Friday, January 18, 2013

Chapter 88 Land Office Business

During this time, I was still working at the Telephone Company. My previous experience of leaving employment there led me to diversify my opportunities. Be prepared! In addition to the rental houses we acquired, I had several partners with whom I would periodically work deals.  We continued to expand our Charolais cattle business.  We bought 8 purebred Charolais cows and a bull named James.  
I had acquired my Real Estate Broker’s license a year or so earlier, and had started selling some land in the McKinney area. Frequently friends would come out to visit us at our farm and they would say, “I wish we had a place like this.” I would try and help them find a place and one thing led to another and before I knew it I was in the land business.

My land brokerage business continued to grow and I was then what is called today a “Buyers Broker”. I would have someone come to me, and ask if I would help him or her find a place in the country. Most of my buyers were professional men who wanted a place in the country to take the family on the weekends, and the summer. This meant the land had to be within a short distance of Dallas, and have the amenities that would provide recreational opportunities. They wanted to have things such as a lake, or horse barns, or in two cases a place for a landing strip for their plane. They were also able to charge off all farm expenses against their ordinary income.
I provided full service in that after the sale, I would buy them a little set of cattle if they wished, and I would clean the cattle up, give them their shots and worm them. I would get someone to build fences, and pens for them, including working chutes. On more than one occasion, I had a lake dug for them. I would even find someone to look after the place when they were away. Later, when we were building Early Texas Homes, I built homes for several of them. I was fortunate, in that from 1965 until I stopped in 1988, I always had someone on my waiting list, looking for a place in the country
 
When the Congress changed all the tax rules in about 1987, it put a big damper on the business niche I had developed. For one thing, no one was allowed to charge off ordinary income with farm expenses any more. Charlotte and I opened a Century 21 Office, and began selling residential and commercial real estate, as well as some land. We soon had 18 residential agents, and were the leading real estate office in McKinney. I did not sell residential but continued to sell some land. Charlotte was an active partner in all I ever did; always playing the support role, but I would never have had success in any endeavor we ever undertook without her support and advice. She worked hard in whatever we did, whether it was rental property, land, cattle, home building, greenhouse operation, property and causality insurance company, or real estate brokerage.

Photo of Charolais found here

Photo of digging a stock tank found here.


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