Posted by: guinness222 | March 13, 2009

“Ah the old “home town”,…how’s it doing?”

“I am in Destin Florida with my two young adult children and my 18mt old grandbaby. Couple of things I have noticed in Destin and PCB. It is in fact service jobs mostly neither one of my teenagers had any problems getting a job in October 2008. Full time jobs are very few. Currently every job here is getting about 150 applications on day one. It is easier to get two part time jobs. The average pay in the winter seems to be 7.50 to 9.50 no matter what and if you are lucky.

You can forget the health insurance, the employers offer it but the price is too high. Every daycare here in Destin is full and/or running on the school system schedule. There is No MACY’s and you are not going to find one within a day’s drive. Food is very limited for example very little fruit, frozen or fresh it’s hard to explain but I am use to having a large choice of food supplies (Kroger’s) and Super Wal-marts etc. It would be a challenge to find leaf lettuce.

Cleaning supplies are off the hook. If you don’t mind shopping four or five different stores you possible could make out. There is a Fresh Market that recently opened but it’s a little high. Currently a person can live in a resort here year round only because of the economy, that’s nice but I am not sure it’s worth it.

There is a since of depression in this area in the winter months. I believe it feels colder here in the winter than let’s say Ohio. That wet cold and wind is un believably cold. The ocean and the beach is the best in the United State. The sand is like fine sugar. The water is a beautiful emerald blue green. My grandbaby loves it.

Is it worth living here year around I don’t think so. If a person is not selling real estate or doing something with real estate or running a business that closes in the winter I don’t know how a person could get ahead. I’ am running my business here and experiencing life on the coast and giving my grandbaby that experience for a while but I don’t see my family and I staying here much past 2009 full time. If I were not traveling back and forth to Austin I would lose my mind.”

     Came across this looking for a health insurance agent on Google (?Don’t ask me how!) But it’s the truth. I really feel sorry for this lady, as that’s the way it is. The only reason I can even hang on here is becasue we bought a home before it was “the happenin’ place” in 2004 and 2005. Now the Process servers and I are on a first name basis there are so many “upside down” folks with houses. Here’s a basic example. As I’ve mentioned before I manage Condominium and Homeowners Associations. Currently I manage 5 different properties. Here is a list of the # of units, or homes in each, and the number of bankrupt and foreclosed units within the Association.

            #1- 36 units               1 Bankruptcy, 2 foreclosures

            #2- 24 units               2 Banruptcies, 5 foreclosures

            #3- 20 units               1 Banruptcy, 1 foreclosure

            #4- 18 units               2 Bankruptcies, 3 foreclosures

            #5- 20 units               1 Bankruptcy, 1 foreclosure

       Now when you figure the whole “concept” of community living is that the expenses are equally shared by the owners, as opposed to a “landlord” that means, just in my portfolio of accounts, 118 owners to share the common bills, i.e. running the swimming pool and spa, maintenance, trash removal, landscaping, etc., etc. now believe it or not those expenses will total nearly a million dollars a year or an average of $706 a month per owner! Now take the 7 Bankrupties and the 12 Foreclosures away and roughly 15% of the owners are not contributing thier “fair share”. The landscaping Company does’nt care, no cash, no lawn trimmed. The Trash Removal Company doesn’t care, no payment no trash removal. But then enters the “Community Association Manager” (me!) and I get 99 people whining at me to make the others pay, make the landscaper do a better job, get the trash picked up more than once a month, back to once a week like we used to do it,….and oh yeah we (the folks paying thier bills) can’t afford to pick up the slack.

     (That’s why I think the Mission Impossible movies were bad, I do this mission impossible stuff every day of every week!)

      It all works downhill, the Landscaper cuts three guys off the regularly ten man crew that comes each week. They work based on what they get paid divided by what it costs per hour to work, including the mowers, rakes, blowers, trimmers, etc. It’s like a little invasion. They show up, they go like hell, and EXACTLY two hours later they are all back on the truck and off to the next account, only the ten guys are now seven guys, so something got skipped, or done half-assed.

     But we get up each day, go to work, answer the 80 e-mails a day, convienently “forget” to call the painter (Remember I’m the Manager, and I am smart enough to know they can’t afford to have the painter paint the door frames,….no matter how much the guy with the big mouth insists it be done,….so gee “I forgot, I’ll get to it tomorrow.”)

       Half my day is spent trying to figure out how and who to pay to keep all the plates spinning. This is now spring break, (you know, “Girls gone Wild” time), all the college kids are here drinking tier brains out, falling off balconies and killing themselves, drowning because they are “indestructible” even though our beach flags say “ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING BECAUSE OF SEVERE RIP TIDES”, twenty-five of them , boys and girls, squeezed in a two bedroom condo, well, I can’t afford the security guys to patrol, that saves us $35,000 a year and makes up a little bit.

       So, anyone got a job open for me? You know something “mellow” like feeding alligators ,…by hand, doing old bomb disarming, test flying saucers, …you know something that you just go do the job, get it done, have a cold beer and go home and relax! (Oops! that’s my phone, hold on,………”Yes I know the dog barking can be annoying, and the folks think you are an old nag for telling them to quiet the dog,….but that’s the way it goes, they own the place next door, you are only renting for the week. Put cotton in your ears and have a couple shots of Jack Daniels and see if that helps you to go to sleep.”……so where was I, oops, there it goes again, excuse me, I’ll get back to you tomorrow.)



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