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The Cost of Waiting

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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We seem to always hear about businesses and investments that went bad - the bad partnership, dishonest employees, market downturns - and for many people that's enough reason to just not do anything. Or, they get stuck in analysis paralysis, so afraid of making a wrong decision, that they do nothing.

Ever so often, I think it's good to really weigh what the cost of waiting actually is.

There is a 30 unit apartment building with an old Craftsman style duplex that we were in escrow once at $185,000. It was about 7 years ago and we'd bought one building in the area (scary, but changing) and went back and forth on whether to close on this apartment building + duplex. It was fully rented at $350 - $400 per unit and the place was structurally okay. But, there was rampant drug dealing and a lot of just nasty disrepair. We ended up passing on it. The eventual new owners took out the phone booth in front and got police support in actively running the drug trade out. Then, slowly, unit by unit, they did minimal fixed up on the units. It's still probably C+, but what a cash flow....

Just curious if anyone else has stories like that? Maybe it's a business opp that you over-analyzed until it was gone and someone else snatched it up?
 

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AroundTheWorld

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Years ago we saw a piece of property that could be divided into 4 lots - I don't remember the details but the numbers worked. It was right next to large successful subdivision.... we just knew someone could make a go of it.

We didn't because of limiting beliefs. mostly.....

We didn't have the money.


Now, that belief makes me laugh. If it the deal is good - the money will come from where ever it is now!
 

kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Went to see Billionaire Seymour Schulich speak last night
(will post it on my entrepreneur series)
and he mentioned that the value of money drops 90% in 30 years.
Scary
and an example of a cost of sitting on ideas and investments.

The hubby and I often kick ourselves
for seeing a franchise do well in the U.S.
and not buying the rights for Canada.

In some cases (Krispy Kreme),
it turns out for the better
but in most...

Why did we hesitate?
Lack of experience in both franchising and the industries.

Since the last one,
I've spent a year in new product development
under the golden arches
and picked the brains of the person who brought that company
to Canada.

Now, keeping our eyes out for the next opp.

: )
 

Nate

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Sep 24, 2007
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I've been waiting 6 months to ask this girl out, only to find she started dating someone else a few weeks ago.

Does that count?

On a more business related topic... my dad swears he thought about inventing squeezable ketchup bottles every time he would go to a restaurant. Finally one day he went to the grocery store... and there it was. He was too late.
 

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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TX
We had a deal working to purchase 3 lots on beside our coast house for only 480K the owner was an out of town person and was a little hard to work with. She would not use email, or fax everything was disscussed by phone then fed exed back & forth and she changed her attorney twice during the process. She kept changing her demands on the closing costs. None of the amounts were very much money; a few thousand dollars each but my husband just got so irritated with her that he decided to ignore her for about 6 weeks & sit on her last demand without an answer. The date on our offer expired and she pulled the deal and sold it to someone else. They resold the property within 3 months for double the money with no fix up at all. He still talks about this deal, the one that got away....
Janet
 
OP
OP
D

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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I've been waiting 6 months to ask this girl out, only to find she started dating someone else a few weeks ago.

Does that count?
There is a reason behind this exercise. By thinking about what we've missed in the past, it helps us make that leap of faith the next time a good deal shows up.

Tony Robbins calls it getting leverage on yourself. After all, the most important leverage you can get any deal, is the leverage you can get on yourself, if you're the one who is getting in the way of living the life you want.

So, Nate, whatever it takes to get yourself to act!!! I think it's a great example.
 
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NoMoneyDown

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Aug 28, 2007
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While not on a scale of an apartment complex, I did have an SFR slip through my fingers. It was a HUD foreclosure that by all accounts was habitable when bought, but needed about $5k worth of work to make it "nice". It started out at with an "as is" price of $45k. Much too high for me. I then would check back every week or two to see if the price had dropped. Over the course of several months, the price dropped from $45k, to $38k, to $32k, and finally to $25k. I still balked at even making an offer at all as at that time, I was always led to believe HUD wouldn't even look at an offer <80% list. HA! A couple weeks later, I checked the property again, I was surprised to see it not listed, so I assumed some sucker picked it up thinking it was a steal. I then did a check of the bid results and my lower jaw hit the floor:

$2,000!!!

Someone bought it for $2,000! I couldn't believe my eyes - I thought surely they meant $20,000. But no, the $2,000 was the net to HUD and the full purchase price was $3,000.

Needless to say I learned several valuable lessons with that property. :bgh:
 

bflbob

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I drive by as place every day that reminds me to move faster.

I was trying to buy it sub2 for a flip.
The seller was in preforeclosure, and had replied to a mailer I sent.

I was trying to buy it for about $37,000 and was worried that rehab would cost too much (my first attempt).
Trying to verify with the bank took too long, and I ended up just dropping it.

