Join us for a special Rewind Week edition, as we check in with Crystal Hammond and our sister show geared toward real estate investing, Stacking Deeds! She sits down with the best carpenter in the remodeling business, Mark Ellison, to dive into not just real estate topics, but key takeaways about the importance of relationship-building that you, our Stackers, can apply to your own lives.
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Join us on Wednesday for our next special Rewind Week installment when Paula Pant joins the Stacking Deeds crew to discuss real estate investing. You won’t want to miss this!
Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Financial Planning Strategies: Creating a Budget That Works
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking De Show. I’m Ruth’s part-time mechanic. And this show’s Announcer Neighbor Doug. That’s right, Ruth. The Realtor’s car is parked and the team is gathered for a big announcement in the basement, but also today’s a special show because we’re talking about the art of creating beautiful real estate.
Joining us is the man that New Yorker magazine called The Best Carpenter in the remodeling business. Mark Ellison plus thinking about buying an Airbnb pump the brakes because we’ve got a headline that just might make you go, oh, and don’t you worry that cute little head of yours because even though we’ve left the car for the day, we’ve still got the Triple R coming your way when someone will ring Ruth’s Rotary with a question.
Speaking of ring, I just know you’re ready to ring the bell yourself on my property pop quiz, and now she’s a Cubs fan from the south side of Chicago. So weird. Who does that? And he’s a Detroit Tigers fan living in Texas. Yeah, I can see that. Here’s Crystal Hammond and Joe Sea Hot.
Welcome, welcome, welcome everyone to the show and welcome back to our friend Joe. How are you today? This lovely. Non-specific time of day when somebody might be listening to this. Is that what you’re welcoming me to? Yes. Or non-specific day of the week. Also, how could you be a Cubs fan in White Sox territory?
I’ve been to White Sox games and people are rabid about the Sox on the south side. They’re so angry and they’re also angry ’cause the White Sox won a whole penant and they still can’t sell out a game. Cubs fans are awesome. We sell out games. It’s a huge difference when you go to both stadiums. It’s about Did everybody in neighborhood hate you though?
No, of course not. No. You’re wearing Cubs gear in Sox territory. Crystal. No, no, no, no. But my bad, my bad. Well, we got a great show today, crystal, because I actually did a Stacking Deeds interview. Yay. Appreciate. I know. I’m so excited. This guy, new Yorker magazine, crystal called the number one remodeler in the world.
They called him the number one remodeler in New York, which then you may say, okay, New York is one of the two biggest, most prestigious cities in the United States. If you think of New York and LA, it’s kind of like the big two. And then you compare New York real estate to real estate around the world.
You, I guess, can then get to best in the world from what the New Yorker said. He’s amazing. I’m impressed. I can’t wait to hear from him. I can’t wait either. But before that, we got a big headline, but even before that, we got a big announcement. Ready? Yes. Who’s the announcing? I’d love the look you’re giving me.
Yes, I am ready. Yeah. I’m here today because of Mark Ellison and because I did that interview, but I’m also here. I. Because whenever you start a podcast, people you know, figure out that things take time and are a little different than we thought. And Alan has decided to step back in his daily duties. So he’s still gonna be a part of our lovely Stacking Deeds family, our show.
You’ll hear him on our round table episodes, but he will not be here every single week. I heard he bought a limo, IMU farm. He saved so much money on his car insurance. Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. That’s the punchline. Are those the dumbest commercials ever, by the way? No. I love the legal emo. Annie has the kid too.
Oh, so cute. That is bad. One of us agrees with you and it’s not me. I don’t think so. But anyway, we’re super glad you guys are here with us. We got a great show today. We’re talking not just Mark Ellison, but we’re talking about Airbnb. So Crystal, you ready to hit the go button? Oh yes, I’m ready. Get your ears ready to learn a lot today.
Hello Chap. And now our Stacking Deeds Headlines, Cheerio and Pip. Pip. Our headline today comes to us from Newsweek. This is written by Julia. Julia. It is Julia spelled very Italian, G U I U. L I a, Julia Carbonaro. Sorry, Julia. I know Julia’s a big fan of the show, so Yeah, definitely. Now she is. Julia writes, fallen Airbnb listings, revenue sparks, housing market crash fears.
This has been all over the place in real estate land. Everyone. Julia writes, falling Revenues per listing for A, B, and B. The popular service that lets property owners rent out their spaces to travelers. Could trigger a housing market crash quote on par with the 2008 subprime crisis in some cities, according to one real estate expert, though others questioned the data.
We’re gonna go through this in a second. A lot of this data crystal, but what’s your take on that headline? What do you think? I feel like it’s another thing where people are getting in a fritz over nothing. I wouldn’t say nothing, but it just comes down to doing your research. I feel like we had Lauren Keen Amand on the show.
She’s the Airbnb queen. Yeah. She’s like five figures it a month on Airbnb. It just matters how you buy, where you buy. This is just, I wouldn’t call it click bait, but hey, we clicked on it. We certain did it worked well, but there’s some data here. Let’s walk through the data. This gentleman on Twitter, Nick Gurley.
Nick is the c e O of Reveture Consulting and Reveture app. He has 84,000 followers, pretty big for somebody in the real estate arena. He lists in a tweet that we’ll link to in our show notes. Airbnb revenue collapse the top 10 cities, and he walks through these numbers, which are rents from May, 2022, and then rents May, 2023 in these areas.
Number 10 on this list is Breckenridge, Colorado. Was it almost $4,200? Now it’s down to 2,600. Denver number 9 33. 74 down to 2000. Just above 2000. Nashville comes in eight, 5,007 or 55 down to 3,500. Salisbury, Maryland, which you explained to me. I think Crystal’s along the coast. It’s kind of a resort team.
Ocean city, right kind of area. Yeah. Ocean City, Maryland, 1,490, down to $900. Asheville, North Carolina, 3,360, down to 1900. San Antonio, fifth, 3,300 down to 1800. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 3,100 down to 1700. Austin, Texas in second. Similarly down. 46%, 4600, 2500. Phoenix in second, 55, 69 down to 2,900, and then the biggest drop at 47%.
Airbnb Reds collected is Seaville, Tennessee, 6,228 down to 3,266. Crystal, I’d explain to you where Seaville is. I was gonna say I’m not surprised at number one ’cause I’ve never heard of that place. Well, a lot of people have. If you’re a fan of Great Smokey Mountain National Park, just north of, there is a tourist town called Gatlinburg, another one called Pigeon Forge.
If you think of Ocean City and put it in the middle of the Smoky Mountains. There you go. That’s what it is. And Seaville is just north. It’s a residential town. Very, very pretty area though. But very, very touristy. And by the way, looking at this top 10, that’s what we’re seeing. I mean, assuming this data is correct, these are all touristy areas, which is weird because I feel like they’re all talking about how people are revenge traveling.
Right now since the pandemic’s over, everyone feels all right. It’s safe to try even. Uh, this last week, well for 4th of July weekend, non-specific date, the airports had a record number of screenings, so people are getting out of the house. I guess it’s a matter of where are people going. Well, that is number one.
