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Efficient Business, World Travel

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People That Actually Receive A Rent Check Every Day

There are some people that are actually making it in this business that aren’t bullshitting. It’s rare to find them but heres a couple examples. I personally know a few people that have 30 rental units. I’m sure they have all their checks paid to them on one day of the month, but in theory it can be setup as a check a day, and it’s nice to imagine having a check sent to you every day in perpetuity.  They are all people a generation above me. Like my parents age. 60-70.

Not my parents. They are losers. But other people’s parents.

 

So here’s a couple stories about them.

 

One is a girl I knew, her dad owns a State Farm agency in the middle of Michigan.It’s a small town outside of Lansing. From what I learned about his system is that his main business is obviously the insurance agency and he has been buying single family houses is his hometown for years and he finally acquired 30.  He plans to grow slowly from there and sell his business to his kids.  With this insurance agency he can profit a few ways from this business. He insures all of his houses through his agency and he also can sell the renters rental insurance through his agency. Its not that much revenue but he is still making money a few different ways on these houses. It’s a small town so he just has the tenants come into the state farm and pay the rent. While they’re there he also tries to cross sell the tenants on auto insurance. If the tenant decides to buy a house in a few years he also will sell them home owners insurance and any other products he can. This is extremely smart and proves to be very lucrative for him.  When he retires from State Farm he going to have really good income coming in from his years of real estate investing.

Another is a friend from college

His dad was a dentist and he bought 30 single family houses in his small town in central Ohio.

My friend was telling me his dad started buying before he was born and what he would do is buy 1 a year with 30% down and every one of them was a three-two. Three beds, 2 baths.

When he was younger he would do most of the work himself. As he got older what his dad did and another benefit of knowing people in a small town is he found a young guy my friends age that was handy,

he gave him a free house to live in and 30K a year to manage and maintain all of his properties. The guy that maintains the houses loves it. His wife is a nurse so they have health insurance through her and they will never have to worry about a mortgage.

There is a distant cousin of mine who is very wealthy.

I’m not too close with him but when I see him we talk about real estate. He does thing a little different though. He owns apartment buildings totaling 30 units, in a blue-collar suburb of Detroit. He owns a large distribution company in Detroit and lives a huge

house and drives exotic cars. At the same time he does all the work to these buildings himself and he even cuts the grass at his own house. I can’t understand this guy he is so cheap he won’t even hire a kid for $40 a month to cut his damn grass. He told me this and I couldn’t

believe it. He says he paints all his rental properties too. This is the exact opposite of what he should be doing because he is turning his real estate business into a second job for himself. But he won’t listen. I told him focus on your main business where you can make millions and

hire all his manual labor out, just have your real estate passive. But he won’t. Some how he finds time to do it all, and doesn’t seem to mind, and it works for him, he’s very wealthy. Stubborn, but wealthy. Who am I to tell a multi-millionaire what to do with his time or

business. But just imagine if his tenants knew who he really was when he was over at the apartment building painting the walls? Why is there a millionaire painting the building?

Another is my plumber.

He and his dad have been buying for years in this specific area in Detroit city. He told me he worked at the bank for a while and he couldn’t stand it, he just hated it. So he learned plumbing and started working with his dad.

It turns out he grew up in this area so they know it very well. The property is still somewhat cheap there and is slowly increasing in value. His dad owns 15 duplexes there, and he owns four. He said he keeps buying and pays one off every year. He mostly just rents to college

students and he says it’s easy money. It makes me think he hated the bank so much that he would rather be a plumber and work with shit all day. So whats the point to go to an average college to get a job like that. I’d rather be a plumber and real estate investor too. He will eventually take over his dads properties and have a very nice portfolio.

 

These people are actually doing it. They all have some things in common. Long term investing, and having a day job while they build their side business.

There is an option for these people to retire but they don’t want to. I think the younger generation wants more freedom and thats how I set up my business and many other people my age are too.

Keep in mind when these people started investing there was no internet available.

Whatever way works for you its going to take serious time, but it is possible.

#MAM

The Myth of Making $5,000 in 5 Hours

There are a few bloggers and real estate hype-men that promise you that making money by renting houses out is quick and even easy. Saying that they make money hand over fist month after month and that it’s basically like an annuity payment.

