We bought a house in NC, Part Deux!

A few of you watched the first episode of our journey buying an investment property in North Carolina. Here’s part two.

In it, we wrap up our renovations. We hired a contractor to redo both bathrooms and the kitchen, as well as paint throughout.

In my journal from the experience, I wrote about how my parents had become our best friends. We saw them more regularly than any of my friends or my brother or his family. My dad came over often to help with different bigger ticket jobs that I couldn’t possibly do myself. My mom hemmed our curtains and hung wall paper. It was a huge group effort.

The house has been renting on the social media home sharing sites. We’ve had five or more bookings so far and have it booked through Christmas off and on.

It’s a challenge being this far away from the house. But so far it’s been great and seemingly rewarding of an effort.

Enjoy part two. And if you want to skip to before and afters around 6:20.

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a mind-blowing tweet

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In this tweet, Jeremiah Red writes:

“If you worked every single day, making $5000/day, from the time Columbus sailed to America, to the time you are reading this tweet, you would still not be a billionaire, and you would still have less money than Jeff Bezos makes in a week. No one works for a billion dollars.”

Of course I had to do that math. You can google, “how many days has it been since Columbus sailed to America” and get this date: October 12, 1492. Then you can google, “how many days since October 12, 1492.” That’s 192,489.

192,489 x $5000 = $962,445,000.

On top of that, I just saw this: “[Bill] Gates added $16 billion to his net worth this year, despite giving away over $35 billion to charity, according to Bloomberg.”

I do not know any billionaires personally. But imagine. A regular Joe or Jane who has expenses, mortgage, car payments, medical bills, etc. could make $5000-$8000 a month if they are fortunate. There are certainly people who rake in $8000-$15000 per month. And more. But if Joe or Jane made $5000 + expenses per day for 192,000+ days, he or she would still not have as much money as the people on these lists of billionaires.

Billionaires include Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, the Kochs, the owners of Walmart, the owners of Chick-fil-a, the owners of Hobby Lobby, etc etc etc.

According to the internets, America has approximately 43 million people living in poverty and approximately 100 million living near poverty. I don’t place any of the people on the billionaires list as somehow more special, more talented, more ambitious than any of the million nameless people struggling to put food on the table, maintain a car, keep a job, love their children and partners, let alone struggle with their addictions or hopes to succeed or just keep on track with a calm, drama free life.

I don’t understand why we all want to live in a world where some people’s wealth far exceeds anything most people can’t fathom. The point is lost on me.

I wish everyone were as fortunate as I was growing up, to win a life lottery, to have a great family raise me, and to have a lucrative path of an amazing life, to have freedom and goodness. To share it with others. To be some lucky, and yet not remotely close to the level of financial security as those who have generated more wealth than is humanly possible to deplete.

I’m just not sure why the case for grace is so limited. Whose right is it to say the list of billionaires is more important financially than the poor? Who worked harder? Who worked longer? Who had a leg up? Who was at the right place at the right time? The lightning strikes so infrequently and so fast, and who’s there to catch it?

 

A chart of Media Bias

Saw this at TYKIWDBI where Stan links here for discussion.

One issue I have with the chart is that perception has been shaped by propaganda to repaint the neutral bias sources as liberal, which then shifts bullshit sites like Drudge and Breitbart to the left as if they’re viable for reputable information.

We lie in the laps of a sad, divisive media war machine in which families and friendships are destroyed over ignorant perceptions of viable “truth.”

If our addictions to blinking, screaming, “news” were exchanged for boring, matter of fact aggregates, I imagine there could be a shift back to prioritization of family and friendships over stubborn self righteousness.

A man can dream.

BIG NEWS: we bought a house in North Carolina!

The long and short of it is, Tina and I bought a house in North Carolina last April. Surprise!

We renovated the house over the summer and we’ve listed it on AirBnB to rent while we’re not there.

We did it to be closer to my family, to spend more time with them, and get to know them better. Which isn’t working out so well.

I also have friends down there, and Chicago winters are getting so bad that Tina and I felt the need to get out of here more often.

Although if the cold is replaced by cold shoulders, I’m not sure that’s a great answer either.

Take a look at part one of a behind the scenes video that we produced. Gosh, this thing could be a full on movie. But I kept it to around 6 mins.

 

 

D’uh: an important relationship requires a smidge of empathy

From the brainiac, masters of the obvious at Business Insider (emphasis mine):

Whether you’re a business owner who wants your employees to learn effective relationship building skills, or on a first date and hoping to have a second, here’s a great five-minute “likability approach” to increase your odds for success:

Let’s start from the beginning. By nature, people respond positively when another person makes them feel important, heard, and cared for.

This is why I always recommend that you start by listening to the other person’s needs and concerns. Listen with genuine curiosity and interest. Validate their experience (i.e. their feelings) and a relationship will automatically begin to grow.

You don’t necessarily have to agree with the other person’s feelings or opinions, but you must respectfully and authentically acknowledge their experience in that moment … because everyone wants to feel heard and important; it lets them know they matter to you.

It’s that simple.

The bottom line is: the more important the relationship is to you, the more important it is to demonstrate an understanding of the other person’s experience. This is how we connect with others.

It’s like an article for the mentally challenged. It seems so obvious. It’s how 99% of my friend base treats each other. It’s why Tina and I experience a successful marriage and working relationship.

But of course there is that 1% …