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Old 04-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #29
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I've been attending auctions around here. I agree, the market is due for a bounce in the next year or two. I just don't have the funds to do it right now, plus anything that I purchase will be affected by the divorce. It would appear the auctions are at 10-20% below what real market price is. Actually a little more than I would have thought all things considered.

I also thought about getting in to rentals (if I ever have the money again). There are a ton of $20-$30,000 houses around that would rent for $750-$900 a month. It can be a real pain dealing with some renters though. Just not sure I'm up to it any more.

I've also got a house for sale. The weird thing was that a couple went through it 2 weeks ago and made an offer on another house I built that was virtually the same exact floor plan, but on a small town golf course. Drat! I only have bad luck right now, and not only is it bad, but its IRONICALLY bad. It even makes me smile some times.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #30
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Lots of great ideas here...

It's hard to think of your age as an asset, especially with all of that negative feedback from idiot "human resource" people... in many ways it is. Write your cover letter to kick that age stereotype in the ass! Absolute facts:
  1. most businesses really have a poor grasp on the cost to hire and train employees - Franchises like MacDonalds have created the idea of the "employee is a fully replaceable cog in the machine." The idea is that they've dumbed down every job into something that a new hire can do with 4 hours training. They've forgotten that "do" and "do with expertise and understanding of the big picture" are two vastly different levels of employee value. Go ahead, hire a kid - you'll replace her every six months - and she'll do just enough to get by, or hire an old dog who WORKS! and STAYS! and shows up when it snows!
  2. Old dogs take longer to train. I get a new cell phone and have to have the average 7 year old take me through the functions six or seven times. The 7 year old masters it in 5 minutes. I know you think it will take longer to train me - You're probably right, so... I'll work at a very reduced rate for a reasonable training period, if you'll agree to a raise once I meet your standards.
  3. I WANT TO WORK not just collect a paycheck for doing as little as is humanly possible. At 54, I won't have girlfriend drama, sick kids drama or car broke down so I can't possibly take a bus and get to work on time drama!
Small Business is doing 90% of the hiring right now. If you know someone who has fewer than 50 employees and will give you an hour of her/his time, ask that they review your resume and cover letter with brutal honesty.

Rewrite 5 to 10 versions of your resume or cover letter based on the feedback you get. Madison Avenue test markets and gets focus groups to evaluate every new ad campaign... your resume IS an ad campaign!

Our company gets 100 employment inquiries a week and frankly most are just BLAH-BLAH-BLAH... Most get 30 to 60 seconds of our time. The cover letter or cover e-mail usually KILLS it before we even look at the resume. Don't repeat anything in the cover letter that's in your resume. Consider a cover letter with pictures or humor (look at your current batting average, can you make it worse?). We had a client who was a long time roofer... injured his back and had to close his business. I made a few suggestions - but he wrote the best cover letter I've ever seen from those suggestions. He's now working for a BIG plumbing company as a logistics/dispatching specialist. His cover letter had six pictures and about 3 sentences - the pictures? "Average roofer's worksite/completed job vs. My worksite/completed job." (Beautifully undamaged shubbery, thoroughly cleaned -vs- left sloppy with nails in the driveway for the homeowner's tires to find) "Average roofer's tools and van - vs - my tools and van" He's now in charge of making sure that every truck goes out properly and fully stocked AND that there is a standard layout of where parts and tools are stored. The company can inventory a van and restock it about 80% faster now. His contribution also discourages theft of parts because they can be inventoried so easily - and makes it harder for their plumbers to do "side jobs" using company resources.

I do hire the "just starting out crowd" - and ye gods they need their diapers changed daily! Do you have any idea how many "baby daddy" employees we have who get wage garnishees - that we have to make happen at our expense and time?! Cripes!

The idea of starting your own business has a huge amount of merit too. Not easy especially on a shoestring. But doable? Yes - just find a niche that needs filling and doesn't require a large cash outlay. This might not be ideal for you, but here's something an 11 year old girl did... (She's since grown up, but she financed her tuition to Va. Tech through her "little girl job") She vacuumed out cars - she didn't "detail" the car, she just came around once a week or once every two weeks and emptied the ashtrays, thumped out the mats and vacuumed the seats and floor - for a small upcharge she windexed the inside of the windows. The girl had 125 regular customers when she showed up on my porch and sold me! One customer was a real estate office at a nearby office comples with 50 agents who didn't have time to keep their own cars spotless, but needed to have them look nice for clients. I think I paid her $9 in 1980.... I didn't have a lot of money, but ye gods I'd cheerfully pay double now if I could find someone who'd do it now! (This kid had it down to a science and had the car DONE beautifully in 15 minutes - me, it would take an hour or more).



