Adventures in RealEstate (my life as a ‘we buy ugly houses guy’)

I try to imagine the conditions under which Donna Trevino once lived. That statement’s relevance will become apparent as you read below. If she wins her lawsuit I am going to beat my head against a wall.

Ok, ugly story below, my Ramadan-time rants. Part one will be “My adventures as a ‘we buy ugly houses guy'” (and i do, I’ll pay you $500 finder fees for them too…)

Part two will be “My adventures as a slumlord” (friends of tattoo artist extrodinare Shawn Hill – who still owes me a wee bit of rent – can bug him for his impressions of that one.)

Some of you know of my various entrepreneurial adventures here and there, scrap metal deals with gypsies, collecting on checks bounced on me by Georgian “good ‘ol boys” getting paid in handfuls of $100 dollar bills handed out of bank money bags on empty dirt back roads in Georgia while the Forsyth County PD and GBI have an APB on my (idiotic) principal, stomping through the rotting still living plants and factories that once were our nation’s Industrial backbone and the hopes and dreams of so many working families – looking for salvable scrap, trying to flip surplus machine bought for pennies on the dollar to the third world, flipping decaying moldering former crack houses in marginal neighborhoods for pennies on the dollar, that sort of stuff. Oh… and property management. Yes property management.

I once had many dreams and ideas about my fellow human beings. Imagine my disappointment when being exposed to one of the most intimate aspects of their lives – their living situations.

There are two sides to every coin, Cincinnati has its fair share of really, really, fux0red up tenancy situations.

On one hand you have lazy and apathetic slum lords who don’t care about the cockroaches chewing the arms off their tenant’s babies (ok, gruesome picture there), or the large furry mold colonies – the size of large dogs – growing in their tenant’s basements (I am not exaggerating. At all.)

On the other hand, the ever nasty ‘nati also has its share of people who choose to live like savage animals. You know it, I know it, and THEY know that they are living foul and wrong damnit?

Why do I know this? Because they get all embarrassed when you come over, and they scurry around to tidy up that which is too far gone to be tidied and you SEE the bloody cockroach nests growing on their WALLS (clear sign of massive infestation) and the whole place smells like a festering charnel house.

Money’s no excuse. It ain’t an excuse – water’s free, you savage bastards – the landlord pays H2O.

Soap is $0.99 at family dollar. And yes, you have a fucking HDTV in your living room I DON’T HAVE AN HDTV because all of my discretionary income goes to 1) debts; and 2) Coffee… lots of coffee. And you have garbage bags full of garbage just lying around spilling their contents..

Slovenly. No excuse.

NOW on to ugly houses. I’ve seen some ugly houses over the last year and a half. And with each passing day they get uglier. Usually owned by some luckless Real Estate Investor who tried her hand at the landlord game, was REALLY NICE to people who lived like bloody animals, who mind you STOP PAYING RENT and this really nice lady can’t pay her mortgage and goes into foreclosure, the bank repos the property, doesn’t bother cleaning the filth out, dumps it on some realtor who tries to hustle $39,500 for a property NO ONE in their right mind would pay more than….

$14,000 for... tops. I’d try to get it for $9,000

And I’m naive. I should lowball these things for $4,000 a pop… but I’m too embarrassed to go that low 🙁

Anyway, on to a reckless exposure of my obviously boughi middle class prejudices…

One house I’m looking at is a steal, in Clifton, 2 minutes from UC, selling it for $12,000. Poor thing needs $20Grand worth of work before the building inspectors will even step into it, but it will appraise for $60,000 after its all fixed up. Rents for $900 a month section 8 or just stuff it chock full of foreign graduate students and charge ’em $150 a head. Easy.

Now the story of this sad sad building – nice landlord, professor, rented to a really nice little lady who ALWAYS paid the rent on time but was ALWAYS really reluctant to let the landlady into the premises.

Landlady thusly never saw the rapid decay of her property. Because her knucklehead sweet granny tenant’s 10 daughters, and their 10 baby daddies (I am NOT exaggerating here, I’ll SHOW you the freaking house if you don’t believe me) and assorted barefoot ‘lil babies waddling around in their pampers, were collectively too embarrassed to let the landlady see that they had ripped the house apart on the inside.

Ravaged the poor thing and left it bleeding, ripped holes into the dry wall between the lathes, stuffed the spaces full of old diapers and garbage, stowed full trash bags full of… well.. trash in towering stacks ALL OVER the place, and had over taxed the house’s electric load by plugging close to a dozen extension cords one into another and snaking them all across the house from floor to floor to power their TV’s and stereo gear.

The third floor caught fire – it was of course an electrical fire, no the electricity hadn’t been updated since the 60’s, YES every idiot knows its dangerous to plug a dozen extension cords into various sockets and each other and draw 500 amps through a 100 amp service.

WORSE, check this out; carpenter down the street sees flames SHOOTING out of the third floor. Runs over there, knocks on the door, bangs on the door, knowing there are something like 6 or 7 children stuck inside. Who opens up the door?

A Random baby daddy wannabe thug with a gun. His greeting to the man trying to save their lives was like “what the f&%$% do you want bitch?” And the neighbor has to ARGUE with the cretin to convince him there’s a fire upstairs. The knuckle dragging Neanderthal DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM. Finally the guy was like “HEY LOOK UP THERE, REALLY!” And the Baby daddy du jour looks up and sees the flames SHOOTING out of the third story window, panics, runs in, and escorts close to 25 people (in a 4 bedroom house) outside to safety.

As Tom Waits says; “True story, true story…” Check it out yourself, the place was on Eliza Place, off McMicken, and the fire happened in May.

NOW WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO CONFIRM ALL OF THE WRETCHED STEREOTYPES ALREADY HELD AGAINST THEM ANYWAY? I want to believe in the inherent goodness and decency of humankind.

Really I do.

Oh, and for the record, yes most of the adult males and females in the building were crack heads.

Vile mankyshite little gits..

3 Comment

  1. awesome. story. and advice. thanks kem!

  2. No problem 🙂

  3. I have worse ones 🙂

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