Them and Us

MISTY

Them and us. Remember that, there’ll be a quiz later. Ask yourself, what do Stephen F. Austin and Brigham Young have in common?  What led the Mormons to the Salt Lake Valley was partly religious persecution, and partly a bad case of “Them and Us.” As a Texan, I can understand who “them” were. They were Americans, or the facsimile thereof. Brigham Young picked the most God awful place you could imagine. A lake you can’t drink, weather you have to endure, and inhabitants who didn’t want you there. All this, and the Mormons clawed an existence out of the desert that rivaled San Francisco.

Now, my regular readers know what I think of organized religion, but I shall summarize. We all have a “God Hole” in our head, and something has to fill it. I fill mine with whiskey, but some folks just gotta have ritual, rules, holy this and holy that, and that’s ok if it makes them feel good. Brother Young used the God Hole to keep the faithful on the straight and narrow, because in the high desert if you weren’t on the straight and narrow you’d find yourself under the sand in no time. In short, it worked. What happens in this country when a group of people find a system that works? Well, the Americans come and steal it, that’s what. “Manifest Destiny is just another term for non-consensual sex. In due time the army was dispatched to put the Mormons in their place. The Civil War intervened and eventually the LDS people traded surplus wives for statehood, got “Deseret” trimmed down to size and you have the Utah we see today. Still, from the Mormon point of view, them and us.

The Mormons have a very tight culture, and there is a difference between Mormon culture, and Mormon religion. After years of persecution, they are very suspicious of “them.” As they cling to their civilization they see the edges crumbling all around them, and they struggle to hold it together. If you will note, the Americans did not come calling until after Salt Lake City was built, and the industrious Mormons had turned a profit at the instructions of their “prophet.” Them never builds, they steal from us. Now, let’s move on.

Now, let’s take a trip to Texas. Again, bunch of people went to a hell of a place, carved out a life, fought a war, joined the “Union,” got trimmed down to size, and then it was them and us. Texas got a bigger screwing than Utah in that it was occupied under rules of defeat until C. J. Grisham mounted the Capitol steps in Austin and waved his gun at the governor, all legal, breaking the hold of the 1871 law forbidding Texans to protect themselves. Texas has an organized nationalist movement, a militia, a government in place for the republic, oil, cattle, tech, seaport, and all the Mexicans. Utah is different. Utah has no secession movement, no organization, and no “national” identity, but it does have a firm, family oriented foundation, and that puts them directly opposed to the American system of today, emphasizing them and us!

It is not what America was founded on, but what it has become that makes it an abomination to Mormons. And this is creeping into the state. Salt Lake City has a gay mayor. Just think about that. In a place where people don’t even drink coffee they have a pervert for a mayor. That tells you something about demographics. There are more perverts in Salt Lake City than there are Temple Mormons. Texas began the slide some time ago. Houston had a perv running the city, so we can’t talk, but Texas does have a solid core. Ask Wendy Davis how talking up abortion to a bunch of Mexican Catholics worked out for her in the last election.

Utah, and Texas have something in common. . . them and us. We have all been screwed by the Americans, or rather the perversion of America as we had come to understand it. In the ruins of Deseret and the Republic of Texas there is a remnant. Guess who speaks directly to that remnant? Donald Trump, because he, too, believes in America. He’s one of “us.”  Remember the Southern Strategy I told you about some time back? Well, just switch that to “Western Strategy.” You see the Trump train rides on the rails of righteous anger. The outrage of the people who are sick and tired of what “them” are doing to “us.”

And it doesn’t matter what the religion is. The right to run your own business, your state, have your family safe, your border secure, and know that you won’t get shot for trying to drive to the sheriff’s office is important to these people. To have a culture where it means something to be a member of a church, have no abortion clinics in town, no vets homeless while illegals collect welfare. . . those things mean something, and that’s what Trump is pounding home. Have you noticed that every time one of his rallies is protested by “them” there are suddenly more of “us” supporting Mr. Trump? His message just becomes louder. DUDES! He’s a New York real estate broker, he doesn’t care about your religion, unless you’re a Muslim, and frankly I agree with him.

It’s not just Texas and Utah. Practically every part of the nation has people who have struggled to make a better life for our kids only to have it taken from us to given to them. Them and us. Interesting note: During Jade Helm 15 both Utah, and Texas were designated “Hostile.” Jus’ sayin’. Also interesting in that the first blood to be shed in this fight was the blood of a Mormon, LeVoy Finicum. There is more to come.

