Tuesday, 15 September 2015

09:14 – I sent in the state and federal estimated taxes yesterday. Grrrrr.

Barbara suggested last evening that given the several burglaries we’ve had in the neighborhood, I should start locking the front main door when I walk Colin. Colin and I just spend 10 or 15 minutes each time going up and down the block, so we’re never out of sight of the house and always within 175 yards of the front door. Colin can cover that distance in under 10 seconds, and the sight of a 70-pound dog charging flat out would certainly disconcert most intruders. Even so, I think she’s right, so I’m now locking the door each time we’re away. I don’t feel at all threatened in our neighborhood, but it is better to be safe.

She said it’d only be for a couple of weeks, because after her last day of work she’ll be at home most days. I disagree. If I leave the house and she’s here alone, I want her to lock me out. At least the glass storm door should be locked at all times. Otherwise, she could walk out of the bedroom or her office and find an intruder in the house with no warning.

I’m building and shipping science kits, as usual.


10:58 – Big surprise. Hungary is discovering that those hordes of muslim invaders are cutting through their razor-wire fence. I have zero military experience, and I could have told them that a fence is useless unless it’s defended. Hungary needs to set up machine-gun emplacements about every 300 to 400 meters and order those manning the emplacements to open fire without warning on anyone who tries to come over, under, or through the fence. It would also help to build a second fence about 100 meters inside Hungarian territory and sow the dead zone between the fences with a lot of land mines. Of course, that’s also what the US should be doing on our border with Mexico, and we haven’t done it either.


14:43 – Here’s irony:

fema-sandy-closed-2

39 thoughts on “Tuesday, 15 September 2015”

  1. “…we’re trying to keep money in our bank account so that we can pay cash for a home plus moving expenses.”

    If you really believe in even a gradual slide into dystopia, then conserve your cash, especially when mortgages are so cheap. You could wind up with your new home AND your cash. You are even protected from foreclosure by the law, as long as you make the payments. If the S really HTF, you might even escape the payments, and have the house free and clear.

  2. @ Jim, I understand the argument you are making, having heard it throughout the housing collapse. I even have a good friend who used this strategy to stay in his house, after many refinances, taking money out all the way up, and not paying on the way down. He’s hoping to sell this month, and finally get out with nothing. Some might say he beat the system.

    Not me.

    It aged him prematurely, forced his wife to return to work, put his kids’ educations in jeopardy, and caused untold stress on his health and marriage.

    On the other hand, we put 20% down, financed only what we could easily afford, prepaid aggressively, added ‘sweat equity’, and we’ll own our home ‘free and clear’ in 13 months if we keep going exactly as we have. Knowing my wife, we’ll probably be done even sooner. (That’s less than 10 years total.) If we need to sell, we’ll have ALL of the current value of our house to keep or spend. We’re also fortunate to live in an appreciating market.

    We haven’t neglected to build our cash reserves either, as we believe in having money for hard times, and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Some people did very well during the great depression.

    For me, the actual peace of mind that comes from seeing “paid in full” on things, far outweighs any potential benefit from the financial engineering (some would say shenanigans.)

    I prep based on my belief that I can predict (at least in a general way) what is coming. But as the 70s survivalists will tell you, sometimes it’s hard to get the timing right. So I try to avoid decisions that would negatively impact me if things DON”T go to hell. I want prepping to contribute positively to my life. Of course, there is a certain amount of loss involved. Some money gets spent on food or other resources that expire without use (much like insurance.) I try to keep that cost as low as possible, without wasting it (by buying insurance that meets the legal requirement for coverage but doesn’t actually pay out when needed, for example.)

    My personal approach is to spend a lot of time and effort to save cash on preps because I get some enjoyment from the process. There is an opportunity cost there, and someone else might argue that I should be spending my time working as much as possible for as high a wage as possible (since I’m in my peak earning years) and spending the resulting cash on prepping instead of time. It’s all down to tradeoffs, as it always is.

    Some people are more comfortable with a higher level of uncertainty with finances. Aggressive investing strategies, or employment (working for self or startup), or financial shenanigans in an attempt to game the system are fine for them.

    I’ll stick with tried and true.

    nick

  3. @nick

    Excellent for you. We, on the other hand, had a 30 year mortgage, paid it off not a minute early, and invested the excess wisely. Of course, we intended to stay right here, and didn’t care about market value. It worked out well, and I slept fine.