Paula
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:08 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcs4 View Post
I've been attending auctions around here. I agree, the market is due for a bounce in the next year or two. I just don't have the funds to do it right now, plus anything that I purchase will be affected by the divorce. It would appear the auctions are at 10-20% below what real market price is. Actually a little more than I would have thought all things considered.

I also thought about getting in to rentals (if I ever have the money again). There are a ton of $20-$30,000 houses around that would rent for $750-$900 a month. It can be a real pain dealing with some renters though. Just not sure I'm up to it any more.

I've also got a house for sale. The weird thing was that a couple went through it 2 weeks ago and made an offer on another house I built that was virtually the same exact floor plan, but on a small town golf course. Drat! I only have bad luck right now, and not only is it bad, but its IRONICALLY bad. It even makes me smile some times.
Ouch, I feel your pain. But if you can find someone who does flips, many need foremen and lead employees. We have several window replacement contractors who do flips on the side. They ARE hiring.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:28 PM   #32
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Drat! I only have bad luck right now, and not only is it bad, but its IRONICALLY bad. It even makes me smile some times.
I feel the same way - 6 months unemployed, savings running out, working far from home and family, living alone in a trailer, my trailer and truck were ruined in a massive hail storm, got ill and had to go to the ER... sometimes I just look up and say "what else do you want to do to me?" Lightening didn't strike, yet! It will get better.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:51 PM   #33
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Paula,

Thanks for the advice. I've got 6 or 7 resumes made up and I pick the one that fits best, but I've always had trouble with cover letters. I'm sure you've seen the advice that MSN and and every other home page that contains flashes containing "how to do its" for job hunters based on what some expert has to say. I'm amazed how much contradictory advice is contained in each of them. One will say keep it professional, use high quality paper, another will say use your personality, make it about you as a person. The truth seems to be if you're lucky enough to pick the correct "type' for the HR person that looks at it first, they will pass it on to the person above them that doesn't like the style. If you're lucky enough to get through the first two, then it finally goes to the person or committee that will decide, and they have to like it too. The thing that has always scared me about being too upfront or forward in a cover letter is that it would seem to me there would be at least one person in the group with veto power that would absolutely hate it. So I've stuck with "professional". Frankly I've got nothing to lose, I'm going to give the "batting average" approach a shot for a while!

Dan,

Man do I know what you mean. I started looking for jobs 2 years ago when I was still "married". In that time frame there were a total of 3 jobs in my area that were a good fit for me. Heard no response at all from 2, interviewed for the third and they ended up hiring a head teller to be manager for the branch. We talked for a full hour in the interview, and I could tell that the person that would have been my supervisor was intimidated because he didn't know much about the specifics of banking that I was talking about (and I wasn't trying to show off, it just came up in conversation with the other guy). The other guy liked me (I think) and was effusive in his praise when I left. Anyway, I guess they felt I was overqualified for a branch manager position, but WHY THE HECK DID THEY THINK I WAS THERE IF I DIDN'T WANT THE JOB?

The other thing I ran into was that my wife wanted me to have a certain air of success in a job. She wanted me to be a Sr VP again going in the door. Just wasn't going to happen.

In all of this I think there has to be a reason. But at what point does "enough is enough" come and things start to get a bit better? At least the Twins are winning!
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:33 PM   #34
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it's not crazy to THINK about living full time in a stream...

many of us have done it.

but it is crazy (naive or misguided) to think this approach is CHEAPER than renting or leasing normal housing.

resale will KILL you regardless of brand (like 10s of thousands of $$)

unless buying an OLDER stream which may need basic repairs for full time use.

and the 'cost of living' is the same regardless...

food, fuel, clothing, insurance, transportation, taxes...

NONE of that changes.

and purchasing the TUBE and and tv are NOT money saving steps to temporary SHELTER.

there are a few dozen threads started here by folks thinking this is a solution of some sort.

i've seen NONE of those threads or stories work out as imagined.
____________

divorce is a huge deal and one of those big life changing events with the participants only having PARTIAL control...

not to go all 'drphil' here but BUYING stuff during that process...

is a way of temporarily gaining total control over one aspect of life again...

but it's not a thrifty solution in 99.9% of the stories.

and it's a myth that rv'living is somehow a simpler life,

it's just a DIFFERENT approach to shelter and NOT very glamorous without the TRAVEL part.

