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Left Hook Columns

Shelter from the Storm

(Excerpted from Stickin’ it to the Matrix: Chapter 3: Housing)

A big part of living like no one lives now is to reject sedentary living early and often. Being nomadic gives you a chance to see different parts of this amazing world, while inculcating a healthy diligence towards the unnecessary and corrosive accumulation of “stuff”.

Historically, humans have not lived sedentary lives. Indigenous peoples were all either nomadic or semi-nomadic. Sedentary living emerged with the rise of modern agriculture.

Many an anthropological scholar has wrestled with the question as to why humans abandoned their relatively easy lives as hunters and gatherers and settled into lives as sedentary agriculturalists. Many scholars of the Sumerian clay tablets – the oldest written language known to man – are now arguing that this sudden transition to agricultural existence may have been forced upon humans by the Illuminati predecessor – and possibly blood relative – Annunaki space visitors from the distressed planet of Nubira. Interesting stuff!

A huge component of the matrix programmers’ master plan for keeping you a wage/debt slave is via shopping and material possessions. If you live in a big house, there’s lots of room to put all manner of needless possessions in it. God forbid your colossal house look empty.

How many people do you know who are living in a huge McMansion they hate, mired in debt, who refuse to entertain the option of moving on based on the burgeoning number of plastic storage bins appearing in their crammed garage?

Stuff keeps you staked to the ground like a tethered goat. The more you get, the less money you save, the more debt you grow, the more tied you are to a “job”.

The lack of mobility this creates cripples countless humans to a life of boredom and sameness. More importantly, it denies them the economic opportunities that arise with increased mobility. The biggest of these opportunities is in the arena of housing.

The first rule is to live in a small house. The one I live in now feels spacious and measures at 750 square feet. There’s less to clean, you have to pay for less energy, and it fosters the notion of simple living and brings a sense of humility to your existence.

As the Lakota proverb goes, “We are not much, but we are a whole lot more than nothing”.

Whether you rent or are buying your place on time, housing payments consume the majority of most people’s income.

The second rule is that the quicker you can own your house free and clear, the quicker your life will take a huge change for the better.

Everyone not born to money must rent for awhile to gather a down payment on property. Look for places that pay utilities as they can be better deals, especially with recent surges in electricity and other utility costs. With the recent downturn in the economy monthly hotels are sprouting up across the US.

These can be great deals because all bills are paid and the place is furnished, allowing you to sell furniture and other possessions before you move in, and to be more mobile on the way out when you will need to be mobile to find that place to buy.

If you’re single, better yet are flop houses or rooms in someone else’s house where you share a kitchen and bath. Rent is cheap, they too are often furnished and the bills are usually paid. I stayed in a series of these places before I was married.

You meet some very interesting people at these places too. One place I stayed at in Brookings, SD while attending college was full of Arabic-speaking agricultural engineering students from throughout the Middle East.

After we banked that $26,000 from our first “back-to-the-land” attempt, things were never the same. We bought and fixed up a few more properties, making money every time we sold.

In each case we spent hardly any money fixing the places up. Instead we used lots of elbow grease or “sweat equity”, as the bankers call it. Except there was no need to build “equity”, as after that first place, we always bought our houses with cash.

The first place was another trailer in a park where everyone owned their own lot. We spent $20,000 and sold it for $21,000. Yet we put hardly a dime into it and saved paying rent or a house note for those two years.

In 2001 as our dogs aged we knew we had to get back to the country to give them a peaceful place to pass on. Using the internet we found a place back in the Ozarks. It was a nice smaller 2 BR house on 20 Acres near Peace Valley, MO with an asking price of $59,900.

After we finally sold our house we loaded our $500 81’ Chevy Van and headed south. The day we arrived we discovered the place was going up for auction the next day. We were the only bidders and got the place for $49,900 cash.

In 2005 I saw the housing bust looming. So we had the prerequisite yard sales – which yielded $3000 in road cash – and put the place up for sale. Our boys had both passed peacefully and were able to live out there lives in a quiet country setting.

