Hey Race Fans! Welcome back.
We have been busy busy busy. So busy that we don’t have time for commas.
So let’s catch you up, boo.
First off, Main is back on track. Our contractor has been framing like a crooked cop ever since we said good bye to the amateur hour stuff we had going on. (See our earlier post.) Now, if we can take this project that is back on track and end up in the Black, well then, we will be Back in Black. And we bet you know, we’re glad to be back. Let loose... from the noose. You know the one... kept us hanging about.
At any rate, our contractor straightened out the mess the previous guys left and has most thing roughed in. Including stairs. Which we climbed. Yesterday. Here’s a little Box Bend tip for those looking to get into flipping: If you’re wearing vintage Puma kicks to the site, they will offer zero protection from nails sticking out of a pile of boards at the top of stairs. Ouch! (You, sir/mam, are welcome.)
We also are seeing some serious porch action. (See the second photo above, and the one below.) Front and side porches for summertime swings, sweet tea, and possibly a viewing of Bull Durham on a laptop equipped with Amazon Prime. You know; feet up, the Puma kicks with the nail hole in the right sole on the floor, and a way-too-comfortable chair. Yeah...
In addiction to all things Main, we have rented out Barbour Store. This was under the condition that the massive lawn is cut. Which in turn found us buying a zero-turn mower for the tenant Yee-ha! Did we mention that it’s a very big lot?
And we have our ears open for the next Box Bend project. Our GC thinks he has one hooked for us. We’ll see. In the meantime we will be hanging out here. Working on Box Bend 2.0 (hopefully ready by spring or summer). Dressed comfortably and watching Amazon Prime... in our Pumas.
We are pleased to announce that the Spanish company, OPDE, has signed a one year option to lease land from Box Bend, LLC. (A Bon Vivant World company.) If executed, the lease will be for 52 Acres in Lee County, North Carolina over a 35 year term. OPDE is a global player in solar development.
Now back to our regular programming.
Well hello race fans!
Happy weekend and week to come.
We are happy to report that we weren't doing our job and we weren't checking up on one of our contractors. Why happy? Because we learned a very valuable lesson: Always do your job.
Fortunately, that particular contractor imploded. We were very, very fortunate. In secular terms, we got lucky. If the contractor had not imploded, our $15,000 in after-the-fact repairs by the replacement contractor (with $5,000 more to come), would have been multiples of that number. We would have spent tons of money on finishing the renovation only to discover that we had something that would then have to be pulled apart and redone at a heavy, heavy price.
So, shame on us. Not shame on the contractor, but shame on us. We hired these clowns, but never checked up on the circus. We assumed that a license, and a recommendation, coupled with a LLC setup equated into something legit. (The LLC was an LLC on a business card only. Again, we should have checked.) We also assumed that because the progress photos were cool, because the conversation was cool, because the guys were civil and nice, that all was cool at the site. Not true. One or five golden photos will not tell you the complete story-especially if the other fifteen you're not seeing are garbage. Anyone can smile. Anyone can get one good photo out of fifteen. But not everyone can renovate a beast of a job.
We were/are shamed by our complacency. Lesson learned.
So here, in graphic detail, are some of the less golden photographs taken by the replacement contractor and verified by us.
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.
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