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Real Estate Reading Room [Business and Career]
Articles and Advice about Business and Career from Real Estate Reading Room

Rehab Diary - Or Why Should I Listen To Ron
by Tony Severino

There is a reason why I am not a rehabber…..

April 1 (Fools Day) My Banker was very friendly. Said he wished I would get a contractor because I didn’t know what I was doing. Best rate I could get was 6 points above prime because I was too marginal with no experience. Also said I would get money in stages after I showed proof of payment to the contractors. What nerve! I didn’t realize there would be this much paperwork. Missed three hours of work, but I got a neat calendar, but he wouldn’t give me that free calculator too, said something about volume of loans or some gibberish.

April 3 Went to a seminar by some guy named Ron Legrand. Says don’t get loans or use your own money….. Yeah right, what kind of world is he living in….

APRIL 26 Took 25 days to come up with a plan. Never dreamed of all the details. Discovered my wife can be a mean person. I think I am getting a nervous condition.

MAY 4 Finally found a contractor, He said take it or leave it. Said builders give him tons of work and my puny project wasn’t a big deal to him. That is why they get discounts and I don’t qualify. I know I paid too much but I know I’ll save enough to offset it later. He didn’t show me much respect, and he really needed a shower.

MAY 6 Somebody’s gonna pay! Went to get a building permit. He said he needed to see my drawings, I asked why. He looked at me like I was a space alien. So I borrowed a piece of paper and pen and made him a drawing. He told me to get out of his office. I reminded him as a taxpayer I paid his salary, he told me he wanted a raise and to come back when I was going to give him one. Determined I don’t need no stinking permits. I missed 5 hours of work.

MAY 7 Walked off the size of the building as best as I could, I don’t have one of those tapes. Wonder how those builders do this. I guess it’s no big deal.

MAY 8 Met the contractor at the job site early in the morning (I forgot 6 am existed). He said only a fool would try to add 1 story to this house. I told him no uncertain terms that it was my money and to do as I told him and to start raising the roof on this house to add another floor! He was grinning when I left for work.

MAY 10 It rained last night, seems I have a big open area near the “flashing”. I don’t recall seeing any rotating lights in the attic. I have to remember to ask the guys at Home Depot about that one. I am a nervous wreck, missed ½ day at work.

MAY 11 The foundation guy told me it would be three weeks before he could get to my job. They had to take care of their builders first. I don’t remember seeing this stuff on those TV shows.

MAY 12 The lumber man said that I could qualify for discounts as soon as I bought $250,000 worth of materials. I told him that was discrimination. He agreed. He also would not guarantee prices because the prices were fluctuating almost daily. Told him I wouldn’t stand for that kind of treatment and would shop around. I missed 2 days of work getting bids. Returned to the original lumber man and signed up. My boss left me a nasty voice mail on my cell phone….what an impatient man!

MAY 15 When the framing carpenter told me his price I told him to go to hell! Told him there were doctors making his kind of money and there were plenty of others where he came from. He told me he dropped out of medical school to become a carpenter.

MAY 24 Hired original framer.

JULY 2 Foundation guy finally showed up 4 weeks late. Foreman called me an idiot. Said that since there were no blocks on site, there would be no work. I thought they brought their own blocks. I told him he seemed too big of a boy to be still playing with toy blocks. He didn’t seem to like my sense of humor. I told him if he set foot on my property it would be his last step. He beat me half to death. Missed two days of work with stitches and bruises. I wonder if this is covered my workman’s comp? Those subs are mean!

JULY 11 Lumber showed up, called the framing guy. He said it would be a two weeks since he had to frame a house for a builder. Punched a hole in the wall at home. Wife isn’t talking to me. Now I need another guy to fix that.

JULY 12 Most of the lumber was stolen. Insurance company was very co-operative. Lumber man said it would take about four weeks to replace the stuff. I asked him why when he had a bunch on the lot. He said it was for his builders. I decided not to call the framing guy because he might take another job. I wonder if the lumber guy stole my lumber back to fill a gap for his builders. Insurance company told me I could fax them a copy of my permit for their records. My stomach is getting sharp pains.

AUGUST 13 Lumber delivered. Called carpenter and my timing isn’t too good. He would start in 7 days. An extra delay; seems his daughter is getting married. Told me to cover material with tarp or get it inside. How can I haul all of that alone? Checked weather channel for forecast. Clear skies ahead! I decided to save a few bucks and not buy some tarps, after all wood is made from trees and they are outside all the time. A little bit of weather can’t hurt wood.

AUGUST 16 How can a hurricane on the coast affect me over 1000 miles away? I don’t think all this rain came from there! That weather guy on the weather channel blew it and is blaming a silly storm in the gulf instead of fessing up. I took a broom and tried to sweep the water off the lumber, but looks like a lot of it got soaked up in the wood. I think it will be ok.