Number two, because this is a string of tweets. The second tweet that Nick has is about Airbnb inventory versus homes for sale. As you and I know a lot of the big players like BlackRock, getting into the Airbnb game, these monster companies buying thousands of houses at a time and competing against people like you and me and Alan and Lauren, other real estate investors.
He’s got a chart of 2016. 1,442,000 houses for sale, and this is Airbnb rentals versus for sale inventory. I don’t know what the unit of time is on this, but assuming the unit of time is the same 1,442,000 houses for sale versus 188,273 Airbnbs on the market today. By the way, back in late 2020, that number switched during the pandemic where there were actually more Airbnbs than there were houses for sale.
Today he parks the number at 965,391 Airbnb slash vrbo, and only five hundred fifty four nine hundred and twenty one houses for sale. Crystal, it looks like people aren’t selling their houses anymore. No, they’re letting, they’re renting them out. They’re airbnbing them. And really the main thing that jumps out to me on this chart too is, so back in 2016, there’s over a million more homes for sale.
Yeah. So people buying them up, buying them up, buying them up, and then now it’s flips. So there’s like almost a million Airbnbs and Vbrs for rent, and half of that, there’s about 500. So that’s like a factor of half. So what do you do when you have an Airbnb that you’ve bought and now the rentals aren’t there anymore?
Or you know, what do you do when you’re looking to invest? And the only thing out there are Airbnbs. This is a recipe for the bidding wars since there’s so few listings for sale. Yeah. But then these owners need to decide, am I gonna sell or am I gonna go back to trying to find a regular monthly renter?
Or you know, how can I pivot? I was just the c e o at a credit union conference, and we had an economist talked to us for about an hour and a half. He was a very entertaining guy, wore a bow tie and he jumped up and down, which was not like most economists. Most economists, fairly, fairly boring, but this guy was not.
But anyway, he thought Crystal, that we were going into a recession and he presented a lot of data about why he thought there was a recession. But was interesting was that he said, the reason it’s gonna be so shallow is because there’s so few houses for sale. That the housing prices are continued to propel the economy forward and car prices also doing that.
Now, he thought that real estate and houses at some point also have to see their reckoning, have to see bad things happening. But he thought that wasn’t happening right now. And it’s partly because there’s so few houses for sale that that’s booing things up. But I think to your point, I think really what this speaks to is this thing that I’ve heard you and Alan talk about over and over and over, that is this drumbeat we should make sure our dieters know, which is you make your bed when you buy the property.
Mm-hmm. When you buy the property is 90%. If you make a bad deal on a property and you have to get $3,000 on your Airbnb, or you decide to Airbnb, right? And it should be a long-term rental or a medium term rental, you’re renting it the wrong way or you overpay and you have to get this big, big, big rent check every month and it just isn’t gonna happen.
That’s where you get into trouble. I think you gotta make a very smart buying decision at the front end and that greases the rest of the process, don’t you? Definitely. The numbers will tell you if your decision is right or wrong. The numbers will have you in a situation where you’re avoiding this desperation because you’ve planned for all the scenarios.
You bought it, right? The numbers are right. Remember, you’re buying at worst case scenario is plugged into your numbers. Yeah. So at worst case scenario, you’re still doing fine. You know, remember what Alan said also, it’s like you buy a property, you know, worst case scenario, you’re breaking even, you know, the next five, 10 years.
And good news when you go to sale, you know there’s different things that’s gonna happen. You know, you’ll have those years of equity built in or is it time to refinance? ’cause people thought that the rise in interest rates was going to make a huge change in the market. But you know, I don’t think it has.
So I feel like the interest rate has filtered out the people who aren’t serious. You know the people that who aren’t doing the math well, and you can see here in Nick’s graphs with inventory continuing to go down few and fewer houses. That is counteracting what’s going on with interest rates. To your point, and by the way, worst case scenario sounds like something an engineer would do.
Sounds exactly like something Crystal Hammond would do. Chase scenario planning. Exactly. You always need that plan because you don’t wanna plan when it’s a sunny day, sunny day, things are going amazing and Right. You wanna plan for those non sunny days, those non-conventional scenarios. And then that’s where the bang for the buck is.
Like that’s where you’re making your money. I’ve talked to a lot of investors that prefer these trendy areas like Phoenix, like Seaville, like Austin, Texas as an example. They prefer those. But if you’re gonna get into a trendy area, realize that that also might not be trendy for forever, and that even if it stays trendy, you’re still gonna get the back of the tail of the scorpion.
I mean, if things look good right now, it’s not always gonna look good, which is another reason to do that. Worst case scenario planning. And I think even more so if you’re in a trendy area. ’cause you know where the big boys and girls go from places like BlackRock, these huge institutional firms, they’re doing the same research.
So you gotta know that that’s where they’re gonna be, which is interesting. I remember Lauren saying this on her show. Saying that she specifically does not go to those areas? Nope. For that reason, she’ll pick a little bit outside areas. She’ll pick maybe a medium sized city with a college in it, you know where there’s gonna be dependable need for rents, but it’s not gonna be the sexy area, like the ones that we saw on this list.
Some people wanna be off the beaten path when they’re on a vacation. They wanna be in Disney, but not on top of Disney. So they wanna be maybe a half hour an hour outside of Disney. And that’s where she is in that area or outside of Tampa. It’s like, I’m not in the thick, I’m in the outskirts of the thick.
Oh, but come on, crystal, don’t you wanna live there in the top of Cinderella’s Castle? No. Don’t you wanna have the sweet and Cinderella’s castle? Absolutely. No. I’m competing with all those children. Where are you gonna park if you wanna have a party, where are your friends gonna park? But it’s great. They could do the horse-drawn carriage down Main Street to your party.
Wouldn’t that be great? Thank you. Nothing. Who can afford that? You have a firework show every night. It’s so funny. Hey kid, you’re not beautiful. I’m beautiful. Back away. Cinderella. This is all mine. I could see a YouTube video Crystal fighting with Cinderella. No way. Some people, as you mentioned earlier, let’s get to this.
Some people questioned the data and said they’re looking at the same data. Airbnb actually even answered and said, we’re looking at it way we don’t know where you got this data because everything looks fine by us. You know, even if things look fine. Crystal, I’d love your idea of worst case scenario planning.
Pretend like it’s not fine, like if it is fine, how great is that? If you did worst case scenario planning and you bought everything based on worst case scenario, Now everything is fine. You know this guy Nick is cray Kray. Right? If he truly is, it’s great for you. That’s fantastic. And that’s less pivoting you have to do.
That’s less worrying you have to do. That’s That’s also less work you are doing because I. Remember, you always do the work upfront. You wanna beat the rush. You don’t wanna be the last person hopping on a trend. ’cause I have bad news for you my friend. You know, they say the trend is your friend until it isn’t.
