judson made that baby move. Now we have to get her to closing and deposit the check. And then the music starts again.
We are told by our contractor that Barbour is almost done. Maybe sometime next week. Then it is one more on the market.
We've also put the word out that we are looking for one more project, maybe two, to squeeze in before the year is over. Low cost, degradation and destruction with possible structural damage or trees growing through it, or even nuclear waste from PET scans hidden in the crawl space, but also a certain something that allows us the opportunity to make lemonade from those lemons -if our ego doesn't get in the way.
Here are some PG-13 photos of a topless Main Ave. Word is that the trusses have been delayed.
We are back in Dixie.
The Main Street project has been progressing, and the biggest challenge was leveling the house.
Framing is completed on the first floor, and more photos will be posted soon.
For now here are some photos of the floor going in. After the epic struggle of getting the house level....
We're on the road this week and next. You can follow along at www.FastPresent.com
Tonight we are in Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Meanwhile, back in Dixie, Main continues, Barbour is still being completed, and Richmond is for sale. Hazel 1 & Hazel 2 are gone like the wind. Closed but not forgotten.
See you in a couple of weeks.
Well, well, well, race fans. It has been a good long while since we actually talked. Thanks for hanging in there and checking in on the site. There are about 1,000 of you every week. Thanks!
As you can see, we've been a little bit tied up with our newest Box Bend crew member. Her nickname is, "Ocho." Yep, number eight. Like the mighty tatanka, we have pawed the ground, roamed the range, and procreated. We know; pretty skilled, huh?
We also took some time to go to New Jersey to remember a good friend-Mike. Which, if you really, really, really want the full skinny, our thoughts on this good man and the event can be found at: http://www.fastpresent.com/blog/a-momentary-break-x2
Speaking of which, we are literally one week away from getting our motors running, heading out to the highway, looking for adventure, and whatever comes our way. 'Merica, son! It was born to be wild, too. Yee-ha!
But you are not here for slightly pithy quips, iffy conversational prose, baby pictures, funerals, or even literal road trips. Nooooooooo. You're here to talk House Flipping, Ren-o-vash-e-own, Construction and ways to possibly escape Earth's Gravitational Pull in the financial areas of your life -or lives, if you are reading this with someone else, or have multiple personalities. (All seven of you look great today, by the way.)
So let's go all Kool and the Gang, and get down on it, get down on it.
First of all, Hazel Baby is all grown up and will be hitting the bricks on Friday -provided the closing jumps into full Seattle Seahawks beast mode and actually closes. This "quick little spec home" has been neither quick or little. It has been long, drawn out, and kind of like wood splints driven under fingernails. Not that we've had wood splints or slivers driven under fingernails. Lately. But one gets the idea. Not as cool and as smooth as, say, Satchmo. More like our four year old on a recorder. Dante's lost chapter for Inferno is supposedly all about cheap plastic recorders and the doorknobs that think putting them into the hands of small children is a good idea.
But we digress.
We love Hazel, none-the-less, and parting will be SWEET-sorrow.
We are also supposed to close on Hazel 2 -the limited edition Lot we own on Hazel Street. That closing is slated for next Monday. Adios, muchacho.
Both of these, should turn a profit for the old Box that still Bends.
Richmond Road, has had a buyer, a developer, and now a dude looking to swap some land, all sniffing around the flooding basement and five acres of recreational snakes and ticks. Hmm? Stay tuned on this one. This might get loud.
We shall not speak much about Barbour Store. That baby elephant is still hanging around and annoying us. Or, is that Babar?
And now, drumroll, please, Main Avenue.
Here comes the, here comes the, here comes the BOOM! Our contractor was back on track last week. Here are a few snaps of the footings-sans-forms, and the progressive nature of this thing. (Thanks to our buddy, Jud, for the shots.) (Jud-sonian Nation.)
Evidently, the roof trusses, which have been delayed, are going in this week or next.
And, another round of funding, 30k to 40k's worth, will be due to El Capitan -the mountain known as "Main," when the framing is done -also this week or next. That'll be fun! We'll keep you posted. Until then...
Stay tuned to the key of E.
It has been a good while since we've posted.
Crazy day-gig events taking place, baby due any moment, and closings pending. Not to mention a new addiction to Michael Connelly's Bosch series. (Audible for the books & Netflix for the shows.). These are the excuses. But in reality, we are getting ready for a potentially major change in direction for Box Bend, and Box Bend Home. Or a possible addition to the BB repertoire. We are honing in on this, but are still a ways away from it. More on this later.
For now, Main Avenue had a little run-in with The Man, which has now been resolved. That's the thing about delays, they start to stack up upon one another. And now that the run-in has been resolved, and we're ready to kick Main into high gear, rain has thrown a wrench at our monkey heads. Rain yesterday, today... But we will worry about what we can control and not what we cannot control.
And we'll update as we go along.
Hazel 2 - The little sister lot of Spec Home -Hazel Baby, is under contract. That makes two Hazels under contract at the same time.
Closing is set for June 12th. Three days after Hazel Baby's close.
Last night we had dinner with a landlord/flipper couple who live in Raleigh. But their projects are in the Houston/Humble area of Texas. We spent most of our time talking about the couple's incredible history, and recent move from Australia to Raleigh. We listened with rapt attention as they spoke about the ups and downs of Australia-including an insane real estate market. It was enlightening and fun and light.
But the mind begins to boggle. Or at least ours do. The joy of a shared meal and conversation is a reward unto itself. However, the exchange of ideas and experiences is phenomenal. This is why sites like Bigger Pockets work so well. (www.biggerpockets.com) They contain that exchange that fast tracks knowledge.
So last night... the couple has been buying and renting property in Texas while living in Australia. Now they are going to renovate and flip houses in Texas while living in Raleigh. One hears the remote work stories, but it is so good and inspiring to actually talk with people doing it. It is inspirational. We are anxious to watch this unfold... and possibly even participate at some point if that opportunity should come along. That's part of the dream, right? You know, the one that involves floating between projects and investments-diversified by asset class, but also location. Ok. Maybe that's only our dream.
We have our own systems and management tech for our mostly-local renovations. Those things have worked for us -probably because they are simple and we have really good people around us. But it is also good to hang out with people who are doing their own thing in this arena. The ones that blaze trails instead of following the well-worn paths. We recommend this over networking events or even online groups -which serve needed and worthy purposes. We're not saying that those other avenues should be deep-sixed. Rather, we are saying that a couple of hours of a meal spiced with laughter and talk gives insight often unknown online or in a room full of five minute exchanges. It is time well spent.
It is like sharing food for the brain.
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