We must all rally to Donald Trump’s call. We must stand with him. The Republican leadership will steal the nomination if they can. Utah, and Texas, and all real Americans need to double down, and get Trump nominated, and then show Hillary the door. Make America Great Again! Mr. Trump is taking attacks from all sides, and it’s all spin and lies because “them” knows that if he wins, “us” wins, and they can’t have that. That’ll be the end of the world bankers controlling congress, of the BLM stealing land, or the illegal immigrant welfare express and the insidious occupation of the New World Order. It will be the reinstatement of America. The America envisioned by the founding fathers, and cherished by “us.” Let’s show “them” the door.

Oh, what did Austin and Young have in common? Two things; they knew how to organize a nation, and they were both in real estate. So much for Rubio’s little crack about this not being a real estate deal. Like I said, it is a real estate deal. . . it’s called America! And America belongs to us, not them!

Property Management 101 (A Personal Manefesto)

Property Management 101
A Personal Manifesto
by Wilbur Witt

On June 1, 2007 the world changed for us. On that day we found our son, Bobby, dead in his apartment. He was 28 years old. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but one never prepares for this event, and no matter how you brace for it, it’s like sitting in a bomb shelter getting prepared for the next shell. We began a personal and professional descent into the abyss of a bottomless pit that just got deeper and darker with each day. Then came the heart attacks. My wife could not cope with the loss of our youngest and did everything she could to be with him.

Our business was like a 747 Jet. It took 24/7 to keep it on level flight, and the very moment we took our eyes off the horizon the jet began to go down. Combine this with the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression and you have disaster. There was no autopilot. Sales kept the company afloat. Investors would buy rent properties here in Texas at a fraction of the cost of California. Money was plenty, and those investors on the west coast took full advantage of it. All was good. With the cushion of commissions from sales we were able to create a safe, profitable environment for owners. We accommodated large owners with programs that provided repairs at low or no cost. We paid some owners full rents on occupied apartments regardless of what was collected. This flow of cash caused these investors to invest more. Our rental company was never designed to be a profit generator. The income from the sales on the other side held it all up. This business model was the same one employed by cell phone companies. You can get a $600 iPhone for $99 provided you stay with the phone company for two years. The cell company makes its money from SERVICE, not phone sales! So it was with us. The $80 a month management fees pale to insignificance when compared to a $12,000 commission earned from the sale of just one building, and when we moved into commercial sales the commissions rose to $50,000 and more. With profits like that we would have happily managed properties for free if the investors kept investing.

Our area was unique. With the proximity of Fort Hood we had a self contained economy that was seemingly immune to national trends, good or bad. We could literally predict troop movements by the number of planes flying over our office. The Vietnam war was a war of rotation. For the uninitiated that means soldiers coming and going constantly. A ready supply of new troops meant a solid rental market. Frankly, when we invaded Afghanistan I was professionally overjoyed. My only concern was that the war would only last six weeks and no rotation would occur. As we have all seen this war went a totally different direction. George Bush couldn’t run a war if he had George S. Patton as his chief of staff. Combine that with his charging off after windmills in Iraq. He may as well have invaded England, it would have made about as much sense.

The country dove into recession, and our family, personally, dove into depression. We made critical mistakes, and our fall was our fault. We had no professional staff. My wife and I delegated nothing. We made all decisions personally and all the so-called “staff” had to do was make it to the office every morning and open the door. We would handle everything else. The next thing was family. We got absolutely no family support. We owned four homes. One in Killeen, and three in Berry Creek, a golf course community situated thirty miles away in Georgetown. Within one year our Beverly Hillbilly kinfolk moved in! Take note of this, all of you. If you make over a million dollars you will discover relatives you didn’t even know you had. Jesus said the poor you will always have with you. He did NOT say move them into a mansion on Berry Creek! Poor losers are poor losers for a reason. They know the “poor pitiful me” act allows them to scrape by at the expense of relations who work hard to develop business. You want to know how silly this can get? Have one of these sloths tell you that he can’t (or won’t) pay $1.00 a year rent because he is entitled to a free home with all the amenities because God promised him!

Why did we put up with it? We were working hard to keep the jet flying. We fully expected the economic future not to be much different than the last twenty years. We were too busy making the trip from Georgetown to Killeen every day, and Sunday was just a day when the traffic was lighter. We could put up with these people as long as they kept the houses clean and simply hung out with us the few hours we had to sit on our porch. Not one of them put any effort into the company except two, Tony and John. These two made an honest effort, but by the time they got there the plane was making a 600 MPH power dive for the Texas desert!