So you always wanna beat the rush there. And maybe, you know what I don’t like beat the rush out. I really like long-term hold myself, right? Yeah. I mean beat the rush getting in. No, I agree. I was going to the next step, which was got it. Beat the rush in. Beat the rush out. You know like you’re 70 years old so you leave the concert before the encore so you can get outta the parking lot.
Oh def. I do that now. I do that now because grandma’s gotta get home and get her beauty sleep. Is that why? Yes. One economist, by the way, did agree in this piece that he thought Airbnb listings, while he disagreed with Nick and these statistics, he did agree that he thought that Airbnb listings, because there are so many of them, that you should expect revenue decline if you’re in that market.
So we’ll link to these on our show notes page at Stacking deeds.net. You can sign up for the show notes Crystal And what they come to your they, they are hand delivered cyber release cyber bot E each week, every Tuesday. We have this team of ferrets that we put into the network and they hand deliver things to your email.
They go through the network. It’s amazing. It’s the emu farm that we outsource ’em from. Alan’s emu farm. Our guest coming up next is Mark Ellison. I was so happy to be able to interview Mark because the New Yorker wrote a piece back in 2020 called The Art of Building the Impossible. And as soon as the word got out about Mark, not only did the wealthiest people in New York knew who Mark Ellison was.
All of a sudden, the entire world. Knew who Mark Ellison was. He wrote a book, which is not really about real estate, it is about his life and times and the people he is worked with, the jobs he’s done. It’s a very quirky, interesting take on working in this industry that all of us dieters like so much real estate.
So that’s coming up next, but Doug, I think you’ve got some trivia for us, right? Hey there, dieters. I’m Ruth Fetched boy, neighbor Doug, and I’m super excited. We’ve got Mark Ellison coming up next to talk about beautiful remodels. In fact, since the team is in Joe’s mom’s basement today, I thought it’s a great time to consult with a pro like Mark on an overhaul of Ruth Lincoln.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna whine about the lack of space in the trunk or the fact that I usually am talking to you from the fetal position back there. No, that’s not my way. But I do think that with a. A little bit of fresh upholstery and maybe some new curtains for the back. We can make sure Ruth’s carpeting matches the drapes.
Speaking of making things beautiful, one city in Italy began a major project downtown way back in 1334. You know, three years before Joe was born. Otto Dee, probably how you say that, a famous artist built a Campanile or bell tower that’s part of the seven buildings that make up the city’s cathedral on the Piazza del Omo.
It’s 84.7 meters tall and has seven bells, and is considered one of the most beautiful bell towers in Italy and slightly more beautiful than anything built in Texarkana lately. Although we did just add a new Panda Express. It’s pretty chic building. I mean, have you seen that thing? So here’s my question.
What expensive real estate city is home to GTO’s Lan? I’ll be back right after I ask Ruth what color she’d like her dreams to be.
Are you tired of making money the old passion way? Do you want to join the ranks of successful real estate moguls and live like a Kardashian? We’ll grab your oversized sunglasses and get ready for the real estate investing for beginners show. Our hosts may not have any formal training, but they’ve watched enough H G T V to know what’s up.
They’ll teach you how to spot a fixer upper from a mile away and flip it faster than a pancake on a hot griddle. And if you’re more interested in passive income, they’ve got plenty of tips for being a lazy landlord and collecting rent while you sit Margaritas on a tropical island. Subscribe to the real estate investing for a beginner’s show today and start living your best life, or at least pretending to on Instagram.
Hey there, dieters. I’m Ferrari lover and pasta connoisseur. Ruth’s fetch, boy, neighbor, Doug. Hey, safety tip. Don’t ask Ruth about the color of her drapes. Not sure why, but apparently that question sets her off sometimes. I just don’t know what to say. Anywho, today’s question is about a beautiful building, the Sounds Italian that just so happens to be part of an equally beautiful cathedral complex in an area called the Piazza del Duomo in one Italian city.
My question, which city? In a city where real estate costs 3000 to 5,000 euros per square meter, or by my rough calculation, 300 to $500 a square foot? It’s. Florence, Italy, which is weird because Ruth said she’d kick me all the way to Florence, Italy for asking me about her upholstery. I have no idea what you’re mad about, Ruth.
I just think you could have a better car. I’ll try to placate Ruth while you listen to Joe and Artisan extraordinaire. Mark Ellison.
Ed joining us on the show. I’m super happy he’s here. Mark Ellison, how are you man? Things are great. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. Well, it is funny talking to you ’cause a lot of the time we’re talking to people who are professional house flippers, professional rehabbers, which of course is part of what you do, but you don’t work on that end of the business anymore.
You’re working with people who are creating these houses that are all one of a kind different, these are really people’s masterpieces. I feel like Mark. Well, I mean, no House I’ve worked on in the last. 35 years was built with the intention of worrying about the market value. Or could they flip this house, or should they make the countertops beige so I can resell it?
Those kind of in considerations do not enter into what I do. They’re not doing the subway tiling for resale value? No. They’re doing the hand painted tiles from Crete that come over, you know, and then we’re in a hurry to get them so they get flown over on an airplane because the person has to move in in two months, and that’s what we do.
There are several intentions for the primary intention to what we do is to make people feel that they live in a home that is as important as they are, and that it reflects their sometimes outsized characters. I wanna talk about getting into this though, because as you know, having kids of your own. That people out of high school, they often feel this pressure that they have to get it right.
They gotta get their career right immediately out of the shoe. And yet, I don’t read about many carpenters. I don’t read about people doing what you do on the level you do it, who begin with a banjo. Could you talk about your early life with the banjo? Yeah. I mean, both of my parents are academics. Both of my parents have so many letters after their names.
You know, PhD, md, my father has a Bachelor’s of Divinity, a bachelor’s of science. I mean, I lost track a long time ago. There’s so many letters after their names. I don’t even pay attention anymore. And I found conventional education very difficult. I had a hard time in school. I didn’t enjoy it. To me classrooms were confinement.
And so I first dropped out of school when I was 16 and much to my parents’ consternation, and they sent me on a journey of tough love, which involved getting work and paying my own way on things. And it was a nice try, but I’ve always loved working. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever done for a job. I love scooping ice cream.
I like sweeping floors. I like washing dishes. At Howard Johnson’s. I’ve always found the dynamic of work to be fascinating and I like to move and I like to do things, and I like to feel a sense of accomplishment with what I do, and I’ve always felt that way. And so every job was great, and that has just carried with me.
There’s a very silly story in the book about, I barely played the banjo at that stage, but it turns out some local theater group needed a banjo player for a promotional job at Bonwit Teller. And the guy who lived next door to me knew I owned a banjo and I had all of three songs to my repertoire. And so they dressed me up in a costume, sent me to Boit Teller, and I proceeded to play the banjo for an hour and a half.
That was actually one of the jobs I didn’t like because it was so, I liked it because I was paid $250 for an hour and a half’s work in 1983, which was epic. But the whole idea of performing to me has always been a little bit, you know, like a lot of people, I’m not all that comfortable on stage and I don’t quite get why people love performing.