AUGUST 20 No Carpenter. I started a list of everyone who lied to me. Got a cramp in my hand. Banker came up to me and asked he how the project was going when I deposited my paycheck. I pretended I didn’t hear him.

AUGUST 21 Carpenter showed up, asked why all this wood is wet. I ignored him. He said he needed a hook up from the power company to run his equipment. I asked him why I should pay for the electricity to run his tools. He told his guys to pack up. I told him I would get the power turned on. He told me I would have to pay him for everyday it took to get the power on since I was blocked in on the appointment book. I agreed. Called Power Company, they needed a $1500 deposit since this is not going to an occupied property. Took receipt into bank for a draw. Was denied since the Power Company isn’t a contractor. Took money from savings to cover check. Maybe wife won’t miss the $1500. My banker is a pinheaded idiot. Still won’t give me the calculator.

SEPTEMBER 3 Found a red notice on the door. How can the city give me a ticket for tall grass? I called them and they said that if I didn’t cut it they could, and charge me 150 bucks. Seems city workers make a nice wage. I told them it was a prairie restoration project. They hung up on me, seems they heard that one before.

OCTOBER 3 Starting to look nice, At least it will be enclosed by winter. Neighbor told me it looks tilted to one side. I told him to mind his own business and get off my property. I accused him of stealing my lumber.

OCTOBER 12 Moved family into hotel. New owners moved into our house. Thought the rehab would be done a long time ago. Seems those projects on TV only take a few days. Got a call from banker looking for an interest payment. Let it go into voice mail. I love voice mail.

OCTOBER 14 Another red tag on the door, confused, the grass is cut. The building commissioner explained that the framer had not built according to code and some details would have to be corrected. I told him I was “big” in the party and I wouldn’t stand for this and neither would my friends in high places. He urged me to continue my political involvement and to correct the errors or he would stop work on my project. I pretended not to hear him when he said to post the permit in the window…… Missed all morning at work. Boss seems grumpy these days said he tried calling me but all he got was my voice mail.

OCTOBER 15 Had some words with carpenter, but didn’t know what to tell him to fix. Told him to work it out with the inspector.

OCTOBER 23 Scheduled Plumbing, cabinets, electricians and fireplace guys for the same day. Seems like appointments are irrelevant to contractors anyway, so what have I got to lose. They never show up as scheduled anyway. Wife laughed at me and went to the pool.

NOVEMBER 3 All the contractors showed up as promised. It was total chaos. Seems work has slowed down for the winter for the builders. Plumbing foreman threatened me with a piece of pipe. All I did was ask him if he had a fire extinguisher while he was soldering. I think he needs less caffeine. Missed whole day at work. Boss left 3 voice mails. Maybe he needs to switch to decaf too.

NOVEMBER 17 OSHA inspector shut job down. Cited 21 safety hazards. Told him someone was going to pay “Big” for this because I have got strong political connections. Left me his card and said have them call him. Went to doctor for pain in stomach. Blood pressure was high. Clerk at desk seemed crabby, told her to drink more decaf.

November 22 All safety requirements met. I didn’t realize all these construction guys could be so much of a weenie. Kind of nitpicky on the safety issues. Work started up again. Scheduled Drywall Company. Stopped on way to work at a local bar. Mr. I Am Your Boss left me another voice mail. Seems he hasn’t switched to decaf as I suggested.

November 23 Cabinet guys show up, seems that they need the drywall in first…. Left the cabinets in the kitchen. Man is he grumpy.

November 28 Drywall guys came, material showed up. Drywall takes up a lot of space…. Moved the cabinets to the basement so they could use the floor space.

December 3 Boss called me into his office. Asked me if I was sick. If he only knew… Stomach pains, headaches, high blood pressure. He didn’t seem to care about the grief this is causing me. Then why did he ask? I was told to shape up quickly or else. Wife didn’t take the news well.

December 4 Wife took the kids and is moving in with her mom. She says I am crabby and should switch to decaf. How can I stay awake at night and fix the mess ups if I don’t have caffeine?

December 5 Got a foreclosure notice. Seems that the bank wants some money. Don’t think I will tell the wife.

Maybe I should have listen to that Ron Legrand guy in the first place….

Tony Severino


P.S. This is a complete work of fiction…..My Wife is the Best thing that has happened to me and a Great partner













Tony is a was trained by the best in the business, Ron Legrand. He and his wife Lisa Severino started a business from nothing and created one of the largest Real Estate Business in the Chicago area.

As a mentor to students Tony Severino helps the students take the seminar training and bring it to life, and thereby a nice size paycheck!

You can learn more about him at www.TonySeverino.com or call the office at 219-932-3000.

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