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October 31, 2007, 09:55 AM
Gordon and Everyone,

I'll give more details. First the speculative real estate project. I bought 4.5 acres of vacant land and a building leased by Dollar General. I built an 8,000 sq. ft. strip center on part of the land and the remaining would be built on in the future. The only reason I proceeded with the sale is that I had 2 letters of intent from well known tenants.

One backed out after the fact and as I found out afterwards the other one never signed the letter of intent and the bank still gave the loan. As I've found out over the past few months there were a lot of "questionable practices" by those involved - the appraiser, real estate agent, bank and seller.

Up to this point I had been exclusively involved with single family homes - buy, fix and sell. But I wanted to get involved in commercial real estate and took the plunge. My down payment was $168,000 and I've also put in another $130,000 to cover expenses and negative cash flow. A lot of this has come from credit lines I have established for my real estate. Tenant lease up has been slow but is now picking up after a number of months. I've had to offer some free rent and am striving to break out even once the building is leased up. To break out even overall with a sale I have to have the building leased (to be continued)

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