    A couple years ago, we planned to expand and renovate our 35 year old house, and started looking for ways to pay for that. We could have simply spent our cash, but instead we took out a modest mortgage, which we can pay in full any time. That money is now safely making a little more than it is costing, and is ready when we start the expansion soon. It is much cheaper than a construction loan. Once again, we plan to live out the rest of our lives here, so market value is not very relevant.

    The expansion and renovation is likely to take a few years, and will be in two stages. After the first stage, I might refinance to a new amount, again way less than the place is assessed, IF the rates are still low, and IF it makes sense to ME. If not, I am still ahead, and still could pay off any balance to be “free and clear.” After the second stage, I would again consider repeating.

    If anything, I have been way too conservative in my financial operations, having kept too much cash “in reserve” and not productively earning. I slept fine, but probably would have slept better if I had more 🙂

  4. We haven’t neglected to build our cash reserves either

    And that cash reserve can build up so much faster without a mortgage.

    My financial adviser says not having a mortgage is not being wise. He says with the low interest rates the money I could take out of my home and put in a mortgage would produce a better return if the money was invested. He may be right but I like not having debt.

    I have been debt free for about six years (I think) and enjoy the feeling of not owing anyone any money. All I have to pay are my property taxes on the house. If my income drops substantially I can still live in my home and no one can take that from me as long as the taxes (about $1400 a year) are paid.

    I still use credit cards but have not paid a dime of interest in 15 years. My credit score is above 800. I almost paid cash for my new truck. I did get the loan through Ford Motor Credit to get the rebate then promptly paid the loan off on the first payment. I have clear titles to both of my vehicles and the boat.

    When I retire next year I expect to live on about $40K a year with money from my investments. The investments are untaxed so they will be considered income. But that income will be so low that I will not be paying much, if any, in federal taxes. I will do this for 5 years and then apply for SS at the maximum rate.

    My wife will reach 62 in 1.5 years at which time I will have her apply for SS against her benefits. Once she reaches 66 she will then apply for benefits against my earnings which will be a substantial increase in the amount she receives. But from 62 to 65 she will get what she can from the system without impacting future benefits.

    With our combined benefits of almost $50K we can live quite well on SS and mandatory withdrawals from out investments.

    All that would not be possible if there was a house payment involved. Mortgage, no thanks.

  5. Another thought: my progressive “friends” have no guilt owing money to big banks or businesses. Hypocrites?

  6. @Ray, good for you. All of us have to come to terms with our decisions. I certainly respect that.

    Although we are pretty well off, how much is enough? I occasionally think about that, and there is no answer. There is always the possibility of a major illness or a lawsuit judgment that could break the richest. There are also estate considerations to be addressed, and this varies from state to state. I had a friend who was a patent attorney, and died with an unsigned will, which is the same as no will in our state. What was he thinking? Even the smartest sometimes forget details. His heirs are finding out what a mess that can be.

  7. “Hypocrites?”

    Yup. Pretty much like we saw the “Occupy Wall Street” mobs fiddling with the iPhones, iPads and Droids while castigating the rotten and evil capitalist system.

    Once I generate income here again on a regular and sustained basis, my plan is to finish paying off our back taxes and then pay off the mortgage; we’ll be living close to the bone and aggressively doubling and tripling those payments, and with any luck at all and barring, say, things like accidents, illnesses and death, we might be able to do all this in the next 3-5 years. Both of us expect to continue working through our 60s and only apply for SS near the end of this decade, plus any possible VA disability payments, which the paperwork is in progress for now. (my hearing test yesterday revealed that I need effin hearing aids, O Joy!) How could this be? Service-connected tinnitus from firearms discharges and explosions, with the former continuing into the wunnerful “law enforcement” years and target shooting thereafter, with zero hearing protection during those early periods. Plus countless rock concerts from the late 60s to 1984.

  8. @OFD, I see disability payments in your future!

    Srsly, I commend you for your efforts. Most peeps would be looking for a handout, but you are a responsible adult, what America is made of (sniff.)

    Still, another way to look at it is that we paid for these bennies, and might reap the rewards. Hmm.

