Sorry you left so quickly today. It would have been nice to have a few words. I understand that I may have been a bit harsh. At least it was sincere, and I really meant it.
You say that math's your thing, and I can appreciate that. You’re not that old, but you found a way to apply your grasp of math to real estate and rental properties, by calculating costs and expenses, and knowing when to flip and when not to flip. You played the game the way the game's always been played.
Congratulations. I’m so impressed that I’m tempted to drink Bud Light and think it’s beer.
Your math skills are all well and good, but you see, your outlook is reminiscent of discredited colonialism as practiced by the long defunct European monarchies, who conducted grand experiments in profitability on playing fields located in far-off lands. They were fascinated with numbers, too, and they could count on one thing in the end: The effects of their actions would be felt only in those places where they, the ones initiating the actions, didn’t live themselves.
Rather like you.
You live up on the hill, in a grandiose subdivision of garish exurban McMansions (pun intended), and those properties you flip are in the center of the doughnut, and involve real people … but they’re not YOUR people, are they? Your people are a demographic devoted to vacuous consumption, right? Meanwhile, those degraded downtowners ... they’re just pieces on the math wunderkind’s chess board, aren’t they?
Heck, it looks to me like those doughnut centers were just made for speculators like you … so that you could finance a home quite far removed from contact with any of the people that your actions impact on a daily basis, even as you ignore the concepts and the ideas that are relevant to your work area.
Yes, I know about your trauma, about the time that you didn’t do your homework, didn’t know what you were getting into, and because there were historical preservation covenants involved, you couldn’t plasticize a rental property (are you still the president of the rental property owners support group -- rental property owners being those business people who should be paying the same property tax as other business people?), so now all problems can be traced back to those nasty historical preservation people who you never really engaged, anyway, and you want to know what?
That’s just tiresome.
You spoke of your demographic. Are they all as undereducated as you when it comes to aesthetics? Do they all think that neighborhoods are the same thing as unguarded apple trees, with fruit ripe for the plucking? I know lots of folks your age, and others your age work for me, and they get it.
You don’t, and you need to learn. When you say that the exteriors of one of your rental properties don’t matter, and only the interiors do … and then you turn around and apply for a UEZ façade grant (approved) for your business on the corner of State and Elm … you’re saying that exteriors do matter for a business. But wait – a rental property’s a business, too … right? Or did we already cover that little bit of blatant hypocrisy?
Then, when you put a front door on your new business, one that should be on your or The Gary's exurban McMansion (pun intended), you serve notice again that your generation wouldn’t know aesthetic if it bit you on the ass. But I know that’s not true (see above) because I know 27-year-olds who know art. What’s crazy about that is their commitment to people, to neighborhoods, and to progress. Atypical? You tell me. I'm very confused here. It upsets you that you can’t demolish two poorly maintained rental properties and build a nice brick four-plex on the same spot, one that would look at home in any exurban development.
But, my dear boy, it simply ain’t the exurb. It’s the inner city. It’s supposed to work a certain way because that’s how it was built. And nothing – nothing – you said today shows me that you “get” any part of it other than the fact of your exploiting it. Prove me wrong. I'm waiting.
I’m calling you out not because I want to make another mortal enemy (rest assured, I have enough of those already). It’s because I’m an optimist, and I believe that with the proper effort, almost anyone can understand the program. One of the fellows sitting next to you talked of looking for success in those places that have achieved it. That’s where you should start. Right now, all you’ve done is provide indication of cluelessness. Where I come from, that’s nothing to brag about.
Tough love, math guy. That’s where it’s at. I hope you get it … sooner, rather than later. I don't want to be your enemy. But when your chosen "business" threatens neighborhoods ... well, let those chips fall where they may.