“Life is a game of monopoly, go outside and cop yourself some property.” – MIGOS

A random thing on the road to moving to LA is this — a random thing that was coming into my mind was this idea of find some sort of property space, like buying a Triplex or a quadPlex, and essentially becoming some sort of noveau slumlord.

I had a funny interesting turbo thought when going to the Costco Business Center the other day, and buying some meat. Essentially the idea is simple:

Essentially the meat you buy and purchase is the raw material, and cooking it yourself is very simple and easy; yet, the reason why so many restaurants and businesses, even all you can eat Korean BBQ restaurants is that they make the process so complex, and intimidating to you.

I wonder if houses and homes are actually the same; to the average person, or to the new modern day millennial, house making, house renovation is made so blackbox and complex. I wonder if the real estate market, real estate, homes is almost like the new car mechanic trying to rip you off.

Something I learned about house repairs and renovation; so much of it is very simple. Just a fresh coat of white paint, black trim, some new furnishings and appliances, new kitchen sink and countertop, new faucets, new flooring, updated windows and the place essentially looks brand new!

I suppose what is interesting is I think we could do a lot more of it ourselves than we think we can.

Why I love cars

The primary reason why I love cars so much is that ever since I was a kid, around 15 or 16 years old, it was an open creative canvas for me. Note, I actually got into cars before I got into photography; I was into cars ever since I was 15 years old and got my first drivers license permit in California, I only going to photography later, around the age of 18 when I graduated high school and was about to go to college.

Growing up, my family only ever rented. The notion that I could modify or do anything to my house or home was a non-concept.

The great joy and promise of being able to have my own car was that I could do anything to it that I wanted. The first car I ever got was a 1991 Sentra XE, a four-door sedan, which was surprisingly a five speed manual transmission car, with no tachometer! I had so much fun modifying and customizing and swapping it up, installing headers, intake and exhaust, repainting it, painting the dashboard from the ugly ass brown to black, and also even changing the headliner from the ugly brown beige color to a solid black felt.

Mystifying things?

A funny difference that I’ve noted from my family, my family upbringing, and Cindy‘s family; Cindy grew up to owning their own home and property, therefore things like pouring cement, mixing cement, painting the walls, fixing home stuff was natural. Yet for them, cars were a mysterious black box; therefore the general concept was always buy new.

However, my great pride and joy is that in my whole adult life, I’ve never spent more than $2500 USD on a car. The last two cars which came under my wing including my mom‘s old 2009 Hyundai sonata, which was essentially acquired by me for free, as it sat dormant for about three years in my sister’s garage, collecting dust. About $2000 of repairs at the mechanic, and $1000 of overdue DMV fines, it essentially ran brand new! And a little bit of muscle wax from me, waxing the paint, painting the rims, debadging it, etc.

Then more recently, re-inheriting the family Prius; 2010 Prius. Essentially once again, acquiring it for nothing, spending $2700 to get a new catalytic converter which was stolen earlier, $300 for a catalytic converter shield, and about $2700 on a new ABS brake sensor, and also, about $600 for new Yokohama tires. Otherwise I got the car for free!

How do really rich people do it?

Some fun facts I’ve learned:

  1. Real rich people and successful people only ever purchase cars at auction; with some sort of superficial damage, and they buy it at an insanely deep discount, and spend small sums of money to fix it up, they never buy new. And it seems that a lot of successful people that I’ve met just buy old used Priuses at car auctions!
  2. People overpay for home renovations; the true price of fixing up a bathroom should only be around $7000 (some of my friends spent almost $20,000 for this), to do a kitchen, maybe $15,000, and flooring you could essentially do it yourself for free. And it seems that what a lot of these real estate companies do is simple; take some sort of old property, gut it, renovate it, which actually doesn’t cost that much money, maybe $30,000 per unit, and then resell it on the market for a higher price tag, and continue this process.

What is a millennial?

I think I have a good definition for millennials; essentially somebody who foolishly uses their money.

For example, it seems that millennials are overeager to buy new cars. Let’s say a modest new car is $30,000, and they down around $10,000. A monthly payment is around $350-$500. Then they forget that they bought a new car, and they probably want full coverage, so insurance wise, it might be another three to $500 a month! Boom, you’ve just added another thousand dollars a month in monthly expenses, which will haunt you for either 3 to 5 years. That’s money that you’re not putting in your bank account.

Alcohol, food, eating out, weed, drugs, etc

“Fuck I’m broke as fuck! Why? I just came back from Vegas and blew all my money on food! Fuck, I gotta move out of SoCal!” – one of my friends in the gym hot sauna locker room

Another way that young people millennials etc. waste money is silly things like going to “festivals“, doing drugs, smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, going out to drink alcohol and cocktails, going to Vegas, gambling, eating out at new trendy restaurants, etc.

Also, having too much subscriptions to these media services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ etc.

The overall bad thing is that many people just cannot save money. Why? The societal bias that one should partake in these activities. But, the wisdom is knowing that these things are not imperatives.

Finance, and loans?

Poking around this real estate and financing market, honestly it all seems like such a scam. For example, let us say that you take out a loan at 7% or 6.5%. But I say you borrow around $700,000. Almost the first 10 yours is devoted to paying off your interest, not even the principal.

What did Elon musk do? When starting tesla, he took out a massive loan from the US government, to build a pack trees, battery packs, etc.

Therefore, it seems that if one is going to take out a massive loan, the goal is to quickly pay it back. Tears alone, borrowing money as leverage to do something very very great in epic, and quickly leapfrog to the next thing.