There are some that say they make $5,000 in 5 hours!

There’s a couple problems with these claims.

Yes I own rentals and most of the time I receive my money every month without too much of a hassle or too many man hours. With that said I own real estate in the nicest neighborhoods in Metro Detroit and Chicago city. Yes, for the people that hate Detroit there are very affluent,

and safe areas in and especially around the city.

I’ll use myself as an example:

If I receive 10k a month in rent payments (which I come close to every month, post on that coming soon) and I only have to be on the phone for an hour that month calling my property manager, and spend an hour at a house meeting with a contractor, that doesn’t mean I made 10k in 2 hours.

If I could make 10k in 2 hrs. extrapolate that over a full work week. This would make me damn near 10 million a year. I know for sure I wouldn’t be here writing this I’d be in a tax haven and not telling anybody about it.

When people say they only had to do a few hours of work this month and made thousands. Sure it’s true but you are not making that money consistently over every hour or the work day.

In the example above making 10k a month if it were the only thing I did for income and was my full time business it would equal to $62 an hour or the example in the title of this article would be $31 an hour.

No one is going to write an article bragging about how they make $31 an hour or 60K a year.

They also aren’t taking into account all of the repairs and labor they had to do the previous months before. A personal example again, I had to repipe part of a rental property when I bought it and do some serious plumbing repairs. That ate into my profit that month. I made 4k less

after that bill and I spent hours there with the contractor trying to solve this problem and watching them rip open the walls. Those examples are rare but the example is given to show that there will be times when your returns fluctuate and its not all gravy.

This business is not easy or quick. I have most of my properties paid for which is a huge advantage.

Also if you have less than 10 properties and you have a vacancy or 2, or a major repair. That can drastically hurt your business.

You will be juggling swords trying to pay all of the mortgages and make repairs, tax, and insurance.

Don’t fall into this trap that it so easy or you’re going to get rich in real estate. Unless you own hundreds of houses it will be very difficult to make thousands of dollars an hour.

But that is what we’re striving for!

#MAM

Canada Goose – Wyndham Parka

Living in Chicago it is extremely cold in the winter. Yes the wind does whip in between these buildings and the temperature with the wind chill is easily below 0ºF.

I was tired of being so cold. Waiting outside for an Uber or just walking to the grocery store became dreadful. I decided I wasn’t ever going to be cold like this again. I took

action, I bought a Jacket that I’ve heard good things about before, and I researched online. The jacket I bought was Canada Goose Wyndham Parka – Men’s Black Large

Instantly I could tell the difference with this jacket. Finally I’m not miserable in the winter!

I wear a large and it fits well. Made in Canada it has goose down in it and it is extremely warm. Much warmer that my North Face and better fit too. The jacket zips up high so that it acts as a neck warmer as well. The zipper is heavy duty and very thick. When zipped up I can walk out of my

building and onto the street, when I do that the wind is usually blowing very hard. This jacket blocks the wind really well to the point that I can barely even feel it. I wear a tee shirt and a long sleeve shirt over it then put on the jacket and its fine. I did wear just a tee

shirt out to go pick up a carry out and I could feel the wind a little bit. The Jacket has a removable hood and attached to that is a removable strip of coyote fur to block the wind and water from dripping off the hood onto your face. Only when snowing or really cold out do I wear

the hood. I don’t like hoods and just think that they get in the way. I also don’t like the way they look. It will be useful during the heavy snow storms though. You can also roll the hood out a little so it wraps around your face. The sleeves wrap around my wrists so that cold air

can’t blow up my arms. Its really blocks all the areas that wind can get to your body. Theres a couple inside pockets and 4 pockets on the outside with 2-2 way zippers. It takes a while to get used to but I can fit everything I need in them.

Since I’ve bought this I’ve seen so many people around Chicago wearing this. Just walking down Halstead I saw 4 people wearing a Canada Goose today. They are really popular. In China they are everywhere too. However they are all fake. No exceptions, if you find this brand in Asia do

not buy; they are all fake, and they do not have actual goose down in them. They could be stuffed with newspaper or cardboard. In Beijing there were many stores filled with fake Montclair and Canada Goose jackets. The fakes were everywhere. The real jackets have a life time

warranty on any defects, not wear and tear but if anything goes wrong with the jacket they will fix or replace it.