Yes, it was a bit difficult to leave our boys buried there and move on, but my understanding is that they came right along with us anyway.

Through lots of hard work – with no boss but ourselves – we had turned that place into a parked out garden paradise. We sold it for $117,500. After commissions for realtors and closing costs were paid we pocketed $60,000.

With that grubstake banked, we were one giant step closer to living our dream.

Because we lived there longer than two years owner-occupied, we were again exempt from owing any capital gains tax. This two-year time period is key to making money when buying, improving and selling real estate because this exemption is significant.

It also discourages “flipping”, which I believe to be immoral. When investing in housing, one should earn their money through honest hard work and improvements, not through laziness and sheer speculation. Otherwise you’re simply reinforcing the matrix paradigm.

Traveling light, we again hit the road, this time vagabonding through Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

When we returned to the Ozarks we knew the housing bust had only just begun, so rather than trading up, as many people look to do, we were looking to trade down.

We found a small older 1 BR house on 3 acres just two miles from Greer Spring and the National Scenic Eleven Point River and near the town of Alton, MO. Asking price was $49,900 completely furnished. We offered $40,000 and the seller refused. We let it sit awhile. Two weeks later we offered him $41,500 and he accepted.

We dug our gardens, planted fruit and net trees, landscaped with perennials, put in a new lagoon with the help of a backhoe and fixed the house some – mainly cosmetics.

When buying a house look for the proverbial diamond in the rough. The perfect example is a house that needs a paint job or sits on an overgrown lot or has junk strewn all over the yard, but IS STRUCTURALLY SOLID!

Remember that houses which have sat on the market a long time are the ones where the buyer will often be more willing to come down significantly on the price.

The rule with making that initial offer is that you should always start low. The worst the seller can do is to turn down the offer. Likely they will make a counter-offer. If not, raise your offer a bit. The lower your offers, the lower the eventual counter-offer you are likely to get. Be patient and don’t be rushed into a bad decision.

Don’t bother getting a home inspection. It’s just extra money spent and many of these clowns don’t know what they are doing anyway. But DO inspect the house and property thoroughly yourself. If you have a brother-in-law who’s a carpenter bring him along. Otherwise learn the ropes yourself as I did.

Start at the bottom of the house and work your way up. Check the foundation thoroughly for cracks, imperfections and moisture. If there is a crawl space make sure it is dry, then inspect the footings, sewer and water lines and where the electric and phone lines comes into the house. On the outside of the foundation, where it meets the siding, check for termites.

Next check the sewer, water and electric systems from inside the house by simply flushing the toilet, turning on water faucets and all lights and appliances. Inspect the breaker box to make sure all wires run inside walls from it and that there’s nothing else funky about it.

Look for any cracks in the sheet rock and for windows that open poorly as these may indicate shifts in the foundation. Move up to the ceiling and look for any cracks or water stains that indicate leaks in the roof.

Check the attic and crawlspace for insulation and inspect the roof trusses. Then go outside and inspect fascia and roof for problems. Make sure all outside water spigots have good pressure. Inspect the well and sewage system.

Make sure there are no easement issues, liens or other problems with the place. When you close on the property you should always get either title insurance or an abstract. When you have paid off the property make sure to get a warranty deed and make sure a copy gets filed at the county courthouse.

That’s about it.

After two and a half years at Alton, we put the place up for sale. After a year of listing with a realtor, we posted it ourselves on Craigslist. Within a month we sold it for $65,000.

Since the banks weren’t lending at that time in 2009, we financed the sale. At first I was hesitant, but the buyer’s put $10,000 down, agreed to keep it insured and have not missed a payment on their 15-year mortgage. The best part is that it provides us with a steady income of nearly $500/month.

When you buy a place, go through a realtor. The reality is that you simply gain access to many more listings than the much fewer and far between listings you’ll find for sale by owner. Keep your eyes open for these too, of course, but realtors can all access the MLS database for their area and can show you everything for sale in the area by ALL realtors.