It sold at auction for $29k.
The new owners probably put another $20k into it and listed for $99k.
Sold it after about 6 months for $89k.

On the other hand...

I have a place I made an offer on last spring.
A 6-unit with separate utilities for $100k...fully rented.
There was a fire years ago, and I was a bit nervous.

They reduced to $94k.
I came back with $100k, including $6k for closing.
Bank to finance 85%, seller to take the remainder at 6% interest only for 3 years.
I'll pay for property inspection...seller to repair all 'critical' items except for fire damage.
Contingent of me getting financing for fire repairs.
A 100% no-money down deal.

No go...

...until six months later.

Seller called a week ago.
I called the bank, and they're a go.
It will still need to meet their qualification for lending, including the fire repairs, but "Yeah!"
 

WheelsRCool

Contributor
Aug 12, 2007
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Went to see Billionaire Seymour Schulich speak last night
(will post it on my entrepreneur series)
and he mentioned that the value of money drops 90% in 30 years.
Scary
and an example of a cost of sitting on ideas and investments.
Did he mean every thirty years? I was under the impression that $1 million in 1950 was worth the equivalent of about $15 million today.

But I mean, thirty years ago, in 1977, does he mean $10 million then would take $100 million today to buy the same stuff...?

Not meaning to sound critical at all, I'm just genuinly curious, b/c 90% sounds like an awful lot for money to decrease in only thirty years...?
 

andviv

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Your 'impression' fits perfectly with what has been said. $15 million of today was probably $1.5 million 30 years ago.

Just look at prices for basic things and you'll see that it is actually worse.
Compare house prices, going up 100% in the last 5 years. Yes, I know, I know, there was an "exceptional condition", but still...
Just look at change in price for the foreclosure I'm looking at (actual sale prices):

05/17/2007: $427,075
02/09/2006: $490,000
05/19/2003: $200,000

OK, so maybe housing is not the right comparison... then compare college tuitions... or cars... all of those 'basic' things are way way more expensive than what they were just 15 or 20 years ago.
 

AroundTheWorld

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then compare college tuitions... or cars... all of those 'basic' things are way way more expensive than what they were just 15 or 20 years ago.
My dad and I were just talking about this....

Back in his day (about 66 when he started going to school) he was able to put himself through a private school (tuition, books, living, the whole nine yards) by working in the summer.

Not many college kids can figure out how to do that today!
 

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JesseO

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Jul 25, 2007
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My dad and I were just talking about this....

Back in his day (about 66 when he started going to school) he was able to put himself through a private school (tuition, books, living, the whole nine yards) by working in the summer.

Not many college kids can figure out how to do that today!

My wife's figured it out. It's community college for $2,000 a year or so ... and she should make $40,000 a year after graduating. Nurses are in high demand for now and in the next 5-8 years she should have no problem finding a job wherever we go. We're paying for some tuition, books, and such, but she's got a couple scholarships. If she went to a public university we'd be paying more than we could afford. Communuity college is a goldmine as I'm sure you've found out =)

Her income should more than offset the expenses we're expecting when buying under-performing real estate and having kids. I may stay at home, or she will. Wither way, we'll be set. Having things planned out (such as your father is doing) is a great step to financial freedom while still having everything you want as soon as possible. I think having kids will be a challenge, but we still want them asap while retaining our independence from jobs. Hopefully we can work it all out, but it will be very tough.
 

kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Did he mean every thirty years? I was under the impression that $1 million in 1950 was worth the equivalent of about $15 million today.

But I mean, thirty years ago, in 1977, does he mean $10 million then would take $100 million today to buy the same stuff...?

Not meaning to sound critical at all, I'm just genuinly curious, b/c 90% sounds like an awful lot for money to decrease in only thirty years...?
90% in 30 years is what the man said.
'Course his strength is resources so maybe he's looking at his specific area of the world.

All I know is that 30 years ago (when I was 6),
a million seemed like a lot of money.
Now... not so much.
 

andviv

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OK, going back on topic, I had an investment property with a partner. He decided to sell and I chickened out and did not buy him out, even though I know properties were going up at a crazy-fast pace. So we sold it and just made $40K instead profit instead of keeping it an extra 3-6 months and make another 20-30K in profit.
 

triple J

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Aug 8, 2007
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Utica, NY
I never heard anyone say "Geez, I wish I would have got started later on." They always wish they had gotten started sooner. That's because they realize how much it cost them to wait. If only they had started sooner....they'd be that much better off!
 

Allthingznew

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Aug 26, 2007
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When I bought my first house in 1992 for $92k there were single units of 4 plexes selling for $30K in the same city. The market was in the toilet and that is why I was able to buy when I did. I didn't find a way to buy any of the 4plex singles even though I wanted to, and today before the market started down again, they were selling for $250k-$275k.
 

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