Over all I’ve never had a jacket this warm or this expensive. I paid $1,000 for it but it was definitely worth it and a small price to pay to never be cold in the winter again.

Check out a few pics of it below, and if you are tired of being miserable in the winter I highly suggest you purchase a Canada Goose.

A hologram in every jacket to combat counterfeiting

The price you pay for warmth and quality.

#MAM

The Chris Farley Show-Book Review

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As I flew 13 hours to Beijing I loaded up my phone with podcasts and audiobooks.

One of the books was The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

By Tom Farley and Tanner Colby

I always was a huge fan of Chris Farley and remember watching him on TV in high

school and laughing my ass off. Then in college we had all his movies in our dorm

room. Even now I’ll still watch a YouTube clip of him once in a while.

So I saw his book on audible and decided to download it. I thought it was just going

to be a comedy and I’d be laughing, which I did a lot. But there was a much more

dark and scary side to Chris that I had no Idea about.

The book started with him and his huge Irish Catholic family in Madison WI. It

turns out that Chris was a practicing Catholic all through his life, and actually had a

very close relationship with his priest Matt Foley. The same name as the

motivational speaker character. But he was

also extremely superstitious because of his religion. When he was a kid he was so

afraid of the devil being in his closet that he would often

go sleep in his brothers room. This painted a very scary picture for me. The fact that

a child was so afraid of this mythical being in his head that he would lose sleep over

it made me feel pity for people like that. It’s not a good way to spend your

childhood.

You could see how patterns of paranoia worked together with addiction problems to

ruin his life.

The book talks about when Chris had his first drink and how over time it developed

into problem that was out of his control.

There were however many fun and funny parts like when Chris told this girl he was

an aerobics instructor and then proceeded to do a backflip while he was in a bar. I

instantly visualized it, this book created many visuals in my head. Chis did get hot

chicks but he would always get

so nervous with them and end up making everyone feel really awkward. He would

play with a girls hair and say gee you really are perddy. It makes me laugh because

again I can see that in my mind.

What really shocked me was this life long battle with addiction, food, drugs,

hookers, and booze. All while being nervous and paranoid. He had a nervous habit

of tapping the floor twice or knocking on a wall or something to “even it out”.

This is beyond crazy, I felt really

bad for someone that messed up with those habits and mindset.

He lived in the Hancock Tower in Chicago, I know right where that is I live close to it.

It brought a more personal feel to the book. Unfortunately it’s also where he died.

When Chris lived in Chicago he was actually sober for 3 years.

Then the stress of not getting the right scrip or not having a movie

turn out the way he wanted it got to him. Now this made me think, I’ve never been

addicted to anything in my life. I do have some former friends who are addicts, and

I never understood why they

would continue to use. I compared Chris to my friends and thought why won’t he

just stop?! He has everything he could ever want and has so much more potential,

just stop! Well in Chris’s life, like in the peoples lives that I know, there is no

listening to reason or logic.

There is something inside of you that won’t listen to reason and just keeps telling

you to use, and use. Maybe there was a devil inside of him after all?

 

There is so much more to this book and it is very well written. Most books and

podcasts I’ll listen to while doing other activities and I won’t pay attention that close,

this book however I was glued to it. It created many pictures in my head and

elicited emotions from me and it’s rare that a book can do that.

R.I.P. – The Legend Chris Farley

#MAM

Beijing: The not so hidden dragon

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I’m currently traveling around China and I’m writing this in a high speed train going 200 mph from Beijing to Shanghai.

This is the second time I’ve been to China. Or as Trump pronounces it Gyna! Try it, it’s fun to say…

I’ve noticed that now that I’m back in Beijing there are some new things that weren’t here before. The new buildings are still popping up. Everywhere. The growth and building boom doesn’t stop.
The government tried to stop it by passing a law saying that an individual or a family cannot buy a second house anymore. They want to limit speculation and their goal was to lower home prices. Well, it worked in reverse the housing prices went up even more. Now a million $ gets you 900sqft in downtown Beijing.

