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Real Estate Investing Forums | Real Estate Investing | Rehabbing, Landlording Forum (Moderators: $Cash$, Bluemoon06, kdhastedt, Mdhaas) | Topic: Living in garage, car, or on a boat
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All-Ears
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« on: January 08, 2017, 01:15:00 PM »

How can you just rent a persons garage to live in there for low rent? Is it legal?

I have never seen ads on Craigslist for garage rentals. Must be kind tough living in a garage. Would probably be hard to cool it down with an AC during summer

How about on a boat? Just buy a 30 foot saleboat and park it somewhere for free and live on it? Again it may be hard to keep cool sleeping on a boat during summer. Plus a hurricane could total the boat.

Any other ideas for living with very low rent?

Gotta say Im not a hardened criminal or drug user so living in homeless shelters is not the direction Im going

Living in a tent would be hard just about anywhere unless it was a seasonal idea.

Living in my car would be tough. Its a small car and Im 5' 10" tall. I could never spread out for a decent nights sleep

I do not want to live in a mobile home

--

Its like my only option isto rent a room and have room mates. Or shell out more money for a studio apartment but they would not like the looks of my low salary from my landscaping business. I just have not made enough money its not a fully legitimate business. But I have good credit and no debt, for whatever that is worth.

Do you know any other millennials struggling to make it anywhere? Am I the only one? It seems like Im working harder then most people and not getting anywhere near as far financially.
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Frank C
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 03:21:18 PM »

I would look back at immigrants way back and how they started in America.

Although I'm 3rd generation, I'm familiar with immigrants, and how immigrants start off with small businesses, such as dry cleaners, laundries, restaurants etc. One additional thing they do is they section off a small room in the back of these businesses where they sleep, bath, cook etc. The key here is the availability of a toilet, running water, and electric. If there is gas, that's perfect.

I guess the practice is probably still going on. Recently, I saw a store for rent sign, and on the bottom of the sign, says, "no sleeping or cooking please".

One modern variation of this is in some areas, there are unrentable stores off the beaten path where you can rent it for a song. Someone I know who who ran an alarm business rented a rather large three room commercial suite, real cheap, though I forgotten how much as it was years ago, and he used one of the rooms for himself to live in. The advantage here is no one can say to him "what are you doing here?", because his answer is "I work late". If it's off the beaten path, you won't have nosy neighbors reporting you to housing.

Another way, if you rent a storefront in a more expensive area, sublease the front part of the store. Some businesses, such as real estate offices, especially in NY, need a commercial address to operate, and all they need is a commercial address. If you do that, you can use your location as a mail drop for other businesses.. You would also use the space for your landscaping and a small room to sleep in at night.

Some people rent spaces at warehouses as well, as evidenced by a recent tragic fire in San Francisco. You have a perfect excuse, you have a landscaping business needing an office. So you rent some cheap commercial space that serves as your office where you also sleep at night.

Coming to think of it, I read in the papers some time ago some members of Congress found apartments rents in DC too expensive, so they roll out their cots to sleep in their Congressional offices at night. I guess they don't have to worry about code inspectors coming around busting them. Would be embarrassing to find your congressman sleeping in his car at night, wouldn't it?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 03:47:02 PM by Frank C » Report to moderator   Logged
javipa
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 05:13:08 PM »

A couple of things don't make sense to me.   You refuse to live in a mobile home, and yet a car is OK, except that you can't stretch out?  Really?  A car's better than a mobile home?

Really, how far down the poverty mentality hole are you wiling to slide?

Honestly, you need some counseling.  Otherwise dwelling on which option of impoverished living you should accept for yourself is (wait, bluemoon here it comes) like choosing which underage, sex slave in the Chinese cargo container, has the fewest std's that you're gonna have sex with.

Man up!  Fantasize about the pool home with a view, and the six sports cars you have in your nine-car garage, and all the cute woman chasing you around the pool, looking for a sugar daddy.  Let your mind work on thriving, not on 'losing' the most practical way possible. 

My GAWD, start hanging around some more successful people.  Make friends with them.  Help them.  Let them help you change your psychology of not losing too much, to winning big for a change.

Do what they're doing, if nothing else. 

I have a friend from church, who's not particularly bright, but he's ambitious, whom took a tiny, struggling lawn business, added tree trimming, up-sold other services to his existing customers like kray kray on sprinkler installations, fertilizer applications (on a schedule), landscaping redesign, tree removal, etc..  In the process, secured ever more customers, while winning the bid for the city's tree trimming, and finally took his wife and three kids to Disneyland!  In their 60' Class A RV.

