You will have to do ugly things to get ahead in real estate

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@Jim K.

Solid question. I'm not sure why you're getting some of the strange responses that you are. (I saw someone say "it sounds like you have deeper issues going on"?). Sorry about those. Very inconsiderate on their part.

Personally, I know you don't have to get your hands dirty to get ahead in real estate. If you lay out your contracts clearly so that everyone knows their responsibilities, and you attempt to come to fair (yet firm) compromises when appropriate, you don't have to get your hands dirty. Not overextending yourself is helpful as well, because it's when people feel backed into a corner that they're more likely to act poorly. At least, on the whole.

In the town I grew up there were rentals with dirt floors, which was only discovered and reported when a census agent knocked on the door. There was another landlord who would evict people by throwing all their stuff on the curb, but keep the baby pictures and only give those back when all the fees he charged were paid back. Those landlords got their hands dirty, and I hate to say it but they did get rich. But you don't have to do those things, and you shouldn't.

Anyway, thanks for asking a good question.

@Jim K. - You're overthinking this dude.....we (landlords) just go out and rent places to people that need a place to live. If we do it honestly and above board then we are providing a service to the community. If we weren't there, the government would step in and provide public housing......and there are lots of examples of how that turns out.

There is a lot to think about here. 

I must say that there was a time many years ago when I was struggling to rent a place and it was someone's ability to offer me housing that saved me from homelessness. I had a job and the rest of it, I was no bum but my young age and lack of credit made me a high risk till some landlord considered that as an 18 year old with two jobs and full time college, I was exactly the type of person who won't mess up. 

Not long ago, I had a chance to return the favor to  a young couple who were rejected by at least 7 landlords because there were multiple applicants who were better qualified. I picked this couple over other better qualified tenants because someone gave me a chance.  I am sure there are uncountable stories of goodness on part of the landlords that go untold. There is a degree of service in being a landlord so it is naïve to dismiss the counter narrative. 

So there is a degree of service in being a landlord and it will be naïve to dismiss the counter narrative.



So there is a degree of service in being a landlord and it will be naïve to dismiss the counter narrative.

Hey Mark,

The real pisser to his racist comment @  bullet 1) was the non response to  from the other responders.  I kept reading thru the responses, hoping somebody, anybody would respond; Nothing but crickets.  You're right about the current climate in this country.  The racism has become so blatant, right in your face.  I felt I needed to touch on the historical side of how racist attitudes such as his affect AA families, which in turn our generational wealth or lack thereof.  Not only do these attitudes seep thru banks, but realtors selling homes to us as well as city/state/federal urban planners.  When u get a chance, Google this article, "A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways" 04/07/21 - NPR.  Also, if u have Netflix, check out the miniseries, "Them" which deals with the integration of an all-white  LA neighborhood in 1953.  As an AA, it's extremely tough to watch.                (10 episodes).  I'm interested of your thoughts on the article, & very very interested after u watch "Them." Chow!

Originally posted by @Mark Cruse :

@Terri Fulwood-Young yes, it was an open racist comment regardless if he was posing it to someone else. What is more disturbing is it seems like that kind of remark had some sense of acceptance or normality. I do understand that the current political climate has legitimized many segments of this nation to believe open bigotry is cool or ok, but freely spouting off about wishing little Black kids who have done nothing were white is tragic in my book. Also, I love how you defined all the historic, factual ripple effects of how that mentality devastates minority communities for generations. I just wish people who do not understand or respect various communities (pigmentation) just chose not to invest there. Invest in the places they dont feel are so terrifying or inferior. I listed above the very white Curtis Bay which is one of the lowest areas in Baltimore. I have investments in Hagerstown which is predominantly white where values are dust bowl ghetto numbers compared to Fredrick right down the road. Like I explained them him, its so much that goes into in and income or class level is a major factor. 

Food for thought to any landlord who wishes all their minority tenants where white; you should only invest in white communities and over the long run believe me, it will help to to avoid all kinds of negative situations that will directly come for you. 

Originally posted by @Terri FY :
Hey Mark,

The real pisser to his racist comment @  bullet 1) was the non response to  from the other responders.  I kept reading thru the responses, hoping somebody, anybody would respond; Nothing but crickets.  You're right about the current climate in this country.  The racism has become so blatant, right in your face.  I felt I needed to touch on the historical side of how racist attitudes such as his affect AA families, which in turn our generational wealth or lack thereof.  Not only do these attitudes seep thru banks, but realtors selling homes to us as well as city/state/federal urban planners.  When u get a chance, Google this article, "A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways" 04/07/21 - NPR.  Also, if u have Netflix, check out the miniseries, "Them" which deals with the integration of an all-white  LA neighborhood in 1953.  As an AA, it's extremely tough to watch.                (10 episodes).  I'm interested of your thoughts on the article, & very very interested after u watch "Them." Chow!