Buying dinner is so easy here the price on the menu is what you pay. Tax is included and there is no such thing as tipping!
You can get a full breakfast for $5 and a nice dinner for 2 for about $40! with drinks.
What I haven’t seen before is that every restaurant no has an option to pay with your phone they bring you the check and wait for you to scan it then you’re done. Very simple! There’s always leftovers too. Most stores and restaurants have the scanning option, it’s like apple pay and it is extremely popular in China. I’ve never seen anyone use it in America. The app is called we-chat. It’s a texting/social app that is also linked to your bank account and all Chinese are on it.

We went to this luxury mall in Beijing. I have never seen anything like it in my life. There’s a big outside courtyard that you can enter the mall and most stores from and in that courtyard were advertisements for fine Italian suits with the pictures of the guys from Metallica! We entered the mall and there’s a doorman to greet you and he bows when you walk in. A guy actually bows to you when you enter the mall. Every Euro and American luxury brand was there. I’ve never seen most of them, there were a lot of Italian clothiers there. I looked at some of the tags and realized they were double the price of America. We went in to Dolce and Gabbana because my wife was looking at some shoes. The same shoes we saw in Chicago were double the price, the luxury tax makes everything double the price in China. But people were still buying. The mall was extremely nice and it was packed with people. There were even heated toilet seats.

The luxury tax doesn’t really stop the rich from buying goods, every day I see luxury cars. I saw a Maybach yesterday parked outside our condo. In America those are around 250K double that for China.

Another new thing I noticed is that every store and restaurant delivers. The streets are flooded with delivery drivers on scooters either wearing all yellow or red. We had 2 cups of coffee delivered to our condo the other day. We don’t ever need to leave the house to get anything we want.

Can’t wait to see what Shanghai has in store for me.

Stop being selfish

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I’m writing this literally flying across Russia on the way to Chicago from Beijing.

There’s a fat piece of shit sitting across the isle from me. He’s completely over weight and for the last 2 hours he’s been sleeping like a shit log.

The problem is he’s snoring. Loud as hell and he won’t stop.

I’m snapping my fingers at him to try to see if he’ll wake up real quick. He won’t.

Before he fell asleep he was coughing and sneezing.

All of this is because he is selfish. He has no self control over what he puts in his body. He’s a fat worthless slob. If he was in shape this snoring problem would not exist. He’s gasping for air because he’s a glutton.

I am having fantasies about punching him in the face!

I just yelled Stop Snoring!! Please!

He woke up all confused. What a piece of shit. I think he just stopped.

You can’t be scared of confrontation especially when you are dealing with a fat glutton. You have to let them know when they are being low class. If it’s affecting you say something.

Stop being lazy and take care of your body so you’re not a snoring savage that annoys everyone.

Goddamnit he just started to snore again.

Seriously just lose 50lbs and take care of your body. How much do you hate yourself to be a snoring , coughing glutton.

Don’t expect to become successful or get a skinny girl if you can’t even take care of your own body.

I have 7 more hours on this flight. Time to turn on loud metal music in my headphones to drown out this selfish piece of shit next me.

Take care of your body and speak up if someone is being a piece of shit… Which I’m about to do again right now.

Well the flight is over and the whole time he was either snoring or coughing. What I also noticed is that he ate both meals that were served in there entirety. I didn’t eat any of them because they are horrible. I would rather starve than eat that shit.

So now he stands up and he’s wearing white pants. Well guess what? and I swear I am not making this up… He shit himself. There is a huge brown shit stain all over the seat of his pants!

This was the most unbelievable flight, and it made me realize from coughing to snoring to shitting your pants. All of this because he can’t control what he puts in his body because he is selfish.

