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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,672

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Start considering "growth" meaning simply bigger, as a cancer.

That's why all empires fall, not to rise again.

Greece, Egypt, Rome, England, France, Holland, all had their moments. No more.

Growth for growth's sake consumes more than it produces, eventually hollowing out everything with it.

Interest and the non-productive spending of war killed all of those empires, as it will the current American one. We'll be better off without all that exceptionalism, anyway, in terms of our souls.

I'd be glad to share what we have figured out.

#1. We worked 20 years in construction and remodeling and are able to do all renovations and repairs ourselves. This helps a lot.
#2. Buy distressed properties that no bank would finance and that would cost the current owners many thousands of dollars to bring to lendable condition.
#3. Have the owner carry the note. Pay nothing down and defer payments for 6 months while you get some unit ready to rent and begin cash flow. Because you're buying as-is, the only fee you'll pay is for the lawyer to draw up the note and file it with the country, in our case, about $425 total.
#4. Pick the best unit first, get it ready and rent it. We have our own rental agreement and have a long talk with each applicant about our expectations: pay the rent on time (that's why we don't have a late fee); take care of the property, and get along with your neighbors. We do no credit checks, only a phone call to verify employment. We have no pet deposit, but all animals must be pre-approved (no mastiffs in the one bedroom apartments!). We feel that people who like animals are nicer than those who don't. Our application includes a limited power of attorney that allows us to give a 3 day notice without further procedures to vacate the property. We rent everything month to month, no leases.
#5. The cash flow from rentals must equal at least double all expenses, including taxes and the note payment. If the note must be longer to reduce the payment to increase cash flow, that's fine. We offer 7% interest, and we feel that's a great rate for the seller in this economy.
#6. Emphasize community and looking out for each other. At one small 10 unit complex, one of the retired tenants tends the flower beds. We pay for any supplies, but she volunteers her labor. One of the other renters takes her to her medical appointments, because she has no car and taxis are expensive here. And so on.

Hard numbers? Our first complex, the 10 unit, is a great example.
Note payment: $500 per month.
Rent for each 1 bedroom unit = $500 per month.
Expenses: annual taxes are around $2000. We pay the electricity and water, and that amounts to about $1000 per month. We spend $100 or so per month on maintenance.

Income: $60,000 per year less $2000 for taxes, less $12,000 for utilities, less $1200 for maintenance, or about $44,800 before income taxes, about $40,000 after. That's a 66% net on income, or about 80% on the total purchase price of the complex, $50,000, financed for 20 years for $500 per month.

I collect all rents in person, in cash or money order. I spend about 20 hours a month total on maintenance and tenant visits. It works because it's cooperative. We have had 100% occupancy for the last 7 years there, and haven't had a change in tenants for 6 of those years. One man passed away, creating a vacancy. We have a waiting list of 20 people wanting to get in there.

Repeat this every 2 or 3 years for 3 decades, and you'll find yourself living comfortably working about 40-45 hours a week, mostly collecting cash, drinking some coffee, having a snack while you visit with people you like. Remember: positive cash flow with the rental of the first unit, or it's a no-go. As long as one unit at each property is rented, we can make the payments with that.

This sounds somewhat boastful in review, it's not intended to be. It's supposed to be practical - a good deal is a good deal for everyone - the seller, us, the tenants, If it's not, long-term, it can't work.

There is no tenure for teachers in Texas.

One year contracts. If non-renewed, that is the end of it.

Like today, every special ed teacher in our district of 28,000 students was ordered onto a growth plan by the Chief of Staff. None have been observed, but since the Texas Education Agency listed deficiencies in the department, he said that meant that every single teacher of special ed was unacceptable and must meet their growth plan goals by mid-May or be non-renewed. This is true for teachers with 30 years right down to brand new. The Chief is 32 years old, with 3 years in a junior high English classroom, 2 years as a principal in one town, 1 year as a bilingual director in another town, 2 years as a high school principal in yet another town, to arrive here two years ago to be named Chief of Staff. Can't be an Assistant Superintendent because he no superintendent certification and apparently has failed the exam twice in two years.

So this uncertified administrator just put 70+ teachers in jeopardy on a whim.

This is what no tenure at all looks like.

If a student leaves before 18, their driver's license is suspended.

Keeping them in school until they can at least sign legal contracts and such is a good idea, I believe.

But once you get students who are 21 going to school with 15 year olds, I have only seen negatives. I teach in a large urban school (3200+ enrollment) where 85% of our students qualify for free or reduced lunches and 20% are special education.