This may not sound friendly, but I AM YOUR BEST FRIEND here with this feedback!  You get exactly what you're looking for.  Start looking for, and at,  something better for yourself.  You don't have to plan for the gutter, if you cultivate the desire to have the mansion that the gutter runs in front of.  Just saying. 
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 07:02:12 PM »

Frank I already sort of live like the immigrants you mention but not in a commercial spacd. I do not have a full access residential situation, and add in my room mate situation and its a real drag. Good points about living in a commercial space. Ive asked Realtors to find an inexpensive commercial space like that and get weird looks. I do not know the right people here. In fact I plan to move to another city soon.

Jay all good points. Its no joke that poverty and mental injury go hand in hand. What is worse is that I do not have a group of successful people. Most people here are retired. Im not finding the right connections my age that is for sure. Im bored. It drives me nuts. For scaling up a business I do not much enjoy. Its like 2+2=9 and 4+1=3. Who gave him all the money for scaling up the business? He must had a mentor. Its tiring to even think about doing it all from scratch alone.

Where do you meet successful people? Im not meeting the right style of people everywhere I go. I plan to move to a big city.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 09:22:28 PM »


I'm bored. It drives me nuts.

Boredom and depression are difficult to distinguish between.  I'm not sure it's not depression that you're dealing with.  In that case, time for hookers and booze.


For scaling up a business I do not much enjoy. Its like 2+2=9 and 4+1=3. Who gave him all the money for scaling up the business? He must had a mentor. Its tiring to even think about doing it all from scratch alone.

You mean you can't get paid for up-selling the geriatrics on tree trimming, flower installing, fertilizing, etc.?

You're doing all these already, for free? 

Up-selling customers is what keeps service providers in the gravy. 

You MUST add services for additional fees to your service schedule, and ask every customer something along the line of... (for example)


You:      Agnes, you know how most lawns turn brown this time of year.
[That's not a question, but a statement.). 
               Well, would you like to own the greenest lawn on the block this winter? 

Agnes:  Yes, I would.  What do you have in mind?

You:      I have this 'special' Winter Rye grass, recommended by top turf specialists, that will turn your grass so green and thick, you'll think it was golf course turf!

Agnes:  Wow, that sounds fantastic.  What does it cost?

You:      It's not cheap, but if you want the greenest lawn on the block, I can do it for a one-time charge of "x."
[Take the materials costs and multiply by 3 to come up with the total costs of labor and materials.]

Agnes:  That sounds great.  Let's do it.  Does it comes with a massage?


Of course, you should be suggest-selling each account on a regular basis.  Not every time.  There's helpful, and there's irritating nuisance. 

However, always suggest a service that you can provide immediately at a discount, 'since you're already there', such as bush pruning, rose nipping, sprinkler head replacing, or whatever you can find to charge extra for. 

Don't get greedy and stupid, about it, of course.  Read the seller's eyes.  Appeal to their pride.

This is what my gardener does for (to) me.  One week he calls me on my cell, and says, "It's time to prune the Palm trees in the back yard.  Normally I charge $200 per tree, but since I'm here, I can do them all for $400.  Want me to make your trees look nice again?" 

Of course, I know what he normally charges for Palm trees, and this sounds like a bargain to me.  Never mind, my neighbor asks me who trimmed my trees, and I give him my landscaper's number, and now my landscaper has a new account to service, simply because my neighbor noticed my landscaper's work.

Never mind, too that IF my landscaper stops asking me for up-sells, the competition would knock on my door and offer those services, and likely become my new landscaper.  That's exactly how I ended up with my current landscaper.  My old one was just doing the minimum, and I had to ASK him to do "extra" stuff ...and then I paid out the nose.  No thanks. 

So, again as long as my current landscaper continues to watch my back, and make me feel like I'm getting a bargain on all his up-selling, he'll be a keeper.


Where do you meet successful people?  I'm not meeting the right style of people everywhere I go. I plan to move to a big city.

Start by giving privately owned servicers your business...

I take my mom to this independent hair salon every Saturday afternoon.  The salon owner is a single man named Sam.  He owns several salons, and is also a musician with a band that plays weddings, bars, special events, and whatever. 

He is a Christian who immigrated at 14, with his parents, from Lebanon.  He's at my mom's salon most Saturday afternoons, and hangs out.  He a true entrepreneur.  He enjoys talking with customers; asks questions about them; tells about himself; and is quite engaging. 

He lives in a huge house in the hills, where he just moved his mother in recently, because she can't live alone.  He is divorced, has two grown sons, and one of them plays and sings in his band. 

