Discover more from Conscious Repository
Lessons from Urban Homesteading
Some ideas distilled from a presentation on buying a property in a distressed area.
When I tell people that I moved to St. Louis from Denver, the response I often get is that I went the wrong direction.
I respectfully disagree.
I came to St. Louis for the same reason people have been migrating for centuries: to find opportunity and make a new place my home. Broadly speaking, it’s been a successful endeavor. Since moving to St. Louis, I’ve become a homeowner with no debt, grown a business to profitability and become welcomed into the larger community to a degree I’ve never experienced elsewhere.
I love it here.
In a few weeks, I’ll be giving a couple of presentations online and in person that answers the question:
How do you buy a distressed property, improve it and join the community?
For context, I chair a development committee that covers 2 of our beautiful neighborhoods, and my answer largely covers my why for coming here from Denver. When going back over my main points, it occurred to me that there was some broadly applicable value to be distilled as well. Here’s that —
“Helpful prerequisites for buying a distressed property:”
Ability to be content in a chaotic environment
YouTube or a handy friend
Transcriptions for value to live by:
The future is uncertain, but not as uncertain as the present.
A long journey is comprised of many small steps.
You will fall behind if you don’t continue to learn or ask for help.
“If you outsource everything, you probably won’t come out ahead.”
The luxury of expert handoff is an infectious habit. When fixing a distressed property and in life, there will always be someone more qualified to pass our work onto, almost always at a cost. Sometimes the peace of mind at a job well done is worth the exchange or necessary- but not always. The barrier between your competence in execution and that of one without might just be a ghostly barrier of perception.
With both, if you never do an ounce of work yourself, you may find yourself having eaten through your margins. It’s one thing on a home to be wrapping up over budget, but don’t wrap up a life asking yourself, what did I accomplish?
“Find out where the community meets and show up, again and again.”
The dividends we rake in from being in the right place at the right time are simultaneously insurmountable and immeasurable. It’s impossible to win at that game by not playing, so I elect to play more often than not in the bounds of my community and encourage you to do the same.
“Find problems that exist, then help solve them.”
Why pair two thirds of a presentation on buying and renovating a distressed property with a third on joining and improving the community?
If you plan to be a long term stakeholder anywhere and you are working to improve your immediate domain, you will reach a point where the only way to promote further improvement across the board is to solve problems outside your sphere of independent control. Take this in the context of a neighborhood outside your home, or the world outside yourself.
I had the opportunity to practice this talk inside of an online community I’ve mentioned in the past. One thing I’m missing in this presentation that will be altered for future iterations is more gratitude towards my dad. Without him, I’d probably still be living in a glorified brick igloo. Thank you dad.
You can check out the recording featuring more derpy facial expressions like the one you see in the corner here —
If you do check it out- as usual, I would be thrilled to hear any and all feedback. In the near future, I will be giving a slightly altered talk to my community through different groups here in St. Louis.
Next week, I’m going to talk about the purpose of fear and the path out of it.
Improve the world around you.