Originally posted by @Mark Cruse:

@Terri Fulwood-Young yes, it was an open racist comment regardless if he was posing it to someone else. What is more disturbing is it seems like that kind of remark had some sense of acceptance or normality. I do understand that the current political climate has legitimized many segments of this nation to believe open bigotry is cool or ok, but freely spouting off about wishing little Black kids who have done nothing were white is tragic in my book. Also, I love how you defined all the historic, factual ripple effects of how that mentality devastates minority communities for generations. I just wish people who do not understand or respect various communities (pigmentation) just chose not to invest there. Invest in the places they dont feel are so terrifying or inferior. I listed above the very white Curtis Bay which is one of the lowest areas in Baltimore. I have investments in Hagerstown which is predominantly white where values are dust bowl ghetto numbers compared to Fredrick right down the road. Like I explained them him, its so much that goes into in and income or class level is a major factor. 

Food for thought to any landlord who wishes all their minority tenants where white; you should only invest in white communities and over the long run believe me, it will help to to avoid all kinds of negative situations that will directly come for you. 

Mark did such a good response in his post folks like me simply voted for it and moved on. I looked up his profile etc. I was so impressed. 

Originally posted by @Joe S. :
Originally posted by @Terri FY :
Hey Mark,

The real pisser to his racist comment @  bullet 1) was the non response to  from the other responders.  I kept reading thru the responses, hoping somebody, anybody would respond; Nothing but crickets.  You're right about the current climate in this country.  The racism has become so blatant, right in your face.  I felt I needed to touch on the historical side of how racist attitudes such as his affect AA families, which in turn our generational wealth or lack thereof.  Not only do these attitudes seep thru banks, but realtors selling homes to us as well as city/state/federal urban planners.  When u get a chance, Google this article, "A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways" 04/07/21 - NPR.  Also, if u have Netflix, check out the miniseries, "Them" which deals with the integration of an all-white  LA neighborhood in 1953.  As an AA, it's extremely tough to watch.                (10 episodes).  I'm interested of your thoughts on the article, & very very interested after u watch "Them." Chow!

Originally posted by @Mark Cruse:

@Terri Fulwood-Young yes, it was an open racist comment regardless if he was posing it to someone else. What is more disturbing is it seems like that kind of remark had some sense of acceptance or normality. I do understand that the current political climate has legitimized many segments of this nation to believe open bigotry is cool or ok, but freely spouting off about wishing little Black kids who have done nothing were white is tragic in my book. Also, I love how you defined all the historic, factual ripple effects of how that mentality devastates minority communities for generations. I just wish people who do not understand or respect various communities (pigmentation) just chose not to invest there. Invest in the places they dont feel are so terrifying or inferior. I listed above the very white Curtis Bay which is one of the lowest areas in Baltimore. I have investments in Hagerstown which is predominantly white where values are dust bowl ghetto numbers compared to Fredrick right down the road. Like I explained them him, its so much that goes into in and income or class level is a major factor. 

Food for thought to any landlord who wishes all their minority tenants where white; you should only invest in white communities and over the long run believe me, it will help to to avoid all kinds of negative situations that will directly come for you. 

Mark did such a good response in his post folks like me simply voted for it and moved on. I looked up his profile etc. I was so impressed. 

Certainly how I felt about it. I didn't want for this thread to be about race. There is a huge racial component and a lot of crypto-Nazi sentiment around race theory here and elsewhere among C-class landlords, but I didn't want to discuss it here. I promised myself I would open that can of worms elsewhere.

I listed the behavior of dreaming that a group of kids playing on a street were white because that would (supposedly) make my property worth more as something I caught myself doing once that I found reprehensible for myself. Something that C-class landlording tends to push you into, especially here in Pittsburgh. I fully agree with @Mark Cruze's idea that there should be a lot more minority landlords servicing low-income communities. But there aren't, and there are many, MANY nasty reasons why.

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :

@Terri FY Maybe its the people who turn everything into a race issue who are the real problem.

No, I think the black folks commenting here are making a good point.

Updated 3 months ago

Just not Terri.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

Would you agree or disagree?

 Ugly as in getting down in the basement or crawl to address a leak or sewage back-up for sure.   

And I hear you about doing things yourself to preserve and protect what's underneath like a wood floor or wall.  Contractors and helpers want to go in all full demo mode like a bad episode of HGTV.   Not everything can be hired out.