This guy makes a fortune by giving people value, and leveraging his time and labor.  His band makes money for him, his hair stylists make money for him.  His multiple salons make money for him.  And did I mention that he doesn't blow money on destructive, consumer debt.  He does drive a two year old BMW (Yay for Beemers!),

That's one.  And then there's the guy named Richard, the classic car dealer that I met at church.  He's a classic, die-hard entrepreneur.  He owns apartments, a small farm, a warehouse, 40 classic cars he stores in the warehouse, lake-front property, and a cabin that he's in the process of renovating.  He adds value to many people's lives by offering nice places to live, and vacation; nice cars to drive; and a personality that makes you want to do business with him.

I could list more.  You meet successful people by looking for them.  You always find what you look for.  You also must become more the person you are looking for, because people are 'always' attracted to people like them.  Period. 

That's why I say I'm careful about what I focus on, because eventually I'll find it.  Same for you.

I was kidding about the hookers and booze.  Come on!  And old lizard-skin Agnes can forget the massage action.  Really, come on!!!

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 11:40:22 PM by javipa » Report to moderator   Logged

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Gold River
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 04:55:47 AM »

Hi,

    Hey Jay you don't happen to go to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa do you? I know Chuck Smith passed away, I think Brian Broderson is senior pastor now! 

I'm thinking about you talking about the hair salon and I am thinking Costa Mesa?

If I get back into town we'll have to meet for coffee, say at Newport Blvd and 17th Street, you know Starbucks on the south east Island?
Well it's kind of an island since traffic going back onto the 55 freeway goes through the short cut off 17th to go east!


                   GR

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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 10:19:17 PM »

Jay, yeah I could speed up my hustle. Im looking at it this way,

My environment plays a big role. Im really not too happy in Georgia and want to move to a more exciting place. Thats what I plan on doing soon.

Number two is that my volume of business and clients slowly expanded over the years, but did not expand enough for me to consistantly have a full work schedule. It was more of a roller coaster with weeks where I was super low on work. When I actually got a full schedule it was never to the point where I had more people calling then I knew what to do with. But it was enough that I would burn out and be tired from doing all the manual labor.

Number three my equipment is not enough in all areas. My trimmers are not gas powered. My trailer is not enough to carry away debris from a bunch of bushes let alone tree pieces. Get my drift? I was not making enough money to put back into the business other then some advertising and small stuff. So im eating healthy and putting fuel in my tank but im not raking it in

Also i am not charging California prices, like your several hundred just to trim a palm tree. Is that for real or just a number you threw out there? My price point is waaaaaaaay lower then that.

And I just get tired of doing the manual labor. Im not a legit business with workers and everything. I have no insurance, no workmans comp. This stuff is waay out of my reach. I do not even have a proper business account. I do not use reciepts either because 99% of clients never even ask for receipts. I just keep checks as my record of income.

So if the County said hey bud, can you do this huge job, Id have to probably decline. I am not big enough for commercial accounts yet im just residential

I like how you say think positive. No more living in a van down by the river thinking haha
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 09:48:13 PM »

There's something you're not telling us.  Nobody spends three years circling the drain financially with their own business, unless something else is going on.

I've blown my wad on advice, and yet you come back with more lame excuses as to why you can't succeed ...at anything?  Have you considered suicide?  Of course, I'm joking.
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 11:49:13 AM »

I'm a millennial too. It's incredibly for millennials  to be successful because there is less competition. Here is what I would do....

Spend your $8000 on a nice looking $3000 late model truck with high miles and a $1000 trailer, a nice used commercial mower and a homeowner string trimmer and leaf blower. Buy nice uniforms and get business cards and magnetic signs for the side of the truck. Raise your prices by 50% to current clients and 100% for new clients. Maybe more. It sounds like you are undercharging by a lot, but are probably nursing old equipment and spending all your time getting from job to job and working on your stuff.

You need to focus on getting new clients that are close to each other, so offer discounts for referrals to existing customers if the referral lives within a certain radius. You need to minimize your windshield time and keep that mower running all day. Blanket that neighborhood with door hangers and start knocking on doors. Do that tomorrow, don't wait till summer. You need more business than you can possibly to to star the summer, and you are probably going to have to fire the less profitable clients as you grow. Focus on being professional. If you have some stupid millennial beard shave it, and hide that huge chip on your shoulder.

Hire two employees but don't pay them by the hour. Pay them a percent of gross receipts, maybe 20% each. This will leave you with two people who want to bust their butt to make money. They want the mower running and to get done and on to the next job. Think of it this way.....you do 15 lawns in a day at $50 per and you clear $750. That's 20 minutes mowing and ten minutes driving to the next job. Your help made almost $20 per hour or $150. You cleared $400 minus gas and maintenance. Should be close to $250 per day?