  9. “I even have a good friend who used this strategy to stay in his house, after many refinances, taking money out all the way up, and not paying on the way down. He’s hoping to sell this month, and finally get out with nothing. Some might say he beat the system.”

    I played a version of that game to pay off my wife’s medical bills. The big difference is that I always made payments. It was a close call, and we sold our home at a decent time, and my credit is fully intact. Enough so that I recently bought a new house with a manageable down payment, although less than I like.

    It was a risk, which is always the case. I sometimes wish I had rented out our old home instead, while we lived in simpler digs, the returns would have been a bit better. I was leaning toward that, but I concluded that I could not sustain the effort of managing a rental property and health care at the same time. Another risk assessment of the time.
    I don’t regret where I am now at all, and feel fortunate.

    I strive for “paid in full”, and rebuilding my savings while stocking my shelves. My prepping game has changed. I plan to be in my home for the foreseeable future. I am not going anyplace unless I must. To do that I have to plan purchases carefully. I have and want no consumer debt. I plan to live a long time still, and I had enough of the money-juggling stress for one lifetime.

  10. @Terry, no landlording for me: too risky, especially these days. And, good for you under an adverse situation.

    Keeping up payments and a good credit rating are both mandatory to keep in the game.

  11. “…pay off my wife’s medical bills.”

    Indeed. We face something like that very soon here. I said earlier what our objectives are, i.e. paying off stuff in 3-5 years, but as we all have cause to know, the best-laid plans, etc.

    We fear that we’re gonna have to come up with THOUSANDS immediately before she can even get in anywhere to see about what might be done for her. (Graves’ Disease, serious eye problems, insomnia, severe sleep apnea, painful heart pounding, etc.) We hate to think of it, naturally, but it’s quite possible I’ll outlive her, despite the longevity of her mom and aunts. OTOH, of course, I’ll probably get myself shot first.

    Anyway, we have our goals and we’ll try to stick to them. But any day can bring disaster.

  12. @JimB, excellent for you. Each has to do what they are comfortable with doing. Your plan has obviously worked well for you.

    What tainted, spoiled, scared, whatever me was when I was laid off for six months with no work. Even though I had a year to plan, I was saddled with a mortgage, two car payments, and a couple grand in credit card debt. After a couple of months things got tight. Another couple months and things were getting scary. Another couple of months passed and I was to the point of having to skip a payment on something.

    I vowed to never go through that again. Since that time in late 1993 I have removed all credit card debt and keep no balances on any card, I have eliminated all auto loans, I have eliminated the mortgage. I owe nothing to anybody.

  13. Although we are pretty well off, how much is enough

    I have no idea and only made an educated guess. My family has a history of the brain going soft about the mid 80’s. So I have planned my funding to give me a good income until I am 85. By that time I won’t care and will go on the public dole.

    But as you said there is the unknown. A major illness could wreck those plans. Although I am hoping for a medical policy that would work with a maximum payout each year. Policies can no longer have limits on lifetime benefits. My biggest risk is getting something that is not covered.

    The ultimate goal is for the last check you write to bounce (hopefully to the IRS). But no one is that good at predicting. One also does not know what the government is going to do with private retirement accounts. I fear at some point they may be considered a government asset to be freely spent on the losers who have not prepared.

  14. @Ray

    I don’t think there’s much doubt that the feds will at some point seize all of our retirement accounts, government and private, and roll them into one big mass that they can then distribute as they see fit. The goal of the progs is to ensure that no one is any better off than anyone else (except of course their elite). They want their 1% or 0.1% elite to be in complete control of the 99% of the rest of us, and it’s just so unfair that right now some of us have more money, smarts, etc. than others. Think Harrison Bergeron in spades.

  15. @Ray, I had a similar situation early in my career. I was laid off for about 4 months. But, at that time I had about a year’s worth of expense money in savings. I had no consumer debt, just a car payment and rent. Even so, I was definitely scared. I got another job as soon as I could. It was in a tough time because that was the big aerospace crunch in about 1970. That’s why I have been even more careful since.

  16. “… feds will at some point seize all of our retirement accounts, government and private, and roll them into one big mass that they can then distribute as they see fit. The goal of the progs is to ensure that no one is any better off than anyone else (except of course their elite). They want their 1% or 0.1% elite to be in complete control of the 99% of the rest of us…”

    There it is.