How you sell a place really depends on your location and situation. I’ve had good luck both ways. If you live in the boonies you may try a realtor as they can bring people to you from urban centers. If, on the other hand you are trying to sell that first or second shotgun shack or trailer in town, you may try to sell it yourself so that the little bit of profit you make doesn’t all go to the realtor’s commission. These commissions are often negotiable.

Insurance is one of the biggest scams known to man. Whenever we’ve owner-occupied a place we’ve never once bought property insurance. I didn’t buy car insurance until they required you have it to register a car. Over those 15 years I ran outlaw, I saved thousands of dollars. We don’t have health insurance either.

Screw big pharma, the hospital cartel, greedy doctors and the insurance mafia protection racket. These vampires should be avoided whenever possible, if not shot before firing squad.

When we have serious dental or medical needs we go to dentists in Argentina or doctors in Thailand or a pharmacy in Katmandu – where you can buy any medicine available for a hundred times cheaper than the US price due to the price controls on drug companies which nearly every other nation in the world imposes. You can also buy the medicine over the counter and without some high-priced Illuminati doctor writing you his condescending, insulting and many times dead wrong prescription.

Yes, you take a chance not having insurance, but you have to take some calculated prudent risks in this world to get ahead or you never will. The whole concept of insurance is a fear-based protection racket founded by the Knights Templar. The first insurance company in America was the Freemason-affiliated Modern Woodmen of America. What more do you need to know?

In the case of property insurance the key is to buy a cheap house in town or better yet a large piece of property in the country with a small house on it. This way if something happens to the house, which wasn’t worth a mint because it was small, you still own the property and other improvements such as well, septic, etc.

This all fits well with the key to making money on housing, which is to start by buying something at the low end of the market that you can pay off in a few years or less. If this requires moving out of a high housing-cost area to the boondocks of Western North Dakota or northern Mississippi or here in the Ozarks, just do it.

By now you should have paid off all your credit card debt and been working overtime to save that grubstake of money for a down payment. Search the country by internet for low-priced housing options, quit your meaningless job and hit the road Jack!

Dean Henderson is the author of five books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel.  You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Shelter from the Storm

  1. we…………….

    Posted by mi | September 23, 2012, 9:34 pm
  2. Awesome, thank you for all these great tips and your story.

    Posted by Zellie | September 23, 2012, 10:43 pm
  3. Can’t say I particularly like the idea of a roving life. Smacks a bit of psychological instability. Most folk now prefer a friendly, stable neighbourhood and leave the wanderlust to the gypsies. It is true that the larger the house you have, the more “stuff” you accumulate; but many modern houses especially here in Britain are so small that you can’t really live properly in them. Bedrooms are like cupboards; there’s no storage space for the books and clothes that you do need; and you climb out of bed in the morning to whack your face on the opposite wall.
    Our “stuff” may be seen as a nuisance but it also consists of hobbies, books, crafts, art, collectables and other things that help to make life enjoyable. A small house filled with bare essentials and nothing to occupy the mind with is worse than a prison. As it is, I live in a house that is just under 900 square feet total, with no mortgage outstanding.

    Posted by CD (@cdaboutit) | September 24, 2012, 7:29 am
  4. Interesting information and usefull as well Dean.Thanks for sharing this stuff. I know people that are already living like this. No, they are not ex-hippies or bums, but the guy I’m thinking of and his wife were both professional people, totally fed up with the whole racket that is called the proper way to live as wev’e had it been told to us our whole lives. There definetly is life after HMOs, working and slaving for big corrupt corporations, and leaving the white picket fence baloney.

    Posted by Bobby | September 24, 2012, 2:55 pm
  5. Reading this “Shelter” article I discovered how much alike we are. The main difference is that you are better at it. Until I married in 1968 I usually occupied one room or less and bragged that all my possessions fit into a beat up chevy coup. After I married a Filipina in 1984 I bought my first home. I always got “fixer uppers” and did most of the work myself. I have travelled extensively, as a vagabond, a tourist and as part of my work in environmental remediation. I try to leave only the faintest footprints.

    Posted by Michael F. Hughes | October 5, 2012, 9:39 pm

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