To keep all of this going required a massive influx of money. When the troops went to war, and didn’t return, and the broker laid down to die the sales stopped, and I mean STOPPED! When the safety net was removed, and the investors had to view the real world they abandoned in mass! Only a sprinkling of bankers survived, and they, like us, scraped by, one running his mortgage company out of his house! The formula was very simple. The very first time one of these so-called “investors” received a check for what they were actually owed they pulled their property and ran to another property management firm. Only problem was the other companies were struggling with the same economics that we were and all these owners who made thus leap lost their property . . .every single one of them!

There are two types of property management companies. The classic model, the one you learn about in your real estate classes, where there are reasonable fees for management, mark ups for repairs, fees for renewing leases, and penalties for moving your property elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with this, and the people who use this model are not wrong. The other model was ours. Sell lots of property, create Disneyland for the owners, sell them more properties, and them convince them to sell off and invest in other ventures. The money is there for those who have ears to listen and use them to listen! But there is an issue. People get stars in their eyes. That, and people tend to think the world is frozen in place, and forget that life, and property, is dynamic. When I spoke to investors in LA, I told them never count on any more that 84% of full occupancy. Never think, even with troops in abundance, that you will be 100% full, 100% paid in full all the time. That way when you are full it’s a pleasant surprise, and when you are not it won’t hurt so bad. Also, a fourplex in Killeen is NOT an investment. It is a commodity. You are NOT going to pay that building off in thirty years, are you crazy? By the time the 2/10 warranty runs out your shiny new building will be sitting in the middle of a multi-family ghetto. Before this happens get rid of it, take your money and move on to greener pastures. Two owners we had took our advice, did this, and went into the chicken business. They sold that, too, and retired. The police won’t even go to their former rental properties without backup!

The theory of the fourplex as an investment was interesting. The original concept was Sgt Rock would buy one on his VA loan. Now he could do this because in Texas a fourplex is in the same category as a house. The contract says clearly, “One to Four Family Residence.” The old sarge could live in apt A and rent out B, C, and D. Payment somewhere around $750 to $1,000 per month and sarge is NOT paying rent, he’s living rent free and life is good! Now, you take this formula, run the price up to around $265,000 From $100,000, don’t live there, depend on third party property management, does anybody see this train coming into the station besides me?

At the time of the war going south, the heart attack, and the death of our son, our owners, whom hadn’t purchased a new building in up to seven years were getting a view of the real world. I see their point. They bought their buildings new, why weren’t they still NEW? Go right back to the formula. Five to seven years, move on! Property investment is just a conduit for money! There are only three things worth a damn thing: Gold, Money, and Land! And with Obama money’s on shaky ground. Of these three, land is the only thing you can ever really own. But, contrary to accepted theories it doesn’t always appreciate. When it doesn’t, you turn it into money, and use that money to do something else. You break this rule and your land will break you!

So, we went down. All, but one of the houses are gone, we have medicine now, the economy is coming back, and the calls are coming in again. If you don’t learn from your mistakes you are a fool! You deserve to die. There are those of us who need the food you’re using. We learned. We will build our companies back bigger and better. We have ideas that will stand property management on its ear. The one thing I did learn was to listen. People like Jim Wright, Harry Herrall, and others have been in this situation, too, and they have excellent ideas. Together we will make Killeen a boom market, and Texas the greatest Republic in the world!

A Common Sense Law About Tornados

A Common Sense Law
by Wilbur Witt

http://abcnews.go.com/US/oklahoma-twisters-deadly-lesson-run-hide/story?id=19302960

I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and spent the first ten years of my life there. We moved tomTexas in 1962. Both places we’re situated in what is referred to as “Tornado Alley,” although I don’t know exactly where this alley is, I suppose anywhere you have to duck and dodge a funnel. My early childhood was filled with warnings from the old black and white TV, with the discordant tone, followed by some official voice announcing a “Severe tornado alert!” Frankly, I consider ALL tornadoes to be severe. I’ve never known anyone who saw one of these things approaching that said, “Oh, that’s just a little one, I’ll just ignore it.” When one of these dudes even passes O VER your house it will slap your screen door back and forth like a playing card on a kid’s bike. Believe me, I KNOW!

