Not looking good

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Scag48, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Well guys, the **** hit the fan here. My parents bought a spec-house (signed papers in April) about 160 miles away on the west coast as a summer place, not a cheap sucker, running in the neighborhood of $700,000. Their plan was to sell a waterfront lot they own here in our home town and basically swap properties in theory. The propery was put on the market 4 months ago, usually lakefront here has been selling like crazy, you Seattle guys know what I'm talking about. The house closes in about a week or so and still no sale on the waterfront lot so I think my old man is going to pull the plug on the excavation biz, it's not looking good fellas. He says he can't go into the winter with heavy payments on the equipment and a huge mortgage on the house.

    So everything I've worked for the last few years is gone. I slathered myself for this opportunity, turned down good operation jobs for the summer, put my heart and soul into the business because this is my ultimate dream. I had a college account that my parents had saved up for me that had about $25K in it, that was liquidated months ago to pay for change orders on their new house. I had about $5K in mutual funds I had been personally accumulating since I was about 13 that my dad sold so I've lost that money as well. The worst thing is that I've had my eye on a commercialy zoned piece of land here in my home town that would be perfect for running the excavation business out of. It has a 3,000 square foot house on it that was grandfathered into the commercial zoning and the mortgage for that was going to be about $1600 a month or so. I took a pay cut, told my dad to keep half of my hourly earnings and put that toward my house payments. This started in April so I'm down almost $5K just on that deal.

    As for me, I don't really know what I'm going to do. Probably help a buddy out finishing a utilities job we started a couple days ago and then head back to Seattle about a month earlier than planned and look for a job. Since I've been screwed by my dad, I really don't have as much money as I'd like for school, so I might pass on fall quarter and go back this winter and keep plugging away at my Associates degree.

    It's been great being on here, but it looks like my equipment operation days are numbered for a while. It sounds like by next week or so the 312 and 277 will be on the chopping block, maybe the 303 and 216 as well, I haven't actually consulted with what my dad was going to do exactly, all I heard from him and my mom (the accountant) was that they're dropping the equipment, not entirely sure what that includes. I keep hoping that he's just blowing off steam from a bad week, but I really think he's actually going to go through with it. The really sad thing is that we were really getting going in the excavation biz, I had some fairly good prospects on a couple upcoming jobs and it really sucks that all my hard work trying to get this thing off the ground is going to hell for a stupid ass summer home. The even sadder part is that the payments aren't killing us, we're making good money, the new equipment didn't help things but we were covering it pretty easy. Problem is, when you can't sell a piece of property and you've gotta close another, you need a little cash to fill that mortgage through the winter and excavation is extremely seasonal out here. I'm sure years from now I'll get back in it, probably won't be able to afford property back in my home town as the prices here are fairly outrageous already and won't be any better later down the road. That was my whole plan with buying a house now, I'd actually have something when I got back from school. A place to live, some equipment, and a good business going for me. This whole stint was never about greed at all, the money wasn't the issue, I strictly got involved because I really love playing in the dirt, but those hopes and dreams are gone until I can drum up some of my own capital and get some cheap equipment and get going on my own.

    I appreciate everyone's help, sorry for the friggin story book here, but it's almost as if this place is a second family for me and I'd like to keep everyone informed. I guess I'll be drifting through time to time, we'll see what happens. Take care everyone.
  2. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Scag, man...why don't you wait to see how the dust settles before you write everything off? I know you are worried, but if your folks can afford a friggen 3/4 million dollar vacaton home, they have enough sense to take care of you as well. I seriously doubt that they are going to leave you hanging...unless you ride them too hard.

    My advice to you, as a man who has lost BOTH parents, is to give them the benefit of doubt, trust them and more importantly, love them while they are still here. I am sure it is a tough pill to swallow right now, but you have this excavating stuff in your blood.

    Hell, you may be better off working for someone else anyway! Could be a blessing in disguise, buddy.

    Hang in there'll all be OK in the end, man!
  3. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    Sounds like your dad has lost his marbles, sell something that will earn 100's of thousands of dollars so he can buy something that COSTS 100's of thousands of dollars and do nothing but sit unused 3/4 of the time. Sounds like you need to give your dad a chance to cool off them have a talk.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Thanks guys. Sorry if this turned out to be a crazy sob story, not my intent at all, I'm not going to look for sympathy from anyone. I'm merely opposed by a situation that I need to overcome and thought I'd let you guys know what's up.

    Doug, I know I shouldn't fly off the handle about this, but I know before it's all over the equipment will be gone, it's just a matter of time. Like I said I haven't talked to my folks in depth about it, I'm living at the motel they own in the manager's apartment at the moment, been here for a month keeping an eye on things so I haven't been at "home". The old man's been nervous about the new house for a while, at least a couple months, and he's finally waited long enough. The only good news is that there is a shortage of iron in the state, things are so busy everywhere we shouldn't have a problem selling the equipment.

    Tyler, you're absolutely right. Couldn't have said it better myself. Got a place I can live and a spot for a job for me up there? You laugh, but I'd probably actually do it.

    I'm trying to take this all in stride, without really knowing what implications are going to go down except for the fact that before the snow flies the equipment will more than likely be gone, at least the machines we owe money on.