But I was for a very short time, a professional banjo player for an hour and a half, once in 1983, and that was before you were a professional ice cream server, cake decorator, bindery worker, animal food delivery driver. I thought that was a good one, mark. Yeah, that got a little dodgy because well happened was, I have to be very careful with names and locations, but one of the people involved in the business had a rather lucrative cocaine distribution business going on, which they piggybacked onto the animal food delivery.
So there were times when we were not just delivering animal food, we were actually delivering cocaine to people. This is New York In the eighties. I was a very young man. I don’t claim to have made sensible decisions throughout my life, and I was also not a very careful driver, and I would always get stopped by the police.
And after about the third traffic stop, when I knew perfectly well what was in the glove compartment, I was like, I can’t do this anymore. I mean, I can’t deliver cocaine for a living, and so I stopped. You didn’t intend ever, you write this in your book, you never intended to become a carpenter. I mean, as a child, I didn’t really know the job existed.
I mean, a carpenter never entered my home when I was a child. If anything needed fixing, that was dad’s job. He had a workshop in his basement and my entire childhood, when something needed fixing, either the person that broke it was forced to learn to fix it, which was usually me. And if I smashed a window playing basketball, my dad taught me how to fix a window if I once kicked open the lock on the back door and I had to repair the lock on the back door.
And so I didn’t intend to become a carpenter largely ’cause I kind of didn’t know that people did that freshly out of high school. I was given a job in Central Square in Boston. I tell about this in the book, and essentially these were parents of high school friend of mine and they were looking for the cheapest way possible to fix up a townhouse.
So they hired a couple kids fresh outta high school, and then they hired a real carpenter, a man named Sam Clark. Who would come in every week and school us in the techniques that we needed and the things we had to do in that coming week. And then he’d come back next week and make us fix everything we messed up and then move on to the next step and move on to the next step.
I lived in the job site while the work was going. I mean, it was one working toilet kind of maybe sometimes, and I just adored the work. I thought it was great. It was so much fun to make things and build things all day and put up walls, and we did the most rudimentary style of carpentry. There was nothing fancy about it back then, but we got walls up and we got a kitchen in, and we got doors hung and we.
Managed to build something that looked a little like a house. And it was wonderful. There’s a lot of people listening to this also who think not only do they think as kids that they have to get their career right away. And clearly you’re proof that this meandering path can lead to wonderful places that you didn’t expect, all of which factor into great things for your life later.
But the second is, you know, over and over and over, when I was doing my research for this interview, mark, the word that comes up associated with your name over and over and over is talent and how talented you are at this. And in chapter two, you really take the term talent to task and you go after two ideas that I’d like you to comment on.
The first one you say is, talent is the most significant determining factor in predicting achievement. And second, if one is not immediately good at something, it’s not worth doing. Can you talk to the idea of talent when it comes to your job? The second one, if somebody doesn’t immediately display prowess at something, you know, I mean, you take up the banjo and people feel like if they can’t suddenly go out and play like Earl Scruggs after five or six banjo lessons that something’s wrong with them.
Earl Scruggs took up the banjo at three and played on the porches with his uncles, you know, for 10 years before going and playing dances and playing parties. And it’s a very strange and silly idea in our culture. I think it’s largely because we see very young people become very successful in sort of internet kind of culture and you know, pop culture.
Particularly pop music and pop music and you know, movies and things in particular. You see very young people become very successful, very rich, very famous early on and everybody goes, oh, that’s how it happens. And then they’ll go out and try and sing a song and their second grade teacher will say, yeah, that wasn’t really very good.
And then that’s it. And then they never sing again. People call me talented all the time and it kind of irks me because I have been working at the things I’m working at. I work daily at several things. I work daily at music, I work daily at my job, which is building things and you know, my craft. I work daily at a couple other things.
I’d still practice Tai Chi and things like that. And Tai Chi took me about 15 years before anything anybody said made sense in any way, shape or form. And actually I was told that when I first teacher, he said, you won’t understand the word I’m saying for about 15 years. For 15 years. Yeah. It was pretty accurate.
It was only after about 15 years. I was like, oh, all this stuff kind of makes sense. But it took 15 years and it’s the same with music. I mean, I’ve practiced music now since I was four. I’m 61, so that’s 57 years, and I’m making a record album now because it took me 57 years to be good enough to feel like, oh, I’m now qualified to make a record that’s 57 years of practice.
I mean, that’s so far beyond the 10,000 hours that, I mean, I consider myself kind of a slow learner at things. I’m a slow reader. I’m just very, very determined and I don’t mind practicing something every day. That I’m not necessarily that good at. And I would say I finally became, what I would consider, it took me 15 years at least to be probably 20 to become what I called a decent carpenter.
It took about 20 years where I, you know, if anything you ask me to build in a house, I got it. I can build it. But that took about 20 years playing guitar. Took about 40, ’cause it’s harder. I mean, I can only speak for myself, but people go on and on about like, you’re exceptionally talented at this and exceptionally talented in this.
And really my answer to that is, you know, there are genetic abilities that some people have that are beyond what other people have. There are people that just have more graceful bodies and they make better dancers very often. But there’s also some very oddly shaped dancers who dance magnificently. It’s just that we’re not used to seeing them because they always pick the ones that have the bodies that look like the dancers.
Like I always think of like Larry Bird, who must have been teased magnificently through his entire grade school. ’cause he was one of the most awkward looking people on the face of the earth. And yet he practiced and practiced and prac. He would do a thousand foul shots every day, even deep into his career.
And you go like, that’s why he was on the court because he worked and he practiced and he practiced and he practiced. And he got to the point where he was a magnificent basketball player. He wasn’t nearly as pretty as some of the men that played around him, and he didn’t play as beautifully and as gracefully as they did.
But he played with a determination and a drive that allowed him to stand on the same court as the people of his generation. And to me, I don’t care if somebody’s talented or not, I really don’t care. I mean, if you’re a terrible singer and Chris Kristoffer is like a terrible singer, his voice is terrible.
I’m sorry, Chris, you’re one of the most magnificent songwriters in the history of American music. His voice is terrible. There goes the biggest fan of this show, mark, I don’t know if I know. This show is sponsored by Kris Kristofferson. Now you just made our sponsor upset. I also called him one of the most magnificent songwriters in the history of American music.
And there he stood on the stage with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Chris Christofferson. And you go like, but he did earn his place there. He absolutely earned his place there. And it wasn’t through innate talent. It was through drive and work and determination and practice and constant effort that earned him that place.
So sure, some people have a leg up genetically here and there in different things, but it doesn’t matter. I mean, to me, all that matters about music is what I get out of it. Do I enjoy doing it? Do I have camaraderie with the people I play with? Do I enjoy their company? Do we respond to each other emotionally while we’re playing?