#MAM

Traveling across China

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Starting in November for the rest of the year I’m going to be traveling across China. Something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I probably won’t be posting any new blog articles but I will have many stories when I come back. Last time I was there I climbed the Great Wall on new year eve, and explored Beijing. The cities are really alive and they’re twice the size of New York. When you’re in Beijing in the winter most, well, all buildings, stores, cabs don’t use heat. Individual condo unit might but any common area doesn’t use it. What they do is turn it on to maybe 50 just so the pipes don’t freeze. All of the people leave their coat on when they eat or shop. To the Westerner it seems ridiculous and inconvenient but to the Asians its normal. The cabs don’t use heat because they don’t want to use up any more gas than they have to. People are always looking to save money there. In Beijing they don’t get snow so that is one good part of the winter. All the restaurants have big cloth windbreakers over the doors so if the door doesn’t close the big curtain will swing back and block the wind. Its hard to describe, Ill try to post it on Instagram. We’re going down to Shanghai and from what I hear its much warmer and more Westerners there too. Seems its a little more cosmopolitan. But with everything in China I’m always surprised. From there the island of Hainan were we can have some time on the beach. Then before going back to Beijing we’re going to see the terra-cotta warriors.

So this time I’ll make sure to bring everything I need unlike last time, like Tums, and pills for my stomach. The food there is really good and fresh, however you never know what you’re going to run into. They don’t have convenience stores on every corner like we do in the U.S.
In most restaurants and malls there aren’t Western toilets. They have squat pots, basically a hole on the ground that you squat over. You can’t flush any paper down there and usually there is a can to throw the paper in.
Its always a great experience to travel and not having modern conveniences is part of the adventure. When I was in Beijing last there was a building going up that was selling for $1,000/sqft, thats basically NY prices. It will be nice to see this thing completed, which I assume will have heat in the common areas. Everyday the city changes and grows. There are always Bentleys, Ferraris, and every kind of luxury car, right next to $10 bicycles. Every day people from the country come into the city and the city grows. It keeps increasing its boundaries every year. The demand is huge for city living and I’m excited to see the new changes.

I have a professional Canon camera to take much better pictures and I will be posting them.

See you next year,

#MoneyAndMovement

Every Unit is Uniformed

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You notice when you go into a chain store or restaurant anywhere in the country it looks familiar to you? When you walk into the CVS you know the pharmacy is in the back, the refrigerated drinks are to the right. The colors are all the same and the employees are wearing the same uniform.

When you’re on a road trip and you stop at your favorite burger joint in Boise Idaho, it looks, and tastes the same as it did in Detroit, MI.

There are reasons for this; efficiency and knowledge of the building and how to run it, or repair it if needed.

This is exactly what I do with my units.

In my residential units I use the exact same plumbing faucets, electrical fixtures, paint, sinks, toilets, windows, appliances, and anything else I might need to replace.

This makes the houses very easy to maintain and fix if needed. Of something goes wrong I know exactly how to fix, replace, or who to call to fix it.

When I buy a house here’s the first things I do to uniform it and make it efficient.

Bathroom- I immediately put in a single handle faucet in the bathtub. With only one piece of hardware in the tub there are less moving parts to break and fix than those old three handles. I buy Delta for all my faucets they are reliable and I’ve never had a problem with them. If there’s a leak behind your tub it will be a costly problem to fix. Which I’ve had to do. The Deltas not only look much better and more modern but they won’t leak and break as easy as the others.

If needed I’ll do the same for the sink faucet. Sometimes I’ll have to buy a new sink cabinet. I just co to Home Depot or Lowes and buy one for a few hundred bucks.
I always buy a new toilet seat and rarely have to buy a new toilet.

I always try to shop local and support small biz first. But here’s the problem. Usually they won’t have what I need in stock. I just went to get a lighting fixture 3 weeks ago they said they don’t have it in stock and need to order it. Said they would call me in a few days when it’s in. Well 2 weeks go by and it’s still not in. I say fuck it and get a refund. So I go to Home Depot and pick up a fixture in 10 minutes. This disappointment has happened way to many times with these small hardware stores. So I always go to the big box now.

Electrical- If needed I replace all outlets, switches, and covers. All white.

In the living room I always install a ceiling fan. Usually there is already a junky one there and I put up a new Hampton Bay from Lowes. $50. All other light fixtures I use I get from Lowes about $20 a piece, in every single room they are all the exact same I install them myself they are very easy. They are white with a silver strip around the base.