__________

also having a REAL address (even temporarily) can be a big issue when job hunting and for other basic issues.
__________

the quonset hut is a nice COVER idea but again expensive and with little REturn on expenses.

take the year to get PAST the current life bumps while spending as LITTLE as needed to navigate them.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:11 PM   #35
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I beg to differ just a bit. The apartments I'm looking at are in the $600 to $700 range not counting heat/electricity and they want a 12 month lease. I think I can live for less than that and not have a lease.

I would need a TV in an apartment too so I consider that moot.

Depreciation is entirely dependent on initial value and purchase price. I'm looking in the $5,000 to $8,000 range (and sadly not just at Airstreams any more). I have seen several exceptional buys on craigslist. I'd imagine if I buy the best value trailer out there for, say $5,500 and it books for $7,900, I should be able to sell it for $4,000 to $4,500 next year. There will be upkeep, but frankly I have no idea where I could establish a number. Realistically (and I know there are horror stories out there) I would imagine the average handy owner of a NON Airstream would be looking at $1,000 a year depending on miles. Frankly I would think Airstream might be significantly higher because of the age of the Airstreams I would be looking at.

But as I mentioned before, what happens if I lease an apartment for 12 mos, and find a job in two months 3 hours from here? That's up to $7,000+ if I can't find someone to sublet, and I'm still on the hook even if I do.

There are a lot of people on here that say it's viable and they're doing it.

I've never been a fan of Dr Phil, but I'm not a shopahaulic. I'm looking for value and trying to limit expenses and risk as much as possible. That's why I'm here getting great advice for free.

I agree with you completely on your point about getting through the year as cheaply as possible. That's why I've already looked down about 400 avenues that lead here.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #36
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Another work camper site:

Job Listings For RVers: Help Wanted Ads For Workcampers And Working RVers

mike
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:46 PM   #37
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In my case I already had a trailer and a truck, so my cost of living in the trailer is the rent for a RV park site. This is about 1/3 less than renting an apartment with utilities. But I wasn't planning on having the rig get destroyed by hail! If/when I find a job back home, I can be there in 2 days. No lease, no notice, just hitch-up and drive home. It makes me feel like I'm a step closer to being there.

For bcs4... if you can find a decent trailer for under $10K you should do fine, since depreciation should be near zero. As everyone has mentioned earlier, you will be limited to mild weather.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:49 PM   #38
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I would need a TV in an apartment too so I consider that moot.
On this forum "TV" means "tow vehicle". If you don't already have a suitable truck, you will need to buy one.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:19 PM   #39
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Ha ha. Sorry. Does tube mean something too?
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:02 PM   #40
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TUBE... I have not heard that one, but he may be referring to an Airstream?
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:00 PM   #41
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...I would need a TV in an apartment too so I consider that moot...
that sorta tv is only needed IF u r gonna watch the bald headed shrink...


tube=stream

there are a couple of threads here with many of the common abbreviations...

most of mine aren't on that list.
__________

it's all in the details and IF u r shopping older tubes (or sob rvz) the money side changes.

still most rv parks are 300+$ per month plus utilities.

parking an rv just anywhere is subject to zoning issues so explore this too.

anyway best o'luck and happy streamin'

cheers
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:56 PM   #42
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I'm looking in the $5,000 to $8,000 range (and sadly not just at Airstreams any more). I have seen several exceptional buys on craigslist.

You need to include in your search:

1. AVION
2. SILVER STREAK
3. STREAMLINE

Keep the age no earlier than 1973 (for black & grey water waste tanks) and you'll find a better priced one than an A/S in all probability due to lesser demand and design/construction that withstands time better than A/S (for example, no axle replacement). In other words, better condition than a comparable A/S per price. Insulation is also better in all ways. Appliances, etc, are all the same.

1985 Avion $5000

32' Classic Silver Streak Travel Trailer $5800

Several very nice trailers (Avions and a Silver Streak) have been sold in the past week in MN and WI.

Were I a single man looking for the cheapest possible, then a 24-26' "super slide" SOB would be on my list . . a trailer I would just walk away from afterwards.

http://www.tompatterson.com/Trailers/Trailers0.php

.
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