Summer Interns Get An A+

Here is the fancy pants writing……

Over the past eight weeks, the interns at Gabhart Investments, Anthony Espinoza and Seth Struiksma, have learned the nuts and bolts of renovating residential properties in San Diego and have made valuable contributions to the development and growth of the business. In addition to interning at Gabhart Investments, both Anthony and Seth contribute much of their time on the Board of Directors for the Real Estate Society of San Diego State University. The main duties for the interns are to assist with acquisition research, frequently update the website blog, and ultimately create a personal business plan to use as a guide for the future. At the inception of the internship, both interns contributed their ideas and efforts towards writing the Gabhart Real Estate Opportunity Fund business plan. They were instrumental in finalizing a plan that would eventually be sent out to investors. Once the Fund was established, Seth and Anthony assisted with design ideas and materials for the property renovations. Throughout the entire internship, the interns documented the processes, procedures, and skills they learned on a daily basis. For more information on the Real Estate Society at SDSU, go to:

Ok enough with the fluffy crap, Here is the no BS Curtis version…..

Those two spent there summers with a fat grumpy dude learning how what it takes to buy properties in this market WITHOUT GETTING PAID (the fat grumpy guy is me). The fact that they were willing to put in all that work without getting paid to learn the business shows me that they are serious about making it in life.

Personally I know my greatest rewards have coming from putting my balls on the line with the understanding that I may not succeed but if I do the rewards will be great. Not everything has always worked out the way I wanted but in my opinion it’s not whether you fail that counts it’s whether you don’t give up and keep going until you succeed that makes you a success (it doesn’t have to be money. Do you have any idea how hard it was to land my wife??? Now I have her though and she’s stuck.)

I have had many ventures that have made me fall flat on my face.

When I was 6 I decided to sell used books door to door. This was my first lesson in keeping the overhead low. I hired this cute 6 year old girl as my secretary and paid her a dollar a day. I think she ended up making more money than me.

Also looking back at it I wonder what the fudge was my baby sitter thinking letting me sell books door to door when I was six???? Can you say Chester the Molester? I’d be kicking some babysitter ass if they let my daughters do that.

Over the years I mowed lawns, painted and even bought 12 coin operated alcohol breathalyzers from ebay that I thought would make some serious coin by putting them in bars.

Well the only thing I got out of the breathalyzer business was a video of me opening the boxes, plugging all the machines in and watching all the pretty lights flash on them… The best part was when I talked to the video camera saying “if these don’t work out my wife is going to KILL ME!”.

Well needless to say the first bar I brought them to (a biker bar in spring valley) a drunk came up and thought it was a game and started drinking shots and blowing into the machines to see how high he could get his alcohol level. Needless to say I figures the liability would outweigh the potential money.

There were many many more adventures like that which I won’t bore you with until I found a niche I could do well in. That niche was Real Estate and I busted my hump and worked for free for a long time (and a lot of nagging from the wife) until I finally made it.

It hasn’t been an easy journey and I can’t say I never lost any money because I have. I can say that I love what I do and if I didn’t do this I would probably be working in Taco Bell still (my first legal job).

Well in summary I think they learned a lot and even if they learned that they hated the business (which I don’t think happened) it’s better to find that out before you go and make a career out of it.

I just want to thank both of them and let them know that they have a lifetime of free advice and help (it’s probably worth what they are paying me for it).

From our last meeting together Seth is actually interested in getting into the commercial brokerage business which I highly recommend and Anthony is going to Spain for a semester to drink some sangria’s and decide on what he is doing.

So in summary – A+ (even though I never got an A or a B or really many C’s)….


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San Diego wants to spend $31 MILLION to house 225 homeless. HOW MUCH???

Protesters delay downtown homeless center –

Wow the city of San Diego wants to spend $31,000,000 to house ONLY 225 people in the world trade center building in Downtown San Diego.

This $31,000,000 is not to build new construction but to use an existing structures top floors for permanent and temporary housing. I am all for helping the homeless and in particular the homeless who want help or need help due to handicaps or mental illness.

Don’t get me wrong that it is not an important issue to me. My best friend died when about 14 years ago homeless (age 21) and alone so it is something near and dear to me. Chris turned out to have mental problems and did not get the help he needed and could not deal with everyday life like the rest of us.

As far as my understanding of this proposal for housing the homeless 1) this has no mental health component. Mental issues and drug rehab are probably the biggest things that need to be addressed and are probably the most expensive to deal with.

This is just for housing which is great as long as the person they are trying to help WANTS to get help (if they are capable) and be a contributing member of our society.

If that is the case there should be help and housing. But they are only able to help 225 people  for $31 MIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIOOOOOOOONNNNN DOLLARS!!!!!! Can’t that money be put to much better use and help a lot more people? How about all the homeless who won’t get help because they didn’t utilize that money effectively.

Why don’t they rent out the office building which is a prime high rent area of downtown (assuming they own it. If they don’t there are cheaper places that could then house more people. It’s not like they need the lap of luxury just food, shelter, and safety to start with) San Diego and use the income that is generated on an ongoing basis and which will grow in addition to the $31 million and use the money more effectively.

They could probably buy the old hospital that is not in use in El Cajon and house hundreds more? Or for $31 million they could buy about 364 apartment units around San Diego and own them free and clear.

That would be $85,000 per unit which is possible in this market. That assumes NO debt (loan) and they could use the proceeds from the world trade center business to pay for operations.

If they financed the purchase  at a very low loan to value of say 50% and 4% government interest they could buy almost 800 units and if there was an average of 2 people per unit would house over 1600 people.

That’s 40% of the estimated 4000 +/- San Diego homeless population according to the article.

You could have different buildings for the different stages people were in and also in different parts of the county so people could live closer to where they found work. If you live in downtown how are they going to be able to commute to a job opening in Oceanside if they got it? If some of the units were in North County the people who worked in North County could live there, etc.

Stage 1 – Straight from the streets. This is where they would have a chance to get food and shelter. Acquire clothes, education and job training. To earn there keep they would need to volunteer and work for free as they were being trained but would not have to pay for food and shelter.

Stage 2 – This would be another building they would move into. This is where they would move once they got a job & and the residents are more stable. There rent would be subsidized heavily and they would be in an environment where they were seeing others succeed. Success builds from success and from being around success people ( I would consider success for someone who is now homeless to have a job, stability and able to feed there family)

Stage 3 – Less subsidy to the person and eventually they could be a contributing part of our society. Hopefully they could help others and encourage others who were in there situation.

Rules would be no drinking and drugs. they should be tested. They must slowly start to contribute to earn there keep. No free ride if they don’t have mental issues or major handicaps. If they are handicapped they should contribute to whatever level is appropriate depending on the handicap.

Like most things in life it would not be this simple and this does not address the mental health issues or drug rehab. The point is that $31 million can be spent so much better in helping this cause.

The Government is not good at managing money and this is a perfect example. They have so many resources  which they waste, primarily in OUR tax dollars. But when it comes to there salaries (a tree trimmer makes over $75,000)  and pension benefits it is a joke.

The bottom line is it always easier to waste other peoples money.

What do you think?

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