Overall I'm pleasantly surprised by the responses about acting above board and not sacrificing morals to get ahead in RE.   In a world where investors are pricing out local families who want to buy for the first time or are jacking rents to justify their high purchase prices it's refreshing to read. 

Originally posted by @Jeff S. :

@Jim K. you are giving the poor a decent place to live. It doesn't get any better than that.

I tell myself this all the time, and then I look at how much money we've managed to salt away in the last ten years legally doing it, and not working particularly hard at it, and just following a few simple rules like treating tenants in a buy-and-hold operation with simple dignities, keeping up our end of our contracts, differentiating our product...Jeff, show me anything else that's legal and pays off like a by-the-book mom and pop C-class buy-and-hold operation in a Rust Belt town like the 'Burgh, and I'll show you a gold mine in the ghetto.

 First of all, the conversation was between Mark & I calling out Jim K's racist comment he made in bullet 1) @ the start of his post he created.  RE should be a business where you're helping solve someone's RE problem regardless of anyones ethnic, socioeconomic background.   It should be a win-win for everyone involved in the RE transaction everytime.  Apparently, u have a problem knowing that racism exist in RE, because let me guess--it doesn't affect u and/or your family.  In that case, why don't u go finish rehabbing somebody's house or whatever u do.  Or, perhaps if u reread & think about Mark & my comments, u may learn something.

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :

@Terri FY Maybe its the people who turn everything into a race issue who are the real problem.

Originally posted by @Terri FY :
 First of all, the conversation was between Mark & I calling out Jim K's racist comment he made in bullet 1) @ the start of his post he created.  RE should be a business where you're helping solve someone's RE problem regardless of anyones ethnic, socioeconomic background.   It should be a win-win for everyone involved in the RE transaction everytime.  Apparently, u have a problem knowing that racism exist in RE, because let me guess--it doesn't affect u and/or your family.  In that case, why don't u go finish rehabbing somebody's house or whatever u do.  Or, perhaps if u reread & think about Mark & my comments, u may learn something.

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff:

@Terri FY Maybe its the people who turn everything into a race issue who are the real problem.

Terri, you have four posts, a made-up last name, and no location or pic. If you think "U may learn something" from your posts, it's that you have no skin in the game but a boatload of opinions. You sound like a broke baloney peddler trying to justify to yourself why you have nothing except disjointed hot air indicating a complete lack of writing ability to contribute here. If anyone says or writes the words "white" and "black" around you, oh no, they've punched the race button, time for Terri to start the illiterate squawking. That's all you've shown yourself to be in this discussion. Now, go ahead, call me a racist again. That's what you know. And I think that's all you know.

 "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time — and in one's work. And part of the rage is this: It isn't only what is happening to you. But it's what's happening all around you and all of the time in the face of the most extraordinary and criminal indifference, indifference of most white people in this country, and their ignorance. Now, since this is so, it's a great temptation to simplify the issues under the illusion that if you simplify them enough, people will recognize them. I think this illusion is very dangerous because, in fact, it isn't the way it works. A complex thing can't be made simple. You simply have to try to deal with it in all its complexity and hope to get that complexity across."

James Baldwin

It’s easy for me

I use the identical $5 shower head in my rentals as well as my flips  as I do in my own house I use the same flooring as I do in my own house what is the same paint etc. etc. etc. buy two of my old house

Originally posted by @Michael Plante :

It’s easy for me

I use the identical $5 shower head in my rentals as well as my flips  as I do in my own house I use the same flooring as I do in my own house what is the same paint etc. etc. etc. buy two of my old house

I know, Michael. I've read most of your last 500 or so posts. You are a rare breed. I, on the other hand, have a 60x36 tiled shower with a custom niche, a Kohler Archer base (K-9397), Kohler Levity shower door (K-706165), and a Grohe Euphoria shower system(26128002)  in my permanent residence.



@Mark Cruse , I'm extremely new to BP and I haven't quite started my RE investing career yet, still reading up and trying to "see" how best to get started. But when I read @Jim K. 's comments that included subconsciously wishing that the Black kids playing down the street were White kids because the area would appreciate better, that sentiment screamed systemic racism; a literally baked-in problem in these United States of America.

Again, I'm new to BP and only came here after reading Rental Property Investing by @Brandon Turner but I can't help but be a little disappointed to have read so many replies to that particular post that made 0 mention of the racist perspectives he boldly laid out in bullet points!