    And they also want us all at each others’ throats out here, less attention paid to their various machinations, plots laid and inductions dangerous.

    So we have this, Mexicans and musloids:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/14/federal-data-u-s-annually-admits-quarter-of-a-million-muslim-migrants/

    That is just obscenely corrupt and rotten and evil.

  17. I forwarded that link, thanks much, to Mrs. OFD and our son, out there now with wife and three grandchildren.

    So far, I think our biggest natural threat here is the usual blizzard and/or ice storm, which can knock out power for days or even weeks in some areas. There are a bunch of LE and military organizations in this AO, though, so they may have priority for restoral of service. The other possible natural threat is flooding, though not on our street so far; the two big tropical storms in recent years got the lake and river levels way up here, and the state highway to our north and the road going out to Hathaway Point (one arm encircling the bay) were flooded out. When the water is up that high and it’s windy, we can look to the end of the street here and see the remaining pier go under and waves crashing against the shore like ocean surf; it’s wild! But this house hasn’t been flooded since it was built in 1830.

  18. Yes, but that was before global cooling/warming/climate change. We’re all gonna die.

  19. And penguins don’t taste good. Which is a shame.

    @Jim, if my reply seemed like it was directed against your personal situation, I apologize, it was in response the your suggestion of taking on debt, and doing something else with the cash, or hoping it all falls apart before the bill is due (paraphrase, obviously.)

    It seems very common for those of us who got in trouble one way or another (consumer debt, and loss of income for me) to change completely and become very conservative financially. That stands in stark contrast to those who get in trouble and stay there, often despite all their schemes.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard “borrow money at low rates and invest in something with a high enough return to cover the borrowed, and generate income.” Usually that advice is coming from someone who will profit on the transactions.

    This is essentially what a whole bunch of the professional money boys do, and even though they do it full time, most of them have trouble making it pay in the long run. Certainly the fancy boys running big companies into the ground with financial tricks have taken the cheap money and financial engineering route. That’s pretty much all that’s propping up the current financial markets. But the cheap money can’t last forever and when the music stops, not everyone will get a chair.

    Being a landlord isn’t without issues, and it can be much more work than most people expect. But it is an income stream that just keeps coming, even when times are tough. In Texas, landlords have a lot more rights than in other places, so bad tenants are less of an problem for me. That said, I’m renting a nice little house in a very desirable gentrified neighborhood. I’m not renting a dozen crap shacks to section 8 losers who are actively looking to screw me. I’d never consider an apartment building, for example. I am considering small commercial. I’d like a building with at least 3 bays, one for me, and 2 renters to pay the mortgage. 4 would be even better. Something with office in front and shop/warehouse in the back would be perfect. There is a lot of it around here, but most is either too small or too large.

    Everyone should look honestly at their situation, their potential for change, and their feelings about risk, and then take whatever steps are needed to move them towards their goals. If they don’t have goals, that would be the first step.

    It’s not rocket science, but it does take honesty and dedication.

    nick

  20. http://www.sovereignman.com/trends/the-global-financial-system-is-now-resting-on-a-margin-of-1-3-17441/

    He mostly tells things straight up, but most of us Murkan drones who know what’s going on don’t have the hundreds of thousands to invest in Costa Rica or Andorra or Singapore, let alone just pick up and move to a different country and culture. And most of us who post stuff on here regularly are not 30 years old anymore, either, with decades of hustling still ahead of us.

    Gary North’s recent advice to a guy our age who had a bit of disposable income now was to do what Mr. nick is trying to do; get a rental property going, but unless you have boxcar loads of cash and investments sitting around in savings right now, don’t figure on retiring to an RV traveling life of Reilly around North Murka; you’ll probably have to work until you’re 80.

    We’d like to pay off back taxes and the mortgage and spend fall/winter here and summers up in northern New Brunswick or Nova Scotia or even Newfoundland. But events may overtake our measly little dreams and we may be hard up against it for our “declining” years.

  21. I’m not renting a dozen crap shacks to section 8 losers who are actively looking to screw me.

    Never again on section 8 housing! Been there, got hosed. Some of those people are just down on their luck. Others are just horrible to deal with.

