Sunday, December 28, 2014

Of Con Men and Concussions

Yesterday I ended up going to Doc in a Box because the night before I was having trouble driving, thinking, seeing. Apparently when the dog jumped on my head I ended up with a concussion and a hairline fracture of the cheekbone, possibly even the orbital socket my eye sits in.

But there's nothing much that can be done about any of this, thankfully because none of the fine fracturing means that anything in my face has shifted. No damage to my eye. The vision weirdness is pure concussion. I cannot take most pain meds because of my bleeding disorder. The headache has been pretty constant.

About the only thing you can do is rest. So yesterday afternoon involved watching the last season of 'Mad Men' on Roku. We both laid around for most of the day before going to bed and sleeping in till nearly 11 am this morning. The last time I slept in that late I was suffering from pneumonia. Guess my body is trying to catch up on all the sleep I missed last week.

I wasn't long awake or up when Jim insisted we go down to the office of the man (con man) he met last week who was telling Jim that he could build a huge honking 300K house for us for a low 140K and then we could rent it. Jim's been obsessional about this, talking about it a great deal, failing to realize if something sounds too good to be true then it's usually not true.

We ended up having a long unfriendly discussion, mostly over the fact that I told Jim I wasn't sure I wanted to hand over the money from the sale of my land in Louisiana to what sounds like a fly by night con man to build a house too big to rent easily. I merely pointed out that the check would be in my name, not his, and I wasn't going to just hand it over. I wanted to use it to buy a few or three or four townhouses here in town and rent them out. Turn the money from the land into a steady monthly income stream only in my name.

I think I shocked him, for better, for worse, because Jim had never considered I might not go along with his ideas. Back in my Fundagelical days I'd handed over a check from the insurance on the death of my father to him to put in our stock portfolio that was six figures without a word. Those days are over forever. We talked, it was good and I was able to show him that buying/renting the townhouses might be a better thing for us.

But I did finally go with Jim and meet Mr. Con Man Salesman guy. He was a very interesting dude, with the skills of silver tongued flattery your good sociopath salesman has. Mr. Salesman was very convincing, until we went to run some numbers and he realized I was only going to agree to his possibly building smaller homes that we would have a much easier time renting.

What it actually boiled down to was we would have to buy the land outright first, an expensive that would likely be at least 50K and then put up the money for the build, which seems to start right about 50K. He would build it for the half price the company he's working as an office manager for routinely quotes for cost. We would be footing the bill for the entire project, he would handle the build and then when we sold it we would split the profit 50/50 with him. When Jim learned that Mr. Salesman had his hand out for half the profit and had zero interest in putting up rental homes for us that ended it.

If we were building a house to live in it might have been a good deal, or if we wanted to go into business with him to build and flip new homes it could maybe have worked. But we're really not. Plus there are so many pre-build sales attempts going on around here it's really a flooded market for that sort of thing.

My initial impression of the guy is that he is part con-man, part sociopath-like salesman. He was charming and likable, but I still don't trust him.

After the meeting Jim drove Mr. Salesman to our house to do an evaluation on what needed to happen to rent it out. The only things we really need to do is replace the carpeting in two bedrooms and paint. That's it.

While they were going over the house I went shopping at my favorite high end dept store in the markdown racks. One of the biggest money saving tips I've learned through the years is that if you want to dress like you have money when you really don't then the final markdown rack is your friend. I got about 325 bucks worth of stuff for about 80 dollars.. Several sweaters/jackets for the work environment, a few shirts and a thick winter wool skirt. All much more office appropriate than most of the stuff I currently wear.

After all of that I was just done for the day, my headache and concussion symptoms started making me miserable again, so I read and rested the rest of the day.

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