I feel the same way on a job site. I mean, one of the most important things to me on a job site is not how talented are each of these individuals, but like. Is there a comradery to it? Are we all working towards the same goal? Is everybody here to do the same thing? And that has an energy that if I had 15 superstars, we probably wouldn’t have.
’cause they’d all end up hating each other and trying to compete with each other, and they’d be like, oh, I’m the superstar. Why are you talking to him? You know what I mean? There’s something to be said for, you know, it’s like the bad news bears. The underdogs who you go, like the 1980 US hockey team where you go like, they shouldn’t have beaten those Russians.
That was impossible. It was impossible that those guys beat the Russians, and yet they did. I felt like that same thing when you were telling the story in the book, and we’ll let people read the story, but it’s, you’re on this job. You’re working for the son of a guy who’s in real estate or in construction.
His name’s Luigi, and you are working all night long on this project for Luigi. It’s not just you, the whole crew is really pitching in. No, we all worked all night. Yeah. Yeah. You said you really like working for these people because they were demanding, but they knew what they wanted. And you knew it was a project of love and man, the care that went into that house, you could just feel in this story, mark, everybody pulling together on the job site to make this vision a reality.
Especially you down in the garage or wherever, trying to beat some sense into some brass to make a railing. Yeah, I was young then. It wasn’t that young. It was maybe over 20 years ago. That was the first time I’d ever really worked brass. I mean, essentially what happened was there was a railing that had to be done the next day.
The very next day furniture was coming. This design outfit had a team of about 50 people who would come in and dress the apartment. They hung drapes, they brought napkin rings, they put in dish soap. They took the house and they put socks in the drawers. There were about 50 people who came and turned it from.
Our completed project to these people’s home. It was remarkable, and I’ve only seen that once in my career. It was done so well, but they were coming the very next day and I hadn’t finished the railing. I had ordered all the parts to the railing, but I messed up. I didn’t realize that I’d left out one little curved piece to make a transition from the bottom piece to the part that goes up the stairs.
And I had, well, at that point it was two in the afternoon and the people were coming the next day. And I actually had a welder coming the next day who was gonna weld all the pieces of the railing together. I had to have that piece of railing. And the tenor of the entire project as a group was, we are getting this place done.
We are going to make this a success. I had to run down to Canal Street to a surplus metals place, and I found a piece of brass that would work, and then I ran to the hardware store just before it closed, and I bought every tool in the place that it seemed like I might need, I mean, rasps and all kinds of things.
And then I had to figure out how to make this curved piece of brass railing, and I’d never tried to bend a three quarter inch thick piece by like two and a quarter piece of brass before. It’s very hard to bend. It’s really, really hard to bend. And I didn’t have any specialty equipment. And so what I did was I went down to the basement parking garage and I clamped one end of the brass.
To a dumpster down there. ’cause that was the most solid thing that had something I could clamp to. And I beat it with a wrecking bar, you know, a 36 inch iron wrecking bar. I literally beat that thing and I beat myself into a frenzy in a sweat for like an hour. Yeah. You said it’s after midnight, by the way.
And the neighbors, you’re probably keeping the neighbors up. I was keeping the entire building up, but I was so focused that it never even occurred to me. And then Luigi came down, he walks up, he approaches me in the garage and he is like, mark, what are you doing? And I was like, Luigi, this has to be done for tomorrow.
I have the welder coming to finish the railing. And he saw, I was like, something, I’m drenched in sweat. I’m covered in dust and dirt. And he walked up while I was beating the thing. And he was just a very practical, he knew he wanted the place done. That was his goal also. And he was part of the company that built the entire building.
So they own the building. He just kind of goes, okay, I’ll take care of it. And then he just fielded complaints about the crazy noise from the parking garage for the rest of the evening, and I got the damn thing done. You know, to me it was such an enormous accomplishment. It was like, there’s something about it.
Like no matter what, no matter what, we’re getting this done. We’re eating pizza and egg sandwiches all night. Were all staying up. And then the next morning when the welders showed up at nine in the morning, I had the little piece in my hand, and he is one of the most talented metalsmiths in all of America, which means all of the world.
And I showed him the little piece and I said, I made this last night. And he is a Irishman from South Boston. And he just looks at, goes like, nice. And I was like, that’s like, it’s like a standing ovation from him. Yeah. I’m like, no. That was like the Pope coming down and going like, you know, I mean it was like sainthood as far as I was concerned.
Probably better. Well I think that’s interesting because you know a lot of people when they run into problems, and as you have said over and over in the book, whenever there’s something you’re working on, there’s always going to be problems. You seem to relish the chance to work on things that are especially going to be a problem.
And I feel like just that attitude of attacking, it really turns this thing that a lot of people could find to be a chore into something that’s beautiful and a challenge and something that’s just. Rounding our our life. I do have a question though about this, about, you know, sticking with this theme of talent, and I’m sure everybody can hear the joy that you’re expressing as you’re beating the hell out of the brass and trying to make it move, mark.
But they say follow your passion. And lately a lot of people say, follow your passion is bss. Well, people are already rich. They follow your passion, right? I gotta pay the bills. Then there’s an idea that a lot of people have talked about lately about, you know, follow your curiosity. If you’re curious about it and it makes some money, well then follow that versus paying the bills.
Where do you come down on that argument for young people? Follow your passion, follow your curiosity, or pay the bills and find the banjo as a hobby. I mean, I was thinking about this recently ’cause I was just in London and I have never liked doing office work. I never liked working in an office and I’ve never liked that kind of environment or that kind of atmosphere.
And the publicist I was working with in Ireland, her name is Marie Louise Patton, and I mean not in Ireland in England. She was so terrific at her job. She’s 28 years old, and some people would go like, she’s a publicist. It’s kind of a sellout job. You know? There’s so many jobs that people think it’s not artistic.
It’s not my passion. This woman, she passionately sells books. She adores books, and she creates these really lovely relationships with people around her. I mean, I was like instantly in love with her and sure, she’s not an artist, she’s not a musician, she’s not an actress, but she’s gone and created one little lovely relationship after another, and that’s her career.
And I do make a distinction between career. And passion. I mean, I do. I mean, I’ve spent my entire career building other people’s visions. I don’t build my own visions. I always say I don’t have a dog in the aesthetic race. You know, I tell the one story in the book about that one horrible, horrible house that was done.
All Macintosh putty. Every color in the place was Macintosh putty, and the place was heart killing. It was an awful place to even stand every day. And that man for whom we built the house came up to us at the end of the project and said, you are artists. I admire your work. I think what you do is beautiful.
And we were all like, okay, pal. You know, it’s your house. It was hideous. It was the most hideous place I’ve ever built. I couldn’t stand to spend five minutes in the place, but it doesn’t matter. I. This is my work. This is my work for money and what I do for money. You know, I’ve had three children, they’ve all gone through college.
I’ve been married, divorced. I’ve had, you know, as many financial responsibilities as anybody does, and I’ve always been aware that the bills have to be paid even when I was doing work that I didn’t love the work. There’s always something about it. I mean, I’ve always taken jobs that were challenging to me somehow.
