Friday, October 30, 2015

Pep Boys Update

I wrote this post on the Pep Boys automotive chain in 2012.  I called it a common sense real estate value play on all their store locations.  When I wrote my article Pep Boys (ticker symbol PBY) was trading for $8.29 per share.

Bridgestone has agreed to buy Pep Boys for $15 per share.

If you followed my idea you earned a 68.72% return in about three years or 22.9% per year.  Not a bad return for a token price which really amounted to a perpetual call on the company's stock.  In other words, buying a LEAP call on PBY with no expiration date.  Quite a safe and tidy investment.

Thanks Manny, Moe and Jack.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Real Estate Guru

I am seeking the etymology of the term "real estate guru."

In other words, who invented the term?  When was it first used?  It's a common phrase and I have found some early uses dating back to the 1950s but I do not know the origin of the term.  I need a more precise history for a project.

Readers of this blog have been quite helpful supplying me with information.  I am hoping my readers come through one more time.

Any information on this topic would be much appreciated.

Please email me at

P.S.  The photo above is of William Safire, the master of etymology.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Homeowners Associations

The latest and most egregious example of homeowners association ("HOA") abuse.  (On a daily basis I could pick many.)

A homeowner cannot fly an American flag on her own home even when her neighbors say is it fine. When an overflow meeting is called by angry residents to address the flag rule, the HOA cancels it at the last minute.  The homeowner is still looking at $75 fine for the HOA violation and has vowed not to take down Old Glory.

The lesson here?

NEVER NEVER EVER buy an investment property with a HOA.

You lose virtually all control over your investment. Period.

Most HOAs are not well run, in fact, it is amateur hour at the vast majority of them. Even when the HOA members are well intentioned (a big if) things never happen like you planned.  Costs rise faster than anticipated due to a lack of competitive contract bidding and even cronyism.  Wacky HOA members are elected who believe they are in the incarnation of Stalin.  Maintenance is deferred by homeowners on the HOA who are selling their properties soon so future buyers can pick up their repair costs.  The list goes on and on and on and on....

Sad when the Stars and Stripes are controversial anywhere.  Dumb HOA.