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David Lee

Back To School

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Trebor Mansion

It is hard to believe this blog is two months old already. Up to this point I have talked about the following:

  1. Arranging or rearranging your money.
  2. Studying what you need to know about building.
  3. Studying the real estate market while looking for deals on things you will need.
  4. Transportation for when you do your project.

If you are even slightly aware of the news these days you know the housing market is in trouble and more and more foreclosures are happening all the time. The general economy may even suffer because of this problem so for now it is best to bide your time, save money, get out of debt and become prepared. In about a year there will be lots of good deals on real estate and you will get the best one possible IF you combine your skills, knowledge and the money you have accumulated.

I’ve done this kind of project 24 times and will do it at least once more. But I know most people will not consider this as a career or even as a one time effort. I remember my own worries before building my first house and I have observed the nervousness of people whom I have tried to interest in this type of venture. Excuses are curses.

Some people are so tradition-bound that owning a home by any method other than how everyone else does it is taboo. Some fear the criticism of family or friends who will tell them how absurd the idea is. Some fear failure and doubt their own abilities to complete such a big project. Others cannot, or most often will not, overcome limitations and thus are prevented from success before starting. Believe it or not, some are too well off to attempt something like this because they prefer not to take the financial risk or they believe it is beneath their station in life.

I have had to overcome traditions all my life. It’s been kind of fun and liberating for me. Fears are always involved in decisions of any magnitude but knowledge builds confidence and will get you through.

People who won’t overcome their limitations are the ones who perplex me the most. Limits tend to be in three categories: psychological, as in “I’m just a girl;” situational, as in “I can’t get out of the the ‘hood;” or physical, such as “I’m too old and fat.” Limitations are an excuse to quit before beginning.

I know a fellow who has been blind since he was a young man. I think he is in his 50s now. He has renovated his home! It took him longer than most but like any true builder, he won’t stop until he dies because he loves it. He uses power saws and all the usual tools. He works on his roof. He has even painted his house! I don’t especially like the color, but he does. I let him run his hands over a scale model of one of my homes and he was able to intelligently discuss everything about it. Not many are like Peter but there should be more.

Predictions for what our future might be drives me to live a simpler life, learn practical skills, share my knowledge and be ready to act when the time comes. I don’t remember where I heard this, but “the difference between a survivor and a refugee is timing.” Something to think about.

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