I always make sure there are updated circuit breakers in the house. If it has the knob and tube panel I pass.

The houses I buy never need a full remodel it’s not worth it. But they always need serious updating.

Kitchen- New stove. White, electric, glass top. If gas I’ll have it changed. The stoves are cheaper, and I don’t trust my tenants with an open flame. It looks clean and when it’s new I leave some of the tape on the outside so they know it’s brand new. <$500

White fridge I bought used before but it didn’t turn out. It was just junky. Spend $500 get a new fridge. No ice maker or water dispenser. Just freezer on top with some ice trays.

If there is a dish washer and needs to be replaced. Same thing white and clean.

The floors I get dark gray sticky tile put down.

If cabinets are old I just paint them white. And throw on new silver hinges and pulls.

If cabinets need to be replaced go to Ikea and get them for around $1,000. You install them yourself and they are really easy to do.

Basement- You won’t believe how many houses I see with old single pane basement windows in them. Even houses in bad areas I don’t see that much glass block windows.

These old windows you can tap them and they’ll break.

Always put in glass block windows they look much better, they keep the heat in, and they are much safer than the old single pane.

In the basement I just sweep the floor and clean it up. I don’t make it livable I do put in new electric washer and dryers tough. About $600 total.

If needed a new finance with central air this gets a bit pricey around 4-5K

I have a guy that puts them in right away and he’s done in half a day. I’ve bought 4 from him so far.

I rip any old wiring from TV antennas, door bells, old phone lines, or anything that isn’t needed I rip out. Doesn’t matter how big or small. It’s just something for your tenant to break or hurt themselves on.

If there are many storage closets in the basement. I’ll close all but 1 off for the same reasons. Anything extra is always taken out or closed off. Same with the attic. I lock it off if I can, and just have management say it’s landlord storage.

 

The main areas of the house- I always have the floors sanded, always have hardwoods in there the carpet will get ruined every time. They look much better than carpet anyway.

If I have to I will install new windows $400 a piece. Most my units have ~10-15 windows this can be pricey. Start with the bedrooms and bath only. Make sure they can open the bathroom window after a steamy shower. It will make the paint last longer. The bedrooms with new windows will

look more inviting. Then over the next couple years piece the house together with new windows if you don’t have the money all at once. Plus you can write all of this off on your taxes. (I am not giving tax advice)

I paint all the walls in all the houses the same color. An off white. If it ever needs touch up after someone moves out its very easy. You know exactly what color to use.

The outside- Take down any antennas. Trim all trees and bushes. Put wood chips down in the back of garage or side of house. I am thinking about experimenting with fake grass so I dont have to pay to cut it. I write a post about it if I decide to do it.

All of this eliminates guessing it saves time, makes the house more efficient. Plus it looks great.

Implement this uniformed code on all of your rentals it will make your life a lot easier.

Month Long Holiday

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If you’ve been following my Instagram this summer you’ve seen I took a cross country trip. I wanted to sum up the trip briefly for you.

We were able to drive across the country for a month because of how we set up our investments. We sacrificed a lot and now we have freedom. There aren’t that many people that can do this in life, we want to make this a priority in our family.

Our rentals are being taken care of by a management company. That I still have to talk to every couple days because something is always happening. We decided to do this and we just left with out all the hotels booked in advance.

After we left Chicago we headed to Mt. Rushmore. But on the way there we stopped by Mall of America. The place sucked. Don’t go there. But Rushmore was amazing to see. I brought binoculars and could actually see the irises in their eyes.

After that there is pretty much nothing and we were driving 95mph on the express way. We stopped to see Yellowstone Park, there were so many wild animals there and a couple buffalo actually walked within 5ft of our car.

Next major stop was Seattle. Hills, seafood, and legal weed. Its a nice city very hilly not walkable at all. The original Starbucks was there which is a huge tourist trap. Its right in their Pike Market district where we had the best clam chowder of my life. The waiters in the restaurants there make $15 an hr. So theres really no need to tip and its not encouraged. Which made me think, my first job after 4 years of college I made the same and these hipsters cleaning tables make that amount. They try to justify it and to be honest if the people still go there and eat, then the market supports it and it can continue. Im sure a few places did go out of business, but not where we where there were a lot of people all over in the bars and restaurants, so Im sure that rate will only increase over time.

