We enjoy living in a house, but we haven’t always had that luxury. A few years ago we used to live in a warehouse (That is the one in the picture above. The flash part). At the time, we were living in a nice (nice as in nice and big) 6 bedroom house that we owned. My old man used to sell 4x4s at a car yard he rented. It was a bit of a cruddy place, but it did the trick. The landlord wanted to rent out another part of his cruddy building and the old man asked us if we wanted to move there. “Are you kidding? Why would we want to move to a cruddy place like that?” Then he told me the price was $1200 per month. “Um, are you kidding? Where do I sign?” I didn’t really believe him.
It had a warehouse out back and a showroom with an office in front. In a mezzanine space above was an apartment where we could live. All that for $1200 per month. That’s crazy cheap! I went to take a look and it was to be expected, cruddy. But it had redeeming features, like walls and an exit door. I thought we could do a bit of painting and it would make it look almost liveable. I still couldn’t believe my old man got the price right.
We had a chat with the landlord and indeed it was all true. We could have all that cruddyness for $1200 per month. We didn’t take too long to think about it. Although, where we were living was nice-ish, it was costing us mortgage payments of around $2000 per month. It was a house that we owned that we could rent out for around $2500 per month. So, if we moved we would be up about $1300 a month. But the best part was that our furniture company could pay for all of it. We didn’t have to pay for our accommodation (if you could call it that)! It was a unique situation, so don’t try this at home, kids, unless you understand the rules.
I got early access to do some painting of those nice walls. We hired a big truck, headed to our new life and took up residence in our apartment. I use the term apartment loosely, it was very basic. We had the furniture business downstairs and we lived above it. Part of our apartment went across another business. We had to tread very lightly because the floorboards creaked something fierce. The alarm for that business would often go off in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. It would scream for around ten minutes before it turned off. We had late night trains go past that would rattle the building and our teeth. I won’t go into all the strange things about this so-called apartment. Some of our family and friends when they visited us there were not too impressed with the setup. They asked us when we were going to move into a “proper house” as it was not good for our kids at the time. We didn’t think our kids were missing out as they had other places they could play. They couldn’t see what we could see that the apartment was a means to an end.
We were willing to make all kinds of sacrifices so that we could be financially free. Living there was saving us lots of money. In fact, we didn’t even view it as a sacrifice. We just saw it as something we had to do to be able to achieve what we wanted. We look back at that time now with fond memories. Others aren’t willing to make the sacrifice so they won’t enjoy similar experiences and receive a reward for their efforts. How many people do you know that have lived in a warehouse or a boat or a tree house? Not many right? I’m not sure what you think of those people, but to me, it’s an adventure, not something to be endured. It makes the story of your life interesting rather than just something ordinary.