    My other residential property rental was ok, but I had to collect the rent in person each month. And fix at least one thing each quarter, oven, dishwasher, plumbing, etc.

    I’d like a building with at least 3 bays, one for me, and 2 renters to pay the mortgage. 4 would be even better.

    I’ve been wanting to add another multiple tenant office warehouse to my nine acre commercial property for quite a while now. Something like a 5,000 ft2 steel building with four 1,250 ft2 bays, each 25 ft wide by 50 ft deep with a glass door (doubles as a window) and a 10 ft wide by 14 ft tall roll-up door, both in the front. Optional bathrooms (very expensive to build!). I have decided to wait until I get the mortgage on this place paid off, maybe 5 to 10 years.

    I have a single tenant 3,750 ft2 office warehouse on my commercial property that I rent out right now. It has a two story 750 ft2 office, kitchenette, bathroom and shower inside it with air conditioning and hot water. Three 16 ft wide by 16 ft tall doors. I have it rented to a landscaper who runs five crews out of it and also mows this property for me so I give him a little break on the rent.

    I have my own well and septic tank for the property and both are high maintenance. The only outside utilities that we have are electricity, phones and internet.

  22. I’ve been wanting to add another multiple tenant office warehouse to my nine acre commercial property for quite a while now. Something like a 5,000 ft2 steel building with four 1,250 ft2 bays, each 25 ft wide by 50 ft deep with a glass door (doubles as a window) and a 10 ft wide by 14 ft tall roll-up door, both in the front. Optional bathrooms (very expensive to build!). I have decided to wait until I get the mortgage on this place paid off, maybe 5 to 10 years.

    Yep, that seems to be the sweet spot around here. I spent some time talking with my commercial landlord (who also has apartments) when he built a freestanding steel building on the complex for one of his tenants who needed more room. He spent about $80k on the building, and about $10-20k on sitework. Having to put in 4 bathrooms is one expense, esp. if the rental config changes, but you’d want to at least stub it out per bay. His normal complex has tenants that span multiple units, with the bays opened up, some that span multiple units with the bays still divided, but a door cut in, and he’s re-divided multiples when the tenants moved out. Many of his commercial tenants have been there for over a decade. Most were long term, many year tenants. Very few come and go.

    He hates dealing with his apartments.

    nick

  23. “I wonder if this will have any effect on the jihadis…”

    Well, they simply won’t buy any firearms from that company; most of their stuff is old AK crap anyway, from various commie and ex-commie shit-holes around the world. The AK can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ but its accuracy blows and putting mods on it has only gotten easier recently. I think they’re rubbish, basically. They spray and pray to their death-slave cult deity.

    I have an “American Crusader” tee shirt from Viking Tactics and will be sure to wear it in public anytime I have to be anywhere near any hadji scumbags, which we don’t see here in Retroville yet.

  24. “Fear The Walking Dead”, s1e3, “The Dog”
    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9321977/fear-the-walking-dead-episode-3-recap

    Freaking awesome episode. Our heros have decided to bug out of LA after killing a walker and being attacked by another. Suddenly, the National Guard troops show up and do not allow them the leave LA. The main hero says, “Its ok, we are safe now”.

    BTW, watching the power grid go out across LA was cool.

    And our main hero telling the other adult male not to teach his son how to handle guns was awesome, “I hate guns”.

    My rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

  25. Hah, took only a couple of days for that story to make it across the sea…

    It might, but it won’t be allowed in the most useful places. A previous supplier to US Armed Forces had rifles recalled because of just some numbers that coincided with a Bible verse stamped on the sights. (well, it wasn’t coincidental, exactly)

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-military-weapons-inscribed-secret-jesus-bible-codes/story?id=9575794

    It’s not uncommon to have weapons inscribed with Bible verses.

    I see that the article doesn’t mention that the FBI considers one of their sources to be a terrorist funding organization.

    “The Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement decrying “this manufacturer’s fancy new gun”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/30/fbi-cuts-ties-cair-following-terror-financing-trial/

    Seems unlikely that the jihadis would be buying expensive ARs anyway, they are much more AK style….

    nick

  26. Many of his commercial tenants have been there for over a decade. Most were long term, many year tenants. Very few come and go.