Then grow it from there. Hire a second crew and incentivize them the same way. Add new services to your offerings and always be looking for new clients and firing your least profitable clients. You stop cutting for that guy across town for $35 and get someone local for $60 and you just made more money for half the work.

Maybe find an apartment complex and offer to mow it for free rent?

Adjust the numbers to meet your needs and market, but this is something you should be able to make good money at.
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 12:02:59 PM »

"Estrogen Hostage"

Good ideas. I was thinking along the same lines, and the money is better spent this way than throwing it away on a failed "wholesaling" campaign.

Some years back, my niece and her husband was in the same fix as "Ears" figuring out what to do. They were on welfare, and Clinton's welfare reform will soon put them out on the streets.

So what my niece did was start a daycare service. When they got that up and running, through internet marketing branched out to dog sitting and dog walking.

The husband got a truck to conduct business. Got a contracting licence and:

1. Started with light repairs and gradually into graduated to rehabs.
2. Had a snow plow attached to his truck and got contracts to clear snow for commercial properties in the winter.

Being the owner of absentee rental properties, I found the need of:

1. House watchers who can come by weekly to check on the property, pick up trash & advertising door hangers, other advertising thrown around the property.
2. Junk haulers that can come by when tenants vacate, and leave behind junk too heavy for my wife to haul, or sanitation to pick up, and bring it to a junk yard.

There's a multitude of businesses that "Ears" can get into with a truck. A mowing service and snow removal would be complimentary. While you're driving around, you can do house watching. Junk hauling can keep his workers busy in between slow periods.

As to how much to charge, check on Angie's List or Home Advisor, when I had to locate these services. And if you check further on these sites, plenty of other business ideas.

As to Ears whining about millennials having such a hard time, I asked my dad when I was small why he ran a small business compared to getting a job at the office. Believe it or not, he tells me back in the 1930's, minorities, Jews had a hard time getting hired into the mainstream, so they had to start small businesses.

A Jewish jobber, who sells my dad supplies tells me that he can't get a job either in the 1930's if your family has no money. Families with money send their kids to college and then law school, which is why in NYC, there's so many Jewish lawyers. Ditto for CPA's. With a law degree, you can hang a shingle and start a small law office.

In fact, I know someone whose son had no luck getting jobs recently bought a small delivery route for his son. You can start such a business with a van, which takes time to build up from scratch, or buy one.



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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 04:47:53 PM »

 I love hauling junk. I do it for other landlords all the time.  I have a bigger truck than most, so I can fit probably three or four times as much in the bed of my truck as a guy with his pick up can.  Most of the time I can pick up whatever a tenant leaves and haul it off in one load.  I live in the country on a farm. 90% of the stuff that I pick up can be thrown in a pile and burned.  Some of it is recyclable and I get paid for that also.

 So a tenant moves out and leaves a bunch of junk. I maybe charged $300 to come get it.  A landlord likes that because a dumpster starts off at around $200 and he doesn't have to do any of the work.  I'm done in an hour or two and I head home and spend another hour unloading the truck.  If I'm lucky I might make another 20 or $30 in scrap metal, but I still cleared 100 and some bucks an hour and everybody's happy.

 Sometimes I make pretty decent money off reselling the items A tenant leaves also.   I recall an antique mantle piece that I think I got $200 for.  Some of it can be donated for a tax write off.  Even without the tax write off anything you donate still saves you money at the landfill.

 I would have a hard time depending on this for income day in and day out, but that's not what I want anyway. The point is you can make money doing almost whatever you want.  You just have to figure out how to make it take the littlest amount of time possible.  Most people aren't interested in a $300 cleanout job because they will spend four trips going back-and-forth to the dump and pay $100 in fees to use it.  They might make 30 bucks an hour or so, but you still have to do with garbage.
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 01:54:13 PM »

The best way to do it is to go to Walmart shortly before they close. Move some items on a bottom shelf and throw a blanket behind them. Crawl down there and then rearrange the items so nobody knows your there. I run a successful title insurance company by day and sleep behind the paper towels at walmart by night.

It is honestly a great way to grow your business and save money on rent. I've been doing this for three years and already have over 300 bucks in the bank.

Hope this helps

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Bill H
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 05:52:06 PM »

the  info about the lawn business reminded me of a friend.  He was in the mortgage loan business and it was slow.  He got a truck, lown equipment, two helper and started.  Did not do bad at all.  First year he mad $160,000.00
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