“So do tell me how we are going to accomplish your goal, and secure my nest egg?” I suggested.
“It isn’t just my goal. You have Kate. the kids, and even Reverend Archer pushing for this as well. It would also take the rot and blight out of that part of town. We have high end buyers coming over from Tryon, but we really need some nice moderate housing with some class.”
Jennifer was all over her soap box on this one. She didn’t know that I was committed to a retirement community for agents who managed to survive and wanted a place to go.t
“Of course you would be handing my interest in the purchase of the units. Then you would also be handling my interest in the sale of the units. Now how many units do you feel it would be in my best interest to renovate?” I asked with a laugh.
“You would have to take them all to get the best price,” Jennifer said. “The kids will take a blanket $10.000 each for them. They are on very small oddly shaped lots, worth over half of that each.”
“I have seen those places all my life. You are talking about houses worth no more the fifty grand each after the renovation. The houses barely have the ten feet property line on each side required by the fire department. There is no way to make a driveway unless it is blocks the front door of the house. They would be slightly more than fucking patio homes at best.” You can probably tell I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea.
“The housing market is crap now. That kind of home is the replacement for the 200k starter home of the 2000s.” Jennifer demanded. You can get 75k for them no problem with just average quality renovations.”
“Jen a lot of those houses will have to be torn down. They won’t even be worth fixing.” I said all proud of myself for finding ways out of the deal.
“We have a inspected them and of the 120 only 15 are beyond repair. For some reason the wood boring insects haven’t bothered those houses at all. Not a single termite.” She reported. I would have expected them to be eat up with termites.” Jennifer said.
“You would have expected,” I said with a laugh. “Jen you wouldn’t know a termite from a firefly.”
“Okay, I already had the guys from Archer’s ‘HLF’ inspect them. That why Archer is on the list of people hot for you to do this deal. His people need the jobs in this economy.”
“Oh I’ll just bet he is, which makes me wonder even more if it is worth the money,” I said.
“Okay, but what if I could get you a deal with very little risk of capitol and a huge benefit to the town. Would you go for that?” she asked.
I made the decision in a split second. “If you have a plan bitch, let’s here it,” I said.
“Would you buy ten at 15k each, with a promise to buy ten more when 80% of those have been resold?” she said. “That way you flip your money rather than tie it all up. If we guess wrong you would have only a small amount of money tied up at a time.”
“With the renovations you are talking about committing a minimum of half a million of my money at any given moment,” I said with the question in my voice.
“Damn your math has improved. But yes we had figured half to three quarters of a million at a time.” she said.
“So I generate income for you, chubby Realtor Kate, and Archer’s crew without you risking anything?” I asked.
“Yeah that’s pretty much it,” Jen replied.
“Then the answer is no,” I said. “Jen listen to me hon. Nobody is going to buy a home of any kind in a site with abandoned houses everywhere. If I do this I would have to commit to enough houses to have a decent looking neighborhood. If I develop all of them, there is still going to be an abandoned cotton mill in the middle of it.
“Okay what if I told you the cotton mill is going to be bought by the state?” she said.
“That might make some difference, but not enough to tip the scale.” I said “What makes you think that anyway.”
“The community college wants it for classrooms and shops for its automotive and the new aircraft maintenance departments. It is the right size ,and the only one in the area that was keep weather secure. Like i said the old man thought it would come back one day. He might have been right after all but in a different capacity.”
“If they announce that, and if I can cut out a housing development without taking all of those houses, then we might can do a deal. Email me a site map, I know you have one.”
“Yes I do. You are getting to be such a techno geek,” she said. A year ago you would have demanded I have them printed and delivered to you.”
“So, I have made a choice to come into the brave new world,” I said sarcastically. “Just send me the map and I’ll take a look. Send the reports on each house from HLF I am sure you have those as well. Since it cost you nothing,”
“My, my aren’t we all testy this morning.” Jennifer said. I’ll get all of it too you in an hour,” then she was just gone.
While speaking with Jennifer, I had walked back over to my Downtown House. I had to admit that I was already bored since most of the Drugstore Condo was complete. I still had Nanny cunt on my plate and maybe even the boyfriend. But those didn’t require me to do anything at the moment.