For all the planning, and education one may have, that all goes to into your pants when you meet these fellas to face for the first time. There is a common misconception that the power of the tornado is all within the confines of the funnel itself. This will get you killed. The tornado is an extension of a very pissed off thunderstorm. The storm itself is violent. The tornado is violent, and the air surrounding the tornado is violent. The tornado gets its supply of air from somewhere. It is funneling hot air up into the thunderhead which it collects from the area around it. So the closer you get to the actual funnel the harder the wind will blow until you get to ground zero. If you are in a car, trying to out run this contraption you are pre-screwed, and when it finally catches up with you, and it will, you ARE screwed! It will explode your head and pull your lungs out of your body.

I saw the results of the Jarrell tornado here in Texas back in ’97. We went down, as a team of Realtors, to try to help the citizens of that community rebuild after a devastating F5 that plowed right through the middle of town. The twister started out over Belton Lake as a small, snake like thing that was actually funny to look at. It appeared to be a snake with its head cut off, twisting and jumping, and not really making contact with the ground. By the time it traveled the thirty or so miles to Jarrell it had grown into a big boy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Central_Texas_tornado_outbreak

The funnel was so large it appeared that the entire thunderstorm had literally touched the ground. This is deceptive to the novice, who may even think that what they’re seeing is a downpour of rain, as the actual funnel is shrouded by debris and rain. When you see the news pictures of the destruction a tornado can bring it loses something. When you walk among it you are, excuse the pun, blown away! I was struck by two things. My fellow Realtors will appreciate the first. When you pour a foundation there are 1/2″ bolts situated in the concrete to attach wood, or stone and permit the workers to construct the walls. I saw these bolts bent to a perfect right angles by the sheer force of the tornado. Look at the lug nuts on your car. Now imagine a wind so powerful that it can bend that thing in the MIDDLE! The other thing that struck me was dirt roads. This was a upper middle class bedroom community. The people here generally worked in the tech industry down the road in Austin. As I was walking on predominantly dirt roads, I commented to someone that one would have thought the roads would be paved. One of the State Troopers solomly told me, “They were.” Most if us got sick with some sort or respiratory flu. Look at your neighborhood. Now imagine every car battery, every bottle of Mr. Clean, every heart prescription, everything it takes to make a modern, upscale neighborhood, all vaporized, cast into the atmosphere, and then settles to the ground right where you are walking! The first responders had this same problem during 9/11.

The amount of dead people was incredible. It was so bad that I bagan to believe the formula was simple, if you were home, you were dead! However, some survived. The survivors mainly had jumped into holes. The main hole being a drainage pipe going under a road. As I walked among the rubble I came up with an idea. Why no shelters? When I got back to my office I had meetings with our builders, asking what would withstand such an event. Every one of them told me 18″ or reinforced concrete would have the best chance of survival. Now nothing is perfect, but they assured me that this configuration would afford the best chance of getting through a hit by a tornado. We drew up plans for a closet, to be positioned in the center of a house, constructed completely out of 18″ reinforced concrete, with a door that had locks similar to a bank safe. A fully functional closet where you kept clothes. When the tornado approached, the family calmly goes there, sits with their hands over the back of their heads, and rides it out. Cost? Between $1,800 to $2,500. I was told this was “cost prohibitive.”

Now, many years later, I am looking at this again. In California there are standards of construction that plan on “the big one,” and demand that certain features be built into a home to give the occupants a better chance of survival during a major quake. We have a functional idiot in New York City outlawing Big Gulps, but there are no laws in “tornado alley” that I know of to protect families during a tornado!

When a young couple builds their home they put all manner of things into it. Some are necessary, and, frankly, some are not. The cost of what I proposed has undoubtedly gone up. When I came up with this idea the cost of our average home was about $85,000 here in Central Texas. That, on the upper end, would make the percentage around 3%. Now this is where it really gets silly. In this area the buyer generally is shielded from a lot, if not all, closing costs, which the builders pay as an incentive to buy. Most of the VA loans in this area “roll” everything into the loan in the land of the “dollar down.” Now, let’s just say Mr. and Mrs. Homebuyer finance everything. Their $100,000 home would bump up to about $103,000, oh hell, let’s make it $105,000. How much difference do you think that would make in a payment, on a fixed rate, over 30 years? Even in a conventional market the cost is rolled into the loan. There may even be a break on home insurance, I don’t know. The question is simple. What’s your family worth?

A simple, common sense, building code. Oh, the builders will bitch, the Tea Party will rail about private property rights, and Obama will make a vist to Oklahoma City. The statistic folks down at UT will cite the probability of getting hit by an F5, but then, they don’t have to search for the bodies, now do they?