Something strange happened to our blog. The old way of working no longer worked and the new way was not readily apparent -at least not to us. It was almost as if our lips were moving but we weren't transmitting or receiving. It took a few emails back and forth before we figured it out. (We hope.)
At any rate, here's what's been going down, or up, for that matter.
We've been asked about our "National Monument," but it is "all good, baby." The slope in the lot produced quite the edifice. But, you know, all in all its just another brick in the wall. (Hey teacher! Leave those kids alone!).
Our construction manager went over and did state with a certain amount of... um... Vigor, that the national monument was on the dark side of the moon as far as time was concerned. We think that this may move us into second or possibly third gear on this thing and finally produce some progress that we don't have to be baked out of our ever loving mind to enjoy.
And then there was/is the whole mothball issue on Main. Turns out that the moths are not the only concern... The picture below is from our CM:
The previous resident left a few incidentals behind. Ah... Okay Dokay. Can you say, "disposal expense?"
We have also been just a little cra-cra trying to close a lot. We have signed and stroked the requisite checks, but still no definitive "done!" message has arrived from the ruling party. We would like to tell you all about it because we believe it is a good, good thing. But this is also getting strange. But never fear, the blog is back an we are here, and we'll keep you updated.
The pen was to check and we were in the throes of stroking a check to a survey crew on our Sanford land ( yes, the one we took a beating on), when our realtor rang and said, "I'm talking to someone who might be..." Hmm? We'll see. That's all we can do. But no worries. Inthis biz, we've become comfortably numb.
Main Street is mothballed-on the ready reserve list-as we wait on Hazel and also on paperwork/acceptance of a lot we are trying to purchase.
When we do end up transforming main, we are guessing that it will be a 5 bedroom stunner.
Our latest give-away for people who buy our transformation projects: A vintage looking hotel key fob. The room number is a nod to our roots. (Hint: the area code of our home state. Yes, a singular area code for the whole state.)
Hey Race Fans, we are soooo close to signing a contract on a new lot. We know; "Whoopee!" But wait, there is a story with this lot. And we are ready to tell it. But first we need that signed contract. And (as if that were not enough) there is a story behind the "why" we aren't signed yet. And we are ready to tell it. But first...
This post is becoming M.C. Escher-esque.
ND was fun, and we are now back in Dixie. As we pulled into the lot at the day gig this morning, we were reminded that survival is often predicated upon hunting. So...
Happy hunting this week to all of you.
GREETINGS! From North Dakota. Brrrrrr! It is cooooold here. But it is all relative to what you know. When we landed and looked out the window, we saw a baggage handler with a light coat and shorts on his body. No big deal -it was close to 40 degrees F outside. What wasn't outside, though, was a lack of wind. It is almost like the wind is stored here for the rest of the country. And the longer we are away the more we forget about the animated people, the preponderance of once animated road kill, and the hyper animation of wind that can make 40 feel like subarctic temps. Brrrrrr!
We used to take the motorcycle out if it got above 40 back in the day when we lived here. Now we look at the thermometer with jaded southern eyes and seek shelter under added clothing if it is below sixty. But all this shorts-no-shorts discussion is absolutely not germane to flipping houses. What is germane is that like the wind, both mice and men can penetrate the barriers of your project and make life, well, interesting. The problems involved in flipping homes make for entertaining HGTV viewing, but the reality is much more earth bound: it will alter your profitability. We have advocated postmortem autopsies of deals before. But when it comes to day to day issues, postmortem autopsies, after the facts or events have already taken place but have yet to be solved, are somewhat like trying to get out of the wind on a North Dakota prairie. Good luck.
That being said, what that autopsy will do for you, once that problem is solved, is provide you with a checklist for the next time you travel down this road of rehabbing a house. You can prepare yourself for mice and men and wind. What were the lessons? What will you do next time? Or will you just not take the trip? Maybe you can start your own little operations manual for dealing with this stuff before it happens.
Here's a fictional example for you:
You may want to make sure your contractor knows the rules about giving your personal name and number to the neighbors. Check.
You may want to do a final pre-close walk through to make sure that your unoccupied home is still unoccupied. Check.
You may want to make sure that the schedule for securing the site is followed closely. Check.
You may want to throw out a few rodent repellents. Check.
You may want to pack a parka. Check.
You may want thicker socks. Check.
Or you may just want to walk 200 feet to your rental car swearing silently under your breath. Double check!
But swearing is not going to solve future problems. Remember: Hope is not a strategy. And neither is swearing in the face of squatters, rodents or 498 MPH winds in 40 degree temps.
Just a word to the hopefully well-sheltered.
Have a great day (or night) and we'll catch you next time...
This week is going to be crazy. Plain and simple.
We we are doing the day gig through Wednesday and then off to a board meeting for the alma mater in, of all places, North Dakota. In addition to the bread and butter, and circle of life (traveling from NC back to long severed roots in ND) gigs, we are in the throes of moving our patriarch to a different and better facility a little closer to our day gig.
Additionally, we are still mucking around with the idea of building our own home. A new and hopefully more effective and efficient home. Not that our current home is inefficient or lacks efficacy. It doesn't. But we would like a little bit more of a yard, less fru-fru Deep South accoutrements, and almost a minimalist approach to materials due to the highly-destructive capabilities of small children. Finally, one of us wants a sun room with screen porch, and another wants motorcycles in the house -albeit relegated to a studio. Ah, pipe dreams... That may come true. It is fun to imagine these things. But, coming out of architecture, it is sometimes something completely different to live with them.
Hazel continues to move along in perfect synchronicity with the glaciers of Alaska. We are waiting for Main to be boarded up (three weeks now) for insurance reasons. We plan to start on Main when it makes sense for us to do so. We also think that we may start on Hazel lot two before too long. Albeit a smaller house, we like the less-guess nature of new builds.
As as if this was not enough, we are still ankle deep in making a decision or three about a new business. The trick is operations and finding the right people. Which we may already have on hand in the form of some friends of friends that may be looking for work in the fields that we are debating. The other trick, mentioned a few hundred times, is to create a business and not a job. The time-for-money ride is one we already know way too well.
Stay tuned... April 17th or thereabouts, should see some cool little ego stuff popping up on the national radar... even though it will be in the most subtle way possible. Also, wish us good fortune please: three days of work, two flights to ND, and an older man in a wheelchair... It's almost Christmas-like -in an asylum.
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