    Yup, commercial tenants rarely leave unless they have financial problems. There is a 2 acre complex down the road from me with two 7,500 ft2 buildings with the 1,250 ft2 bays. It has been leased up since they finished both buildings about 4 or 5 years ago. Several tenants took 2 or more bays.

    I could put at least seven more 5,000 to 7,000 ft2 office warehouses on my property. It is very tempting, very tempting. But, that would put my debt back over seven figures.

    Having to put in 4 bathrooms is one expense, esp. if the rental config changes, but you’d want to at least stub it out per bay.

    That is definitively the way to go. Put in the sewer and fresh water stubs and build out when I get tenants willing to pay extra for it. Or, let them build it out themselves if they want to. One guy I know rents his own bay at the aforementioned place and built his own office space and bathroom and added a/c. It is a little rugged but that is his problem.

  27. http://www.newquest.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/9572_Kempwood1.pdf

    Is that a flood area? $550K does not seem bad for 1,500 ft2 office and 3,500 ft2 warehouse inside the tollway. Might be a high crime area.

    I paid a little more than that for my office property. Nine acres, a 5,300 office building, a 3,750 ft2 office warehouse, a 450 ft2 office. Plus a water well that I had to redrill for $9,800. Plus a septic tank that I spend about a $1,000 on each year fixing and cleaning. Plus all gravels roads that I have asphalted about 1,600 linear ft of so far.
    http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/17164655/8653-FM-2759-Thompson-Highway-Richmond-TX/

    The guy I bought it from had not paid his mortgage in six months. He needed to sell it bad and I was having trouble raising the money. It took us about 7 months to put the deal together.

  28. The back of the property (the fence) is against a huge low income apartment building, which is surrounded by fence topped with razor wire. The crime in this area is usually confined to those sorts of large apartment complexes. The auto repair shop next door is where I get my vehicles fixed, which is how I was aware of the listing.

    One concerning aspect is that it was for lease and empty for a while before the owner put it up for sale. As is, it’s a one tenant building, and that may not be a good fit.

    Anyway, having another income stream and appreciating asset during a downturn would be a good thing, as long as there are tenants. That is the risk, and why capitalism allows for profit, to reward for taking the risk.

    nick

  29. Well, as Jerry often says, I took the rest of the day off.

    “@Jim, if my reply seemed like it was directed against your personal situation, I apologize, it was in response the your suggestion of taking on debt, and doing something else with the cash, or hoping it all falls apart before the bill is due (paraphrase, obviously.)”

    No apology needed.

    “This isn’t the first time we’ve heard “borrow money at low rates and invest in something with a high enough return to cover the borrowed, and generate income.” Usually that advice is coming from someone who will profit on the transactions.”

    And here that would be the real estate crowd. Let me explain, because my situation is unusual.

    I live in an isolated small community. The commercial real estate market here has been depressed for about 25 years, with a high vacancy rate, yet California insists on making lots of money off businesses, and on building permits. Any wonder why there is little new construction or business expansion? Most of our new businesses are restaurants that cater to the growing retirement community, and some seem to do pretty well.

    I have always had some relatives or friends in real estate, either as agents or landlords, so it was natural to consider that as an investment possibility. Forty years ago, it would have been hard to predict our local downturn, which was due to Defense Department cuts. People built commercial or residential rentals, and the appreciation was part of the investment formula. That part failed starting in 1989 when the local Navy R&D center stopped hiring for about twenty years; there is now some hiring, but it is a shadow of earlier times. Attrition cut the workforce to about half of peak, with the expected effect on the community. It was hard on folks who had intended to live here for a decade or three and move back to a more expensive area such as the LA area or San Diego; many were financially trapped. Locally, the real estate bubble happened about twenty years before the national one. We had early on planned to stay as long as possible, so were not bothered much. That is still our plan; it is a wonderful community with lots of good people. I just hope it remains undiscovered.

    That is why I read with interest about the real estate goings-on in Texas. It is a very different place, but maybe more representative of other parts of the country. Now maybe you can see why I have not invested in real estate. The stock market has been good to me, but it took patience and diligence. FWIW, I don’t consider a personal home as an investment, because cashing in puts one on the street. No, a home is just that. I will admit that not having to move for employment is a bit unusual, but it was all part of my formula.