The weed is also taxed at 16% there. I bought an edible and ate it before bed. Got a little dizzy feeling but that was it. Weeds really not my thing but I had to try it.

Went down to Oregon and thats where I started getting really pissed off. In that worthless state me being a grown man, I can’t even pump my own gas! The service at the gas stations is horrible, and I eventually asked what is going on. It turns out the state government made it illegal to pump your own gas because it would make the unemployment rate go down. What they did is create 30K jobs just by making that stupid law. So what ever Oregons unemployment number is add 30K people to it, because it takes away the option from the peoples free market and freedom of choice. Another example of the government cooking the books and controlling everything down to the micro level. Outside of that, Portland was a shithole. There were bums all over and garbage with food shacks on the street. We stayed for 1 day and got the hell out of there. (This was just the beginning of bums and garbage)

Drove through the redwoods and those were amazing. These trees are hundreds of feet tall, and thousands of years old. Absolutely amazing, you have to see these. The drive down California is so cool to see, the ocean views are something I’ve never seen anything before. Just seeing the vastness of our country is something I’ve never even thought of, there is so much land in this country and so much nature, forests, wildlife, and open space. So we saw a lot, did a lot and couldn’t wait to get to San Fran, our next stop.

OK when I think of San Fran I think of billionaire tech geeks, and an amazing city with so much to do. Well not so much. Our hotel was nice at $600 a night. But when we stepped outside the city was full of trash and bums walking around. There was so much trash in the street I have never seen anything like that anywhere I have traveled, including Asia. We literally couldn’t walk 1 block without being harassed by a bum asking for money. I heard the rumor that there were a lot of Vietnam vets that ended up homeless there, but this is clearly not the case any more. The majority of these bums were in their 20s and 30s, and all seemed able bodied. We were down at pier 31 eating crab and after dinner we walked into a CVS store to grab something. There was a woman about 30 years old in there buying a bottle of Mohawk Vodka and paying with a bucket of change that she collected from begging at the pier! She wasn’t buying food for her family she was buying booze with all her change. This is why I don’t give money to people on the streets. The next day there was another guy about in his 20s that walked into the coffee shop and just stood there until someone bought him a sandwich. These people that give them money are such losers that they don’t understand if you incentivize laziness you get more of it. Another reason there are so many bums on the West Coast, people incentivize it. I was sick of San Fran and ready to leave, there were beautiful houses there. The Golden Gate Bridge had a great view of the city, and the seafood was great! However I will never go back.

One last story of the trip, we experienced the exact opposite.

Probably the nicest place in California was Napa Valley. It was clean, the people were nice, and the drinks were great. We stayed in a small hotel in Yountville, we could walk everywhere and the neighbourhood was laid out so nice. We walked to the Chandon Vineyard and split a bottle there while looking across at the hills of vines. I brought a few bottles and glasses back to the hotel and I ended up drinking 3 bottles of sparkling wine before dinner. I couldn’t drink any more so I had a few waters and then we walked a block to this French restaurant. We ordered the 2 tier seafood dish. There was every kid of shell fish you could imagine on these plates and we ate the whole thing. I ended up having another drink while I was there too. At the end of the meal the waiter comes to our table and tells us he usually doesn’t see people finish the whole thing. I was so drunk I told him I left 1 oyster on the plate for my dead homies. I have no idea how I came up with that. However this area was so damn nice I will definitely be back, there was also hot air balloon rides but you had to be there at 5am, so that wasn’t happening.

There were many other places we saw and things we did, but this is already my longest post to date, and I could probably write a whole book on this trip.

I want you to think, where would you go if you were free? Would you travel across your country, or overseas?

What are you going to do starting right now to become free!?

Dead Dick

rip-tombstone-md

I rented one of my units to an elderly gentleman named Dick. (Or who I though was a gentleman) About 8 years ago I had a vacancy and this man name Dick answered one of my ads for rent. He came over to look at the place wearing a suit. He told me he was looking for a place he could live in forever and didn’t plan on moving. I thought this would be a great tenant. He was proper and he wanted to stay forever. I knew I would always have my rent on time. He had social security and a pension from the city of Detroit. So I rented to him I was excited to have him in, I had great expectations.

