How much are life experiences worth?
What, exactly, are success and failure?
And how do you react when a catastrophe happens that is so big that the thing many people use as a measure of their entire lives and self-worth suddenly turns up negative?
This is the story of a project that was supposed to be an exercise in fulfilling the American Dream through starting up a new aspect of an old family business. But it turned out to be a huge lesson in many departments of Life that we were not prepared for at all. We learned, by personal experience, major lessons in economics, sociology, race relations, interpersonal relationships, and even the banking system, as the “biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression” made the bottom fall out of everything we tried to do. Some of those lessons were learned while sitting around the office of and on the other side of the desk from and listening to lectures by the kindliest, sternest, wisest, and most wonderful black lady you could ever imagine, who was both our employee and our teacher.
The entire set of events was a complete, unmitigated disaster.
And, looking back on it, parts of it were kind of fun.
This page is a stub article that will eventually be an index with links to a set of pages about the Sunrise project. For now, below is a set of titles and a brief description of chapters in this story which may eventually even become a book.
How it Started
Here, without too many boring details, we will go over some of the reasons for getting into the project in the first place. I’ll include some of the original financial analysis that made it look feasible. The situation of the neighborhood. The fact that it was a run-down property in the midst of a relatively decent neighborhood next to good industrial and economic center. Oh, and Elvis’ house is right down the street.
Full description of the property, with pictures. Describe the burn-outs. The building in back that had been turned into a double unit. The one falling down the ditch. The one with the plumbing problems. How we planned to upgrade, etc.
What they Didn’t Tell Us
The private hard money lender actually turned out to be one of the best and completely honorable players in the whole set of events. He warned us it wasn’t going to be easy. And he kept up his end of funding agreements all along the way. But the management company that we hired turned out to not tell us a few things about what was required with the property and local code enforcement laws. Just one missed item about the electric cost nearly an extra half million.
Talk about the guy they had us hired as an onsite manager. How quickly we got behind schedule. Etc.
And about how the property management failed in general. And we had to try to find contractors.
And they overbilled us by $30K. And we paid it. And we reconciled and documented it. And had to sue them to get it back. And at that we didn’t get all of it because it came from their insurance company and we were afraid to ask for any more than we got because they were going out of business.
The Best People
It’s not about race. Talking about this is one of the things that made me think of creating this whole site in the first place. Because when people criticize the welfare system or certain actions of “poor people” they call you racist. Well, I want it firmly established that, when we talk about things like that, we know from first hand