Even when I worked in the office in a construction company for a while, you know, I really wanted to learn the back office end of building, and I kind of hated it, but there were still parts of it that were really interesting. How does one work in an office and have really seamless and productive relationships with other people?
How do you get other people? It’s one thing to get myself to do things that nobody else will do. How do I get other people to do the thing they don’t want to do in order to get a project done? Some people need to be screamed at. Some people need to be coddled. Some people need to be encouraged and cajoled.
You know, there can be an art to almost anything. There’s an art to sweeping a floor properly. There’s an art to doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen so that everything’s in order. And your home looks lovely. I mean, I feel like I was just reading, it’s funny, it, it’s the second time I’ve had this conversation in the last few days, mark the, there’s another book called The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield and he talks about how pros go do the thing and they find the beauty in the thing and amateurs worry about how good it’s gonna be and never do anything right.
I mean, that is a wonderful way to say it. I mean, I imagine there are some things that there are not beauty in. I mean, there have certainly been things that have occurred in the world that it would be very, very difficult to find the beauty. I mean, there is terror and horror in the world and Barbara is Sure.
But I gotta say to your point, mark, with a publicist, as a guy who gets pitched 70 times a week, we have two people on the show of the 70 pitches that we get. Right? Right. When I find a great publicist, there is beauty and there is art. Yeah. In that. Yeah. Oh, wonderful. And the people who don’t, you can tell there are publicists.
I’m sure that, you know, when this person brings me something, it’s probably gonna be good. I might not use everybody they bring, but like there are some people that I’m sure. You know, five outta 10 people, most people bat like 10% and they’re batting 50. I mean, I’m sure you use half the people they send you because they know you and they actually care, obviously and probably care about their relationship with you.
And they don’t wanna sour it. They want to do something that works. So they wanna bring you people that are appropriate to your show and they study your show and they know your style. That’s the beauty of being a publicist. And there’s a beauty to being a lawyer. There’s a beauty to being a janitor. One of my favorite people I ever worked with was a laborer, Benny Masek, who, you know, he was a laborer.
He never wanted to be a carpenter. He never wanted to be. One of the up and up, you know, professions. He wanted to be the laborer and he had the most buttoned up job site I have ever been on. You could ask him for anything. You could say, I need a washer for a quarter 20 screw, but I want it to be a stainless steel.
And he’d be like, gimme a second. And then he’d go back and he’d come back and hand it to you. He knew where it was. He knew where, and he took such great pride in that his sights were buttoned up. And he would tell you that. And he would yell at the carpenters when they wouldn’t use the garbage cans. He put right next to the chop saw you say, what are you doing?
Throwing stuff on the floor? Don’t you have any self-respect? There’s a garbage can right there. You could feel the love. Yeah, you could feel the love. Yeah. Yeah. And it was probable. I do have one more theme that I want to get to, which you’re actually alluding to and we’re talking around a little bit, which is.
All the way through your book. It isn’t so much about these projects, and this is a show, by the way, about real estate on Stacking deeds, even larger, about Stacking Benjamins about money. And yet all of these things come down to relationships and working with people. And what’s funny, by the way, on that relationship and how good your publicist is, mark, we reached out to you.
Your people didn’t pitch me. And your publicist’s like, why you wanna talk to him about this? I’m like, because we need to talk more about the beauty. We need to talk more about the wonderful world of getting into and finding your way, which I think you express so, so well here. But on that note, you tell a story very early in the book about your first quote, name brand or name architect that you work with.
Yeah. And so you go into this house, it’s a minimalist house, and you talk about that. Those are very hard to do, but you’re working with kind of one of her underlings and she comes into the house. From time to time, and she’s just kind of swinging her arms everywhere and, and motioning. Can you tell us a little bit about, you call her Maya in the book, which I think isn’t her real name, but tell us a little bit about Maya.
Well, she’s an artist. She’s an architect and an artist. I’ve actually never encountered anyone like her before. She’s a bit unlike other people in the industry as far as I can tell. She didn’t carry a pencil. I mean, she is a visionary architect and artist, and she had a vision for this place and her way of communicating it was almost dance like.
I mean, luckily she also had a team of architects who worked with her who turned her things into actual drawings that we could more or less follow, but she would come through and look at everything and go, I want the lights here to be a constellation, and I want them to be here and. She was small and she was built like a dancer and she would just go this and this.
And then she’d go and the outlet on this wall needs to go here. And she would point at the spot where materials should come together. The stone floor should come here, the wall should come here, the plaster should come here. I mean, she was lovely because one of the things I tell in the story is that construction dudes like myself aren’t always that nice.
And most people, they were admitted to themselves would realize that they’re not that nice. You guys would make fun of her behind her back when she leaves. Yeah, the minute, the minute she disappeared, we’d be like, woo. Like, you know, because that’s what people like to do and mean. This can be fun as long as it’s not found out and you don’t get in trouble for it.
And everybody knows that. Everybody knows they love to go home and gripe to their significant other about the idiots back at the office. Everybody does this all the time. I just thought, well, why not admit that that’s actually what we did. This story though, has a wild ending. It’s five years later. Yeah.
You’re working with some people who are total pains in your ass. They are complaining about you nonstop. Tell us about this job. Luckily, I was always kind to her face, and I actually have a real, I mean, everybody’s full of mixed motivations, so I actually did like and admire her in my way and make fun of her behind her back.
Also, in my way, five years later, I was doing a project where towards the end, the owners really became difficult and somehow they accused my staff of stealing a handmade Danish silverware set, which nobody on my staff would even know what that was. I mean, and, uh, And they just went around. Everything was awful, everything was substandard.
How could we, I was fully screamed at and told that I had no standards, that I didn’t know anything about how people should be treated or how people should live. And we had built a, it was a beautiful apartment. They were wildly unhappy, and I’m not sure that frankly, much of it had to do with us. I think that was just kind of their take on many things in life.
And we bore the brunt of it. One day, just as I was about to leave, a friend of the owner was coming to visit and my staff was to get out so that they could be left alone. So I sent my staff home. I was packing up, putting on my coat, gathering my tools, getting ready to leave. And most places, I’ve never even been in the passenger elevator.
We always go the back way. The passenger elevator opened up and the owner went to greet the woman who was there, and it was Maya and Maya saw me there packing my things. And because she’s a delightful person, she ran over, she completely ignored the owner of the house. She ran right by her and she ran over and she was, I hadn’t seen her in five years.
And she was like, oh my God, mark, I can’t believe you’re here. And her project had been a rather epic success. And we certainly had parted on very good terms, the one that, that I had done five years previously. And so she ran over, she threw her arms around my neck and she’s like, what have you done? You’re doing this place, let me, and she’s like, show me around.
I wanna see the, and you know, she was like, well, I’m dancing and very animated. And she turned to the client and she said, you are so lucky to have him. And I think she probably derated me five minutes earlier. And Maya had me take her through the entire apartment and show her detail after detail, after detail and all the things we’d done.