I had a case two years ago where a 21 year old told me to fuck myself because I told him to put his phone up and pay attention. He stormed out of class. A few minutes later, one of our campus police officers, who are sworn officers and wear guns, saw him urinating on the side of the fieldhouse. The officer got close and told him to stop what he was doing. Student pulled a knife and gave the officer, a high school classmate of mine, a 3" deep stab in the abdomen.

He was caught 3 weeks later in Fort Worth, 300 miles from here.

5 years ago, an assistant principal gave me an 8th period (last period) class composed of 12 20 and 21 year old males. He told me not to issue books, teach lessons, or do anything but keep them in the room until the final bell of the day rang, because they were all drug dealers selling in the bathrooms on campus, and he wanted to make sure they were away from their market during school hours. He told me (in front of them) that if the building caught fire to leave, but lock them in and leave them. After that year, I told him never to ask me to do that again. It was just too demoralizing for me.

So for me, overage students need to go to our local junior college and get their GED, which they can do at no cost.

The good point of course is that we are trying to get even those who had some troubles and had some problems to still be able to get their education. But I think the GED option does that well.

I do believe there are more problems than advantages to the current in-till-22 system in Texas. Hope this helps.

Texas already requires attendance through 18 and the student may attend until 22 if they wish.

At some point, and 18 seems reasonable, we need to get them to a GED or other program, because the only reason a 21 year wants to come to high school is to be near the customers he's selling drugs to.

Hope this helps.

About time to sell hunting licenses for banker season.

I figure at $1,000 per license (one banker allowed for each license, please), that we could pay off every person's mortgage in the country in short order!

Not sure if I'm being sarcastic or not....

Yes, you need to worry about the water waste. True story:

In the early 70s, Shell started pumping brine water down a disposal well a few miles from my parent's home in the country outside Odessa. My folks had a 200' water well drilled in 1957 that had provided all their needs with good clean water.

In 1978, lawns started dying, and trees started dying all over the area, including my parents' house. One of the folks who lived a couple of miles away was Mac Boring, the owner of Dixilyn Drilling, who had a beautiful home with a small lake out front with swans swimming in it. His landscaping began dying as well.

He advised the RRC that the Shell well there must be leaking. Apparently, the action taken was that the RRC asked Shell, and they said no. That was all the state would so in 1978, so Boring took the lead and thousands joined the Ector County Utility District to lay water lines, buy meters, and pay for water from the city of Odessa at 150% the city rate.

So now all the folks out there pay the highest rate for water, they pay taxes to maintain the district, and the groundwater is still ruined. If even a Texas oilman can do nothing against a large company and their waste, no one can.

Areas that chose not to join the district are now empty and abandoned.

Fracking is brine disposal on steroids, forcing worse than salt into the ground at unknown depths and unknown results. Oh, they know how deep the line is that they pump. Ask for a real number on how far the fracking fluids really go. Nobody knows.

Dangerous, reckless, profitable. About all you need to know about why it's popular with companies and bad for people.

They could sell them to individuals to live in. But they'll bulk them out like many of the north

Dallas townhouses that originally sold for $200,000+ in the early 80s. They were sold for $5,000 each - in lots of 1,000 units, limiting the buying to those with $5 million in cash.

Always remember - bad times are a garage sale for those with the cash. Rockefeller, Sr, switched from a millionaire at the beginning of the depression to a billionaire during and after.

I imagine this will be similar, with landlords recouping their purchase price within 90 days and gravy the rest of the way.

Help PEOPLE? What? Communism!!!

No surprise. Education is a collaboration. When students are told they're consumers, and their

teachers are there to serve them, not much happens.

When students are told they are part of a team working on their education, it can happen.

Most of the current attempts at structuring are wrong-headedly positing students as consumers.

You've said it well, and flawlessly.

Debt is a way to transfer future claims for goods and services to the present. More debt now, less ability to claim goods and services in the future for those paying it back. In this case, the borrower, the government, and the payers, the taxpayers are not the same.

War profiteers, big banks, stock traders and all those whom you have named benefit.

Yes, it's a transfer scheme. That's why they try so hard to convince us that Social Security is broke, so they can just grab the surplus themselves.

If the stock market crashes, it is a garage sale for those with large cash. This is why the market is down over the last decade, but Warren Buffett and others have only gotten richer. John D. Rockefeller went into the Depression a multimillionaire and came out the first billionaire.

So yes, that's what is happening elsewhere. The cure is default, created by mass refusal of the population to go along, ala Iceland.
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