    The hardest thing for me is that even though I was technically broke, it didn't matter because I loved what I'm doing, it was NEVER about the money. I made the businesses I ran from day one, back when I was doing lawncare, the focal point of life. Maybe that's where I went wrong, focused on work too much and zoned out other aspects, but I guess if you enjoy it, what's wrong with that? At this point in the biz, I was just trying to get in, make machine payments and learn everything I can, which I was doing fairly well.

    Obviously the equipment won't be gone tomorrow, it's going to take some time to sell whatever goes up for sale, but I honestly don't see a point in sticking around for another month to hit a dead end. I suppose I could go bid a couple jobs and try to make a run at it, but in the end I know if this all goes through I won't have a pot to piss in 2 months from now. I'm trying not to be selfish about all this, but at my age is it wrong to focus on my priorities? I have the mentality that if something dead ends, just keep on truckin' in another direction to find something better. Right now, that seems to be heading back over to Seattle to find something there, take a quarter off of school and get my financial situation stabilized. Basically I'd go into survival mode, focus on getting myself situated, leave the sale responsibilities to my dad as he got himself into this crap, I'm not going to bail him out again. I've put in too many overtime hours without compensation to loan myself out to dismantle a business and dream that I've worked hard to build, I just couldn't do that to myself.

    In all of this, I do realize I was never guaranteed anything. I was never guaranteed my house was going to close, never guaranteed the business was going to be there next year, never guaranteed anything. Long and short, eventually I'll get going on my own in the dirt moving biz, but right now everything is so screwed up I'd like to just get the hell out of town, leave this all behind me, and leave my dad to solve his own financial problems.
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Scag, I'm with pawnshop on this one -- keep you head up and don't drag your feet. Just because the house hasn't sold doesn't mean it won't; just because your efforts into your excavation firm hasn't resulted in you owning the firm doesn't mean new and bigger opportunities won't come knocking. But don't leave your father hanging, no matter what comes of it: I'm sure he wants your help.

    Best of luck, bro, and let us know if we can help.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Whoops I think your Dad has sunk themselves into a little trouble better hope your name isn't attached to anything because you don't want to get a bad credit rating at your time of life. Once the repo man starts knocking on the door watch out.

    People here are sinking themselves into debt buying houses that they can barely afford. If the interest rate goes up they can't afford the payments the bank is going to be owning alot of houses.

    Wait it out and see what happens if it looks like things are going to the worse say see ya dad got to go find a job. He is at fault for biting off more than he can chew. Too many people are buying places on speculation that their place they own know will sell in the snap of fingers and it doesn't happen because they missed the market.

    I would maybe start looking for another job now don't give your dad a option make some money to keep you going through the winter.
  7. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    We actually are taking applications for another operator, but we are looking for someone that has a few years experience doing sewer/storm main line, water main, etc, developing work. Someone that is looking to stick around for a few years, its a tall order.
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Yeah man, kinda my thoughts, right now he owes me more than I owe him. I spent countless weekends driving between school and home to produce a revenue, quit a good job, turned down an excellent operating job with a huge company on the coast. I really don't feel any remorse for him whatsoever, I told him when he was first looking at getting a fullsize excavator to buy used, could have bought a decent used piece for under $50K. We certainly didn't NEED a brand new machine, something with a few thousand hours would have done fine and at this point we'd probably be able to keep a lunker Deere or Hitachi if we bought it right.

    In the end, I'm going to get blamed for all this. He'll try to tell me that if it wasn't for me he woudln't have bought the equipment, then order me to go back to school this fall when all I really want to do is get back on my feet and take things my own way. The excavation business was the only leverage he had against me to go back to school, said if I didn't finish school he wouldn't sell it to me but now I guess it doesn't matter. I'll probably finish school, but I'd like to go at my pace and he can't hang anything over my head now. Actually, this might almost be a good thing. I'll learn a good lesson from all of it on someone else's dime and it'll remove just about every tie that I have with him. The apartment I live in Seattle he owns, but if he throws me out of there then I guess I really am on my own, just the way I like it.
  9. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    Scag,hang in there you will make it thorough this.Put the numbers of selling the equipment down on paper and how much money your dad and you will lose vs.keeping the equipment I thing it will be in your favorer.And maybe sell the 216, the 216 and the 277 are kind of the same use.If it comes down to selling the equipment maybe you can sell the 312 ,277and the 216 and buy a good used 312 or 120 and 277 and run them until you can buy new!! I want a 50 sized machine at first until i saw the payments and thought I would never wood get a machine,the next day I check on a 35 sized machine and could make it work,and found out about a month later that a 50 would be to big for my market.

    There is more then one way to skin a cat( not dad!!!)

    Good luck, minimax
  10. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Scag, What you have is an attitude problem and your gonna get screwed because of it. Your old man doesnt "owe" you anything, you owe him everything. You are not even finished with school yet and you act like your life is over. Life hasnt even gotten started with you yet....

    Dump the attitude. It wont do you any good.

    once you pull your head out, sit down with the old man and ask him what he intends to do and ask what you can do to HELP him.

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