And it was a beautifully done apartment. It was a very, very well done apartment with some pretty ambitious details. And then she came back and she just said to the owner, your place is gorgeous. You’re so lucky that nobody does apartments like Mark. And from that moment on, We never heard a crossword out of either of those clients.
Not a crossword ever again. From that moment on, we had the official blessing. They love the apartment. For anybody who thinks it’s just about real estate, it’s not about relationships. That story is all you need to hear. It’s all about relationships. It’s all, and I to this day, I mean, we did say mean things about her behind her back, and we did make fun of her and it’s really much to my shame to this day that, I mean, she saved my bacon on that thing.
Yeah. You write about how just lucky you were to have her as a friend and she’d never heard you and I. It’s a wonderful, just a wonderful story. The book is called Building a Carpenter’s Notes on Life and the Art of Good Work. Those stories we told today are just from the first couple chapters. I told Mark before we hit record.
It was just a wonderful read about humanity, about lessons learned about never losing your boss’s car keys by just flipping ’em around especially, especially if you’ve stolen the car and you need them to get it back to them. Yeah. We’ll let people read that one later. But the book’s available everywhere, mark, I assume.
Yeah, everywhere. Sold out in London, though I must say. When we were in London, it was sold out every bookstore there, so that is fabulous and well deserved. Well, thanks for helping our dieters kind of get the bigger picture here about the beauty of what we do in the world of real estate. Thank you so much.
It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you so much. Big thanks to Mark Ellison for joining us. That was an amazing interview. I never expected that. We’d be hearing, he dropped out at 16. We heard a reference to cocaine. But the biggest takeaway was it is, it’s all about relationships. Well, I also loved what he said about the talent, and it does take time to really curate like your gifts and your talents.
Like it doesn’t happen overnight. How long did he say it was like, he’s in his sixties. He first started at 16, got introduced and then, you know, now he’s like, you know, the Taj Mahal of builders. It took while. Yeah, he, he told me that he’s doing his first record playing music, you know, and at his age and the fact that so many people give up so quickly mm-hmm.
On whatever the thing is thinking. They don’t have talent in that area. And the fact now he did say that he’s always been good with his hands and he preferred mm-hmm. Like the hard grubby work and loved getting in it. That part I think might be something that he particularly loves and had a gift for.
But in terms of being able to make these beautiful, staircases, beautiful things mm-hmm. That does, it takes a long time. It takes a long time. It takes bravery and it takes heart because, you know, we are told, you know, that nine to five, that’s the way to go. And that doesn’t work for everybody. And even when he was in his nine to five, he still found ways to learn from it, you know, and grow from it.
Like, ’cause when he was saying, when he dropped out, he’s like, I wasn’t interested in school. I followed my passion. You know, I followed the path of, you know, what made sense to me. And that takes bravery. Like I’m so happy that he did that. You know, dropouts have a bad name. I flunked outta college twice, you know?
So I know what it means to, you know, not giving up and follow the path of things that make sense to you. Don’t care about what other people think. You need to do what makes sense for you. And he had a family where both of his parents were college professors. Yeah. Uh, all the letters they had. All the letters.
All the letters and their names. He is so funny. He and I, by the way, after we recorded this interview, we talked for another half hour. Like that guy can talk. Nice. Nice. And he joked about how another guy on Job said, I don’t know how you get anything done, especially as beautiful stuff, mark. ’cause you talk all the time.
Very quirky, fun guy. But you know, there’s a couple things. There’s a couple reason I think this is so important for our show. ’cause this is not the type of interview that we have normally done over our first several episodes. Mm-hmm. Number one, crystal. I think it’s important for us to remember that we are creating beauty.
My son, who owns 14 rental properties, they’re almost all in Detroit. You know what he’s most excited about and what other people tell him they love about him. He’s taking these old, beautiful houses and he was making them beautiful again. Yes. And he’s part of the resurgence of this city that he caress.
Now he lives in Seattle. Now. We live in Texas, but at our heart, we’re still Detroit fans. I love Detroit. And so for him to be a part of that by doing a little extra in the houses that he does, he’s gonna be renting them out. But he’s, he’s still putting in, I saw this bathtub he put in this one house.
Mm-hmm. It just fit. It was this antique looking gorgeous bathtub. And of course it’s something like that that makes it rent more quickly because it’s this cool design feature. But on the other side, it just also pays homage to what this city was and can be again, which I thought was so, so badass. And Mark, mark is a big piece of that.
And then the second thing I think we need to remember, Is that even though we’re focused on the hammers and nails, I think you hammered it on the head with your first takeaway, which was this is about relationship. You gotta get along with everybody. I mean, you gotta get along with That’s true. The people selling your property, you gotta get along with property managers, you gotta get along with tenants, you gotta get along now.
You don’t gotta be in a pushover. No. Yeah. Just get all, be the person. Have that personality that people actually genuinely wanna help and be around and you know, see succeed. And then you’re pulling at my heartstrings, talking about your son investing in Detroit. ’cause that’s what I’m doing in Chicago.
You know, that’s my home. That’s my block. And the block that I grew up on is the forgotten area. It’s a forgotten neighborhood. So I guess I’m the developer that’s gonna come along and change it. Yes. And you know, show people, Hey, this is where your dollars belong. Let’s recirculate our dollars in this community.
You know, mark, you can tell, I mean with the hilarious story about those people and his, his friend who was the architect. Right. And about how she completely changed their view of him. But imagine if he hadn’t gotten along with that woman, right. If he hadn’t gotten along with that architect, that whole thing would’ve ended differently if you were miserable to work with.
Yeah. Mm-hmm. So it’s one thing to be great, which he is like, it’s a twofer. I think you gotta be, it’s, you gotta be great at what you do and you have to be easy to work with. And then all this deals appear. People wanna do deals with you. Word of mouth. Yep. Good word. Fantastic. Is that the phone ringing? Oh.
What do you guys do when the phone rings here? We’re recording, right? I know we just answered. Oh right, ’cause we’re in the basement. Oh, this is the segment? Yes. Oh, this is Triple R. It’s time for Triple R. Yes. And look at this. The color ID tells us it’s Sean calling in Sean from Pennsylvania, who I think is a stalker.
’cause I think Sean’s called in before. Yes. Not a stalking. Hey Crystal and Allen, it’s Sean from Pennsylvania again. This time I have a question about build to rent. I’m curious to know what both of your thoughts are on that approach. Specifically building a single family or a duplex for the sole purposes of renting out that property.
I know it’s a bit riskier. It, it takes a little bit more of an upfront investment. So I’d love to know if you think that this is viable, if it’s just market or geographically dependent or anything else. But thanks. Thanks for the question, and I’m sad that Alan isn’t here to help answer your question, but I definitely have a take on this.
Crystal, what do you think? Well, thanks again for calling Sean, and I’m a huge fan of this. I’m doing this now. I’m building instead of a single family, which is what my lots are zoned for. I’m going through the trouble and going through the extra steps to get my land rezoned so that I can build four plexes.