That particular perspective is held by so many people in so many different areas of business; all of which are vitally important to getting fair pay, access to "nice" houses in "good" neighborhoods, etc. The subconscious or maybe not so subconscious belief that Black people or all low income minorities devalue neighborhoods and destroy property is a very hasty generalization of the whole based on behaviors of the few. As you pointed out Mark, you have units in predominately low income White neighborhoods and those areas are plagued by the *few* who disrespect, devalue and otherwise make unsafe the area. Yet the baked-in narrative remains that low income Black people and minorities, by virtue of their ethnicity destroy and devalue while White people, by virtue of their ethnicity only always add value.

When it's time for me to rent out my apartments, regardless of race I will implement the same consideration process for all. Rental history matters. Source of income matters. Previous landlord references will matter to a certain degree only because I know it's possible to get a bad reference simply because of a personality difference that could have nothing to do with how promptly rents were paid and how well the apartment was kept.

Thank you Mark & the few others who cared to call him out on his conscious or unconscious racist views.

Originally posted by @Eric Bilderback :

You have to buy real estate to get ahead in real estate.


Besides the one time I had to throw all of the sick orphans  out during that freezing cold Christmas!  LOL

here is a cautionary tale. of potential ugly to well a nice profit

1. buy a courthouse steps property in Aloha Oregon.

2. knock on door  older lady she has what I could surmize as at least 4 to 5 disabled children.. some wearing diapers ( teenagers) smell of urine very strong. 

3. Her older kids talked her into a liar loan then took the refi money and she could not make the payments ( pretty common kids do this to their parents quite frequently actually).. hires a wholesaler that is going to bail her out.. wholesaler does not come through she lose's the house and I buy it fair and square at court house.  for better or worse in courthouse steps bizz  sight unseen other than the front.

4. I am now on the porch talking to her and all I can think of is I am going to be on the evening news evicting this very sad group of people.

5. She then tells me that the well and part of the septic are on the neighbors property which is the uncle.  My mind right away flash's to there is no way they are going to give me an easement to those things given the situation.

6. Then she just happens to mention she owns the 4 acres behind her free and clear..  I know this property is in a transition zone IE just brought into the UGB and city of HIllsboro actually.  So my mind says Hey I think this is going to be a land play and long term hold.

7. I paid 130k at the court house for the house and 1/2 acre.. so well normally we like to spin our money but investing 130k with no income on bare land with upside  thats not bad..

8. Tell her to go talk to her attorney and come up with an asking price for the 4 acres its worth far more than the 130k.. and I have the means to make up the difference..  The attorney comes back with 250k for the 4 acres.. I said done.. I will deed you the house free and clear and cut her a check for 120k.. and then i have a heart to heart with her.. do not let your kids near this money and Do NOT ever borrow against your home again.

9. 6 months later a big developer comes in and is doing a land assemblage.. I was thinking this would be 5 year hold at least.

10. Bottom line 16 months or so later we closed at 975k cash ..

11. Today its a big housing community with her house as a hold out and she still lives there.

what was going to be hugely ugly turned out to OK for all concerned.. I got lucky on how fast the property sold.. the Owner got very lucky that another investor who would not have taken the time to figure out what was going on or worse.. did not have the ability to do anything but get their money out..   Ugly turned into win win.

Originally posted by @Mark Cruse :

@Jim K. It just seems like you have some unattended to deep seated issues that are eating away at you. Most of the stuff you are alluding to I have NEVER heard any of my landlord associates talk about. It will be changing soon but I have all class D units and none of that applies in my mind. I started out there because I can handle risk, and the higher the risk the higher the reward. It was a good training ground to equip me for anything. Iḿ nice and fair by nature but like someone said earlier, I take the middle of the road approach. This is my business and the goal in any business or any job is to make a living for you and your family. I have a place for them to live and they need a place to live. In fact, I feel great about it because in so many cases no one gives a damn about them, will exploit them and never give them any kind of chance I would. If they could do better and go somewhere else, most would. They cant. With me they get a fair landlord that treats them decent and a decent place to live in. In terms of wishing little kids were white, some can interpret that as racist. I know its a common mindset and this is America with its current political climate,  but itś not that Black and White. No pun intended. That ideology is what leads to redlining and bigoted business models. If this is something you ponder often, you probably subconsciously treat them different and should not invest in minority communities.  I have had several tenants from several demographics. Most have been low income whites and behavior has more to do with class levels as opposed to their pigment. Yes, I get the over all notion. Yes, in general a white area is perceived as more valuable but its so many things that go into it. Pouring white paint on the face of those kids wont do it. Come to the Curtis Bay/Brooklyn  area of Baltimore. Predominately low income whites with high crime and poverty. I have units there which do not appreciate and creates nothing but problems many would associate with other demographics. Buy some units there and tell me what color you would be wishing they are next. I guess you were posing the question to someone else but it came from somewhere. Either way, nothing you said so far is anything to feel guilty about over all. Treat people good, give them respect and treat them no different than the class B and A and its all good!