A couple years go by and I have been receiving my rent on time and everything was perfect. Then I had the city call me and they told me they had to do their bi-yearly inspection. The inspection is basically just a shakedown to get $100 from every rented unit in the city and force you to do unnecessary repairs or they fine you.

So I don’t have a choice, I meet the city inspector over there and go in the unit.
The unit was a mess. It turns out this guy is a neurotic hoarder! There are newspapers all over and he apparently had a compulsion with bars of soap and tin foil. There were layers of tinfoil with bars of soap on them scattered all over the house. His bed had layers of newspaper on it instead of blankets. The place was a mess and there was old food left all over the place. I knew my dream tenant was turning into a nightmare. I asked him why the hell is there bars of soap all over the place? He laughed and said it wasn’t my business. Well now he’s being a real pain in the ass. The city made me do minor updates to the place, but what a mess. It passed inspection and he was paying me on time every month. What could I do? I remembered him saying he wanted to stay in that house forever, and I knew I would walk in on him dead on day. So a couple of years go by and I increase the rent slightly, he keeps paying me on time every month. He was still under paying and the neighborhood was increasing in value, new stores and bars moving in, and a lot of college kids. I knew I could get a couple hundred more out of this house but I didn’t want to ruin a good thing. I also had to replace the furnace in the house. Which isn’t cheap.

So I knew I’d eventually have to clean the place up one day, every time I go over there I see more newspapers and bars of soap laying all over.
In his 8th year of renting from me I get a Facebook message from a friend who lives on the same street and she tells me that there’s been a light on in the house for 3 days and hasn’t been turned off at night. Then I knew, I was in for some shit. Then she tells me the cops were over there looking in the windows.
I immediately go to the police station and ask what the hells going on. They said they were doing a welfare check because one of the other neighbors called them. I told him that Dicks really old and he’s probably dead. I asked them to come with me to the house. Which was smart on my part because what if he was murdered what if there was a break in, or he killed himself. So the cops come over, we unlock the door and one of the officers walks in and immediately says… “Well, there’s Dick”. I knew it Dicks dead.

Now I have a fucking dead body to deal with and garbage all over the damn house. The officer walks trough the house to make sure there’s nothing suspicious going on and I was just standing there like what the hell do I do now. The officer says he needs to call a coroner to take the body out. I say ok what do we do until then? He says wait and look for a trust or some kind of document with contact numbers on it. So we start sifting trough all the garbage in the house the whole time there’s a dead body here and it’s starting to smell. I would describe the smell as someone who hasn’t took a shower in months, but plus you can just tell that what you’re smelling is a rotting body. It was awful so over an hour goes by and the coroners finally come over and haul the body out. We don’t find a will or trust or any contact numbers and he never mentioned any family to me. I asked the cop after the body was taken out, OK what do I do with all this shit? He said it’s all your responsibility now. What?! He dies and leaves me with this fucking mess! I’m furious, I look through the house for a couple hours. I find an extension cord, a silver dollar, and a mag light. That’s it, there is nothing of value here! I lock up and go home, just thinking what the hell am I going to do?

I decide fuck it. The next day I contact a junk hauling company and had them come over and throw his entire house out. I told them anything that isn’t attached get it the hell out of here. Fridge, stove and all.
I cleaned the entire place, bought new appliances, painted, had a new kitchen floor put in, sanded all the floors, installed new fixtures, and faucets, and new windows in the bedroom. A month later I was able to rent it out for $200 a month more than what Dick was paying.

This was a nightmare I should have been more strict with Dead Dick and made him clean that junky house and give me emergency numbers. This was all before I used a management company. Now they deal with all of that. He was a great tenant and I didn’t want to disrupt the perfect timing of the rent. He paid down a lot of my mortgage for me over the years, but looking back there were a few things I would have changed.

This is just another experience you have to go through being a landlord. Everyone has to PAY THEIR DUES if you want to make it in this business.

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