When I sat down, with a cup of very hot coffee to review the world’s news, I got a message from the controller. There had been a fatal accident at the state campground where Nanny Cunt and boyfriend were staying. Boyfriend was the fatality, the cops were looking for Nanny Cunt. If there were foul play suspected, she was the suspect and she was in the wind.
Now that is an unexpected but pleasant turn of events, I thought.
I am not sure if it is for the best or not, the controller replied. On a happier note it is official you have been nominated for an Emmy. One last bit of information, the creator reviewed your tapes from this morning already. It was a significant enough development for an immediate review.
Do you mean that thing that I caused this morning? I asked.
Yes of course I mean that. That thing that occurred when you were dancing with the human did not amount to a change outside normal operating ranges. This morning was a bit of a shock to the creator. The committee is going to review it this morning and you should expect a response, the controller advised.
You glossed over the Emmy thing, have I gotten an invitation to the ceremony and should I go? I asked.
The fancy invitation has been sent. You will get it soon and yes you should plan to go. We want to know, if you can fit into the real world. That is the whole point dear. This will be the ultimate test.
So who am I going to get for an escort. A real world guy pal, or do you have something else in mind? I asked.
Before we send you out on dates, the creator has to decide what to do about your little adventure this morning. You will be hearing from us sooner than later, I’m sure.
It was after lunchtime before the drawings and reports arrived in my email. I made short work of them. If the mill was indeed purchased by the school, it would eliminate the fear factor from the housing development. People are generally afraid of gangs and the homeless inhabiting an abandoned structure. That being the case it’s hard to sell them a home next door.
On the site plan I found one part of the housing area cut off from the other by a creek. There was the main road, the mill, then two streets of houses and creek. On the far side of the creek there were four more streets of houses. Each of the six streets had twenty houses on it.
I could buy forty houses that were isolated from the others. Maybe I would not have to do the whole project at once after all. Since the mill was only a few blocks from the downtown, I rode the bike to take a look.
I wanted to get a good look at the property. In doing so I would be taking my own pictures of the site. It was actually the memory of what I saw that formed the pictures. I could retrieve it at any time and in great detail. Being able to sort my new memories like that, was a huge benefit to me, I thought.
Even at the moment the mill looked to be in good shape. The chain link fence was still in place and the lawns were cut for winter. It didn’t look rundown but one could tell that it was not operating either. As I went from house to house, I pulled up the report by the HLF inspector. Of the forty houses only two were beyond hope. Sure they could be rehabbed but the cost was prohibitive. The lots were small so of no real value for anything else. They were also not even close to each other. I had no idea what I could do with them.
I put in a call to Jen on the Smarter than Smart phone. I could have made the call with the farm’s circuits but I knew better. Those circuits would be monitored and I was forbidden to use them for anything other than official business. Whatever the hell that was.
“Jen, I took a look at the data and made a decision,” I said.
“Damn girl you move quickly,” she said.
“What’s the advantage in putting it off. Will the facts change tomorrow, or the day after?” I asked.
“Well no, I guess not. So what have you decided?” she asked.
“Offer the kids half a million for all the houses on Spruce and Cypress streets. No commitment for any of the others. Remind them that two of those house will have to be demolished. So they are only selling me 38 houses and 2 small lots which I have to clear. Make it contingent on the mill building being sold first.”
“They won’t move as fast as you do, I assure you.” Jennifer said.
“Well it’s in your best interest to stay on top of it, so I leave it to you. Just let me know when they decide.”
I rode the bike back to the downtown house in a long lazy loop around my home town. Being able to do that and arrive back at the townhouse without being exhausted or cold was a great feeling. Yes, I had to do a prophylactic power infusion, but that was no big deal. I just wanted to stay topped off in case of surprises. Probably no other agent in the world would have worried as much as me about that. But then I was the only one like me.
“Hello,” I said into the smarter than smart phone.
“Guess who got his ass burned to a crisp,” Blevin’s voice asked.
“Smokey the bear?” I asked.
“Not a chance, it was the Nanny’s boyfriend. The cops down east are calling it an accident, but the Nanny was with him. We are back on her trail.” Blevins said thinking that it would be good news to me. Little did he know that I was also in pursuit of Nanny Cunt.
“Good I hope you find her and burn her ass as well.” I said for his benefit. I had to stay in character you know.
“Just so you know, it was for sure a painful death.” Blevins said.
“Well that is a great comfort to me,” I replied with a laugh.