[ExI] cart before horse

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Sep 17 13:09:22 UTC 2021



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of John Grigg via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] cart before horse


On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 5:26 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:

The ruling evolved to the point where anyone carrying a lotta cash is a suspect. 


>>…That statement, with no further qualification, seems to be not entirely factually true at this time. 


>…But doesn't that depend on your location?



It is.


In the valley, particularly in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in 1989, there was a crazy land rush similar to what is happening here and now: people were putting their homes up for sale at an advertised price which was really merely a teaser because there would be a crazy bidding war which would command five digit overprice offers and if the location was particularly appealing, six digit.  This was in 1989.


A common pattern was for owners to send in the asking price while they were still there, moving out or doing last minute repairs or just cleaning the counters after they finished preparing their last lunch in that house.


A group of Lockheed guys got together and pooled a bunch of money.  They hired a lawyer who had gone into real estate as a side hustle and found out it pays way better if you do it right.


Cell phones were not new then, but they were recent and not many had them.  When any new listing came on the market, his partner would call him while he was out on the road, just trolling around in the neighborhoods.  He would drive directly to the site.  Sometimes he would catch the owners at the site.  He had a briefcase full of cash.  He would sometimes find the owner, identify him or her by some means as the legal owner, present the briefcase full of cash.


The owners would stammer and try to back out sometimes, but he would then gently explain that it is racial discrimination to refuse to sell a property for the asking price (he is black.)  Being a lawyer, he knew exactly what buttons to push.  Often he would successfully buy the property right there and become the legal owner.  Then they would flip the property, usually will little or no investment, sometimes with just a day’s effort cleaning, for thousands, sometimes tens of thousands in profit.  The Lockheed guys made a fortune.


While that was going on, they discussed the risk that a local constabulary catch this guy carrying a quarter of a million bucks in cash and decide he must be a drug dealer, so the Lockheed guys had a contingency should that happen.


I was one of the Lockheed guys who was not in on the deal (because I didn’t have any money at that time (and I didn’t own a house either.))  I heard they doubled their investment with change left over between May and October 1989.


That all came to a sudden end on the 17th when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit.  It was six years after that before I could afford to buy a house, even though by bride and I had no children, no expensive habits, didn’t travel far, had only one car between us, rented a cheap apartment, had no medical bills, and we were both employed in professional-level jobs.  Even with all that going for us, six years it took.


I can scarcely imagine how difficult it is for new people coming into this valley now, when we are again in a crazy sellers market with houses.



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