I would say if you’re thinking of a duplex, why not do two for the price of one, the marginal cost of going from a single family to the duplex. It’s not as big as you think it is, but again, run those numbers, get those estimates, because we were actually trying to go for six plexes, but that was just, wow.
Too dense for the space. But the marginal cost of adding the extra unit really wasn’t that significant. So it’s like let’s just maximize the space. But you’re right, you’ve got the construction teams already out there. Yeah. There’s just a cost to getting them out there. The cost beyond that is much more incremental.
You don’t get this boom, huge cost again. So the cost of pouring a foundation of, or a slab, whatever it might be. Yeah. And the building costs, because you got shared walls, you also have les there, utilities. Yeah. Single roof utilities that run throughout. One to two. That’s good. I do think though, crystal, this is regional dependent because the cost of that land is going to either be your friend or your enemy.
And the bad news is Sean, I think if you get too far out in what my mom calls the boonies, you too far out of the boonies, you’re not gonna get any renters, right? So there’s some danger there. But if you’re too close to a hot area, like where Mark’s building in New York City, that’s gonna be ridiculously expensive.
It’s gonna be incredibly right? It is the land. The land is the biggest difference because construction costs are pretty, I wouldn’t call them fixed, but the land is the thing that has the biggest variable in price. It’s usually the land because you can do pretty great estimates of the cost of building, but the land is normally the biggest variable here.
And this is where I think you can hop on trends. You know, we talked about the danger in trends around touristy areas earlier in our headline. I think the trend here, crystal, with a lot of people moving back to the middle of the country, middle of the country, is starting to get hot again. Now that people can live wherever they want for most of their jobs.
You can get a fairly inexpensive property in a decent size city and see some good results. I live in a city of just under 70,000 people for people who lived there their whole life. When I call it a little town, they look at me cross-eyed like, what are you talking about? Like, I lived in Detroit. This is tiny like, and they’re like, you’re nuts.
This is the biggest town anywhere within an hour. So we’ve got banks and hospitals and all this stuff. I’m seeing construction all over this town though, crystal right now, and I know it’s people doing exactly what Sean’s talking about, building places for people to rent super, super place. I think a city of this size.
Where we have kind of a captive population. If you’re gonna be living in this area, you’re probably gonna live in Texarkana. It’s doing that type of research, like who the hell would think move to Texarkana, U s A outside of Joe l Cihi. Like who would do that? Not that many people, but I think when you started in middle America, you probably have uh, much lower land cost construction teams that are probably gonna charge you less.
Now, the cost of goods though, crystal still is the cost of goods that I think is gonna translate. Wherever you’re at, you’re gonna lumber’s lumber fixed and that’s not cheap. I don’t know. Every time you say Texarkana, I think of to Durkin, like Crystal know why, like when you see Texa, can I get hungry? I get so hungry.
I don’t know about that. That being weird. Well, most people think, but the movie Cannonball Run where they were going to get the Coors Light, that’s the big deal, but that’s a certain, you know, takes a certain redneck to have that, have that thought process.
But yeah, I think if you’re talking about Pennsylvania too, Sean, that almost goes along the lines of Chicago and Detroit. There are some forgotten areas of investment in that area, so that’s also a chance for you to show like, Hey, this area needs love too, and I haven’t forgotten about the area, and I wanna start a trend too, or being on trend or starting the trend.
Because even for Detroit and Chicago, when people see, hey, there’s some investment going on, you know, their ears perk up and others try to get it. Also, there’s definitely some areas so. To succinctly answer your question, yes, very dependent on the area and also interest rate dependent. You know how you finance that property too.
We should talk about that for a second. Crystal is gonna make a difference. So if you can pull out cash from your primary property in the way of a home equity loan, home equity loan or line of credit, might get you much better financing. Now, I’m not sure how much money you’ll be able to do that with in your situation, but taking out that loan, when you go into the bank and you tell them that this is specifically for an investment property, the interest rate jacks up and with interest rates already high.
Mm-hmm. Compared to the last 10 years. That might be a tough pill to swallow and your down payment also makes a difference too. But that’s a good start. The bank, I’m starting with the bank and building a relationship with different banks. I’ve built relationships now with like three different banks in that, that lend in that area in Chicago.
So hopefully it’s a free up and wait kind of process, but it’s the relationship building and it’s the look, how feasible is this project? You know, what do I need on my end? And they are very helpful. That’s great. They’ve been helpful. That’s a great, but it’s still been a hurry up and wait. I just did a keynote speech for a group called Farm Credit and these people work with farmers to help them either buy the neighbor’s land when they decide not to farm anymore or expand the land, whatever it might be.
And they said that same thing, crystal. They said, we may or may not be able to help you, but we have all this data and when we think you may be a customer we can help you with. Well, that’s the price per square foot. They have a ton of data about the neighboring community and banks may too. So maybe I was wrong when I told you that your banker doesn’t care about the cupcakes.
I kept telling Crystal like, the cupcakes don’t matter Crystal. She’s like, Nope. Given the baker cupcakes. That’s funny. May or may not be a true story, maybe. All right. I think that does it. If people want to call RU Rotary, how do they get to us Crystal? Yeah, so you make sure you head over to Stacking deeds.net/voicemail.
Leave us a message and we will answer your question just like we did Sean’s today. Well, what a awesome show today. I believe that’s a, a wrap. I feel like we just started. We can’t go. We can’t go. We did. You ain’t gotta get home, but you gotta get outta here a closing time on the podcast. Wouldn’t that be cool if we could play that at the end of the show?
We can’t get the rights. Oh yes. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Oh no, that’s too sadly, right? Yes. We can stay. If somebody wants to donate the Rights Today song to us, we would appreciate it. Hey, coming up next week, another great Stacking deeded show. Of course, with Alan gone, you can expect some more news from us, but next week, crystal people should expect you and I again.
Yes. All right. She is. Crystal Hammond, I a k a condo Crystal in the Twitter streets, Joe. So see hi average Joe money. We’ll see you next time back here at Stacking Deeds. Doug, what should we have learned today?
So what should we have learned today? First, take some advice from Mark Ellison. Real estate is about people and relationships and making rundown areas beautiful. You’re in a great business if you’re in real estate. Remember that next time you feel a little bit down second from our headlines thinking about Airbnb.
Market analysis is your best friend. If you get into a hot market, there will be down times stress test your properties for the win.
But the big lesson, uh, so my bad, I just found out that comparing carpet and drapes might possibly kind of sorta. Have a second meaning, and I meant the first one, you know, that is if you thought the inappropriate one was the second one, but if you thought the inappropriate one was the second one, then I truly, totally, absolutely meant the first one.
Thanks to Mark Ellison for joining us today. You can find out more about his book, building A Carpenter’s Notes on Life and the Art of Good Work Wherever books are sold. We’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking deeds.net. See you next week back here where we are helping you, Stacking deeds.
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