I was in Balt city two weeks ago I like what i saw  its really on the upswing and values have risen.. still has its issues but I think its moving in the right direction.
Originally posted by @Mark Cruse :

@Jim K. It just seems like you have some unattended to deep seated issues that are eating away at you. Most of the stuff you are alluding to I have NEVER heard any of my landlord associates talk about. It will be changing soon but I have all class D units and none of that applies in my mind. I started out there because I can handle risk, and the higher the risk the higher the reward. It was a good training ground to equip me for anything. Iḿ nice and fair by nature but like someone said earlier, I take the middle of the road approach. This is my business and the goal in any business or any job is to make a living for you and your family. I have a place for them to live and they need a place to live. In fact, I feel great about it because in so many cases no one gives a damn about them, will exploit them and never give them any kind of chance I would. If they could do better and go somewhere else, most would. They cant. With me they get a fair landlord that treats them decent and a decent place to live in. In terms of wishing little kids were white, some can interpret that as racist. I know its a common mindset and this is America with its current political climate,  but itś not that Black and White. No pun intended. That ideology is what leads to redlining and bigoted business models. If this is something you ponder often, you probably subconsciously treat them different and should not invest in minority communities.  I have had several tenants from several demographics. Most have been low income whites and behavior has more to do with class levels as opposed to their pigment. Yes, I get the over all notion. Yes, in general a white area is perceived as more valuable but its so many things that go into it. Pouring white paint on the face of those kids wont do it. Come to the Curtis Bay/Brooklyn  area of Baltimore. Predominately low income whites with high crime and poverty. I have units there which do not appreciate and creates nothing but problems many would associate with other demographics. Buy some units there and tell me what color you would be wishing they are next. I guess you were posing the question to someone else but it came from somewhere. Either way, nothing you said so far is anything to feel guilty about over all. Treat people good, give them respect and treat them no different than the class B and A and its all good!

Mark, I actually made it a point to Meet Jim and his wife on my last trip to visit one of my vendors north of his town.

I walked through some of his units.. they are by far some of the nicest rehabs for rentals I have ever seen in my 20 plus years of funding probably close to 5k of these rental units that all you folks buy..  And he is self taught on how the components work etc.. Jim and his wife are the farthest thing from a slumlord .. I have seen slumlords in the deep south I understand the difference. 

Originally posted by @Jim K. :
Originally posted by @Terri FY:
 First of all, the conversation was between Mark & I calling out Jim K's racist comment he made in bullet 1) @ the start of his post he created.  RE should be a business where you're helping solve someone's RE problem regardless of anyones ethnic, socioeconomic background.   It should be a win-win for everyone involved in the RE transaction everytime.  Apparently, u have a problem knowing that racism exist in RE, because let me guess--it doesn't affect u and/or your family.  In that case, why don't u go finish rehabbing somebody's house or whatever u do.  Or, perhaps if u reread & think about Mark & my comments, u may learn something.

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff:

@Terri FY Maybe its the people who turn everything into a race issue who are the real problem.

Terri, you have four posts, a made-up last name, and no location or pic. If you think "U may learn something" from your posts, it's that you have no skin in the game but a boatload of opinions. You sound like a broke baloney peddler trying to justify to yourself why you have nothing except disjointed hot air indicating a complete lack of writing ability to contribute here. If anyone says or writes the words "white" and "black" around you, oh no, they've punched the race button, time for Terri to start the illiterate squawking. That's all you've shown yourself to be in this discussion. Now, go ahead, call me a racist again. That's what you know. And I think that's all you know.

 "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time — and in one's work. And part of the rage is this: It isn't only what is happening to you. But it's what's happening all around you and all of the time in the face of the most extraordinary and criminal indifference, indifference of most white people in this country, and their ignorance. Now, since this is so, it's a great temptation to simplify the issues under the illusion that if you simplify them enough, people will recognize them. I think this illusion is very dangerous because, in fact, it isn't the way it works. A complex thing can't be made simple. You simply have to try to deal with it in all its complexity and hope to get that complexity across."

James Baldwin

Jim K,

I hope everything works out well in your business, & I hope u solve your issues, particularly your racism.  Have a good day, & be blessed.

p.s.  Everything in your last post to me was untrue; Everything, perhaps except my # of posts regarding your initial post; I didn't keep count, but apparently, u did! Chow!

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character."

-MLK 

Where do I sign up?