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Reply #19: Not at all, I was so completely disgusted with our entire industry I needed to get out for my sanity [View All]

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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Not at all, I was so completely disgusted with our entire industry I needed to get out for my sanity
Just as you describe your experience, I saw the best of the best unceremoniously dumped (usually after being forced to train their replacements) while the worthless hacks seemed to be able to hang on. Between the ITAA fabricated statistics and our colleagues short-sighted false superiority (why would I need a union, my company loves me and I make good money? I'm not some laborer.), I saw the writing on the wall, cashed out and started the business that I wished had existed when I was traveling 95%-100% of the time.

It was a non-kennel dog boarding and day-care facility. I did a bunch of research and found that there was a great unmet demand for this kind of facility, so I broke my first rule of business, don't put money you can't afford to lose into any venture without a guaranteed return. The location was nearly perfect and I was in a very affluent area north of Scottsdale so I estimated that I would be well insulated from the turning economy.

Everything was going even better than I had projected and I had the opportunity to buy the ranchette (big house and a couple of acres) I was leasing. Now, I knew that real estate was way overvalued but the business was bringing in more than enough to justify the expense and moving a business is very risky under the best circumstances, so I decided that it would be fine to just buy them out.

I agreed to the deal on the contingency that they would complete the repairs/upgrades that they had already committed to, fixing the irrigation, replace the septic system, 2 new 3 ton AC units, either removing a foundation or completing the garage that it was supposed to be, removing 4 very large (40 - 60ft.), dead, trees, new flooring and kitchen, etc. They agreed and we did the deal for $600,000.

This was about a year before the bottom fell out of the real estate market in AZ, so I was buying at the top of the market, but as I said before, the business was doing well enough, and still growing, that it was not that important since I had no intention of selling for decades if ever.

What I didn't count on was Arizona's utter lack of law enforcement and completely one-sided government. It may be turning blueish on the electoral maps, but it is still full to the brim with Raygunites and other money-over-people assholes. I thought that, since it was written right into the contract, there couldn't be any problem with the sale. To sum it up, the sellers took the money and refused to fulfill their part of the bargain.

I went to everyone from the real estate board (the sellers were mortgage brokers), to the AG, and while everyone agreed that it was illegal and that they owed me the work or the money, they "declined to prosecute" leaving me with the option of a civil suit. Several attorneys and a few thousand more dollars later it was made clear that Arizona's real estate laws are mostly non-existent, contradictory, or unenforceable, and I was looking at $50,000 - $100,000 in expenses, 3 - 4 years in court, and a 50 - 50 chance at best. Bottom line is that the neither I nor the business could sustain the loss and survive.

Three years later, I've gone from a net worth of almost $800,000 to bankruptcy (we filed on the last day under the old law, any later and I would be even more screwed), my credit is ruined, the house was foreclosed, and I'm starting from nothing in my 40s with a, now worthless, degree in CS. My only small consolation is that mine was one of the foreclosures that brought New Century down.



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