Zelda and the Money Pit

Many of you are familiar with my good friend Zelda, we have had many adventures in the past and continue have them, even as we approach our broken down middle aged years. Last year she and another friend of hers decided they didn’t want to work for the rest of their lives and thought it would be a really smart idea to invest in some real estate. They wanted to do the old flipping thing. You know, you buy a place, fix it up and then sell it? Easy as flapjacks, right?

Well Zelda being Zelda, naturally chose the perfect moment to go into this business -about 6 weeks before the crash. Isn’t there a saying…timing is everything…. Before they even had the first wall knocked down the value of property had evaporated like 7-11 gasoline. Though the property they bought was a very cool place up in the canyons with a spectacular view and lots of potential – it had been owned and lived in by a couple of crack heads for years and the work to just make the place livable was overwhelming, much less make it a showcase.

Now before all of this, Zelda had a small, albeit, thriving consulting business which she was doing smashingly with and making very nice income from and was more than comfortable. In fact, she was the only really prosperous one in our group of friends and we often had barbecues, summer cookouts and parties over there and had a lot of fun. Zelda bought the food, we cooked it and everyone ate it – a nice arrangement we all thought. Then this new business idea came to her in a dream or something and within weeks she went from snazzy, savvy businesswoman to beat-up, down-trodden day worker. Each time I saw her she had some new nerve damage, gash, cut, abrasion or burn. I secretly wondered if she was training for an xTreme fighting club soon to debut in Madison Square Garden.

Over the last several months, she has continued to rennovate and do improvements on the place – and whenever asked how much longer to go, her response was, ‘just a couple more weeks’ and after a while none of us asked her because it was apparent that Zelda was going to continue doing improvements until the house was bought and sold and the family moved in and asked her to leave.

She has lost 20 pounds, of which she is quite proud, however, being unable to stand upright and walk without a limp does take away from the newfound svelte figure and really how sexy can you be in a pair of steel toed boots and your big brothers jeans and tees?

Oh yes, back to the money pit part. I cannot reveal how much they paid for the house nor how much they have spent, however I can say that of the 67 credit cards she has, she isn’t sure if any of them have enough left on them to buy dinner, her secret stash is gone, the line of credit they got with the house is gone, her personal lines of credit are gone – and well, they are pretty much going to have to sell the house for close to one million in order to make it worth their while. Yes, welcome to real estate investment in sunny California, folks. It just really isn’t like those cable tv shows where a coat of paint and some new curtains does the trick. To name just a few of the major projects for this house, they: built two decks, refurbished the fireplace, gutted and redid the kitchen, gutted and redid the master bath, built a laundry room, rewired, repiped, put on a new roof, painted inside and out, reguttered, rebuilt the corral and now are tending to the minor details, I wonder if it would have been cheaper to just knock down the old house and start from scratch. We’ll never know.

So anyway, please pray for Zelda, who now has the house listed and it really does look quite beautiful – but if she doesn’t sell it soon, she’ll be living in my backyard, existing on tomatoes, eggplant and mystery squash.

UPDATE:

Zelda just sent me a couple photos here:

Unfortuantely, they do don’t the place justice – the first of the living room and the second is the view from the master bedroom deck.

Also Zelda gave me the following message for you:
Please tell everyone I popped in, and thank them for their well wishes. The double vision is clearing up and I believe that the skull fracture is, in fact, healed. Brain damage was… OK I was going to say minimal, but that may not be entirely true, right?  Zelda