    So, in many ways, I have already moved to a place where folks here are dreaming about. We are over a hundred miles from a major city, which is hopefully enough isolation. Our geography and climate are unattractive to a vast majority of the kind of people we don’t want. About the only thing that worries me is our water supply. Some believe it is dwindling, but it hopefully will last our lifetimes. If that seems selfish, so be it. The people who can alleviate that problem don’t listen to reason anyway.

    I ramble because I am still waking up. Thanks for listening.

  30. I would somehow try to put $20/bbl oil into your investment mix for 2016. Houston has really diversified, especially medical, but there is a storm coming. For instance, if you bought the place, could you stand renting it out for half price for a while, $2,000/month or so? In the last bust, people were desperately moving to cheaper places to live and work. It got ugly there.

    I would try to buy the place with a significant discount.

  31. “… I don’t consider a personal home as an investment, because cashing in puts one on the street. No, a home is just that.”

    +1

    “…I have already moved to a place where folks here are dreaming about. We are over a hundred miles from a major city, which is hopefully enough isolation. Our geography and climate are unattractive to a vast majority of the kind of people we don’t want.”

    Ditto, but the major city here is about 75 miles from us. With an international interstate highway about four miles away, rail line maybe two to three miles. And an international waterway! About 8k in the “city” three miles east up the road and another 8k in the larger town that surrounds it; probably only a couple of hundred here in the bay village, formerly known as Port Washington.

    Not worried about water; mainly winter weather power outages and the local miscreants and felons, and taking steps accordingly.

    Investments? Retirement? Those issues are off the board. Investments are in hard goods, the house and property itself, and knowledge. And we’ll have to work until we’re too old and sick to manage it anymore.

  32. The back of the property (the fence) is against a huge low income apartment building, which is surrounded by fence topped with razor wire. The crime in this area is usually confined to those sorts of large apartment complexes. The auto repair shop next door is where I get my vehicles fixed, which is how I was aware of the listing.

    Ugh, MZBs in the backyard. I would ask your future neighbor how many times they have been broken into. That would definitely depress the amount of rent that you could charge.

    * MZB = mutant zombie biker

  33. Does anybody believe technology and the American Way will save this country? If yes, apply to me for staff jobs after I become Trump The Might’s ™ Chief of Staff.

    Also, lol!

  34. That is why I read with interest about the real estate goings-on in Texas. It is a very different place, but maybe more representative of other parts of the country. Now maybe you can see why I have not invested in real estate. The stock market has been good to me, but it took patience and diligence. FWIW, I don’t consider a personal home as an investment, because cashing in puts one on the street. No, a home is just that. I will admit that not having to move for employment is a bit unusual, but it was all part of my formula.

    Texas is getting the majority of the Ex-Kalifornians right now. About 100,000 of them per year if you believe the press. In fact, Texas is now the 2nd largest state by population, we passed New York State quite a while back.

    Investing in Real Estate requires that you actively manage the place(s) or have a management team like Trump Investment, Inc. to do so. You cannot delegate the real estate to an agent, they will only do those things that get them a payoff so your house will always be on the back burner.

    I had a friend who passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 70. He was a real estate agent and owned over 20 rental homes in the Houston area. In the 2008 / 2009 downturn he lost it all when he could not make his payments. He went from wealthy to broke in a matter of months, sold his home for cash and moved into a RV in Galveston to cut his costs. You can’t believe your own press.

  35. “Fear The Walking Dead”, s1e3, “The Dog”
    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/14/9321977/fear-the-walking-dead-episode-3-recap

    Freaking awesome episode. Our heros have decided to bug out of LA after killing a walker and being attacked by another. Suddenly, the National Guard troops show up and do not allow them the leave LA. The main hero says, “Its ok, we are safe now”.

    So am I the only one who had not thought about the National Guard troops not allowing you and yours to bug out? I had just always assumed that one could bug out at any time. But, if the Guard troops are policing your neighborhood, they may not look kindly upon you leaving. You know, for your safety.

  36. Probably. We don’t live in a free country anymore, Mr. Lynn. If Guard or active troops are in your AO and you and yours wanna bug out somewhere, they dam sure can stop you. And if you get mouthy, they may arrest you, and if it’s a martial law situation, you now come under the UCMJ, which ain’t like the one we’re used to here.

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