Monthly Letter for September 2016
Never have I been so happy to be writing this month’s letter (as you will see by this month’s story). But first if you will indulge me on my commentary on the coming election and the state of our country.
Long after this election is over Trump and Hillary will still be rich. Half of us will be able to claim we “won.” The other half will have four years to say “that’s why I didn’t vote for ___.” Just remember we live in a different America than they do. We have to live, work and eat with each other in OUR America. We don’t get to hop on a private jet and fly away from our communities’ problems. We are what makes this country what it is, not the President. He/she will not stop crime in our neighborhoods, he won’t stop people from stealing your identity, and she will not stop any one from shooting up our local night clubs. Hillary will not come teach your child right from wrong, but you can. Trump will not come to your house and teach her math, but you can. WE as a UNITED people with sound morals, values and ethics can make this country whatever we want. Vote for whom ever you want, but remember WE are the ones that shape our communities, not them.
I recently hear a term that describes the problem we face. It is called “politically motivated asymmetry.” That is where you love and they hate causing 50% of the electorate to seemingly always be unhappy.
With a near zero interest rate environment (dare we say, possible less than zero environment), don’t be surprised if we continue to see unsustainably low cap rates for longer than any of us envisioned possible. Expect commercial real estate to continue to be seen as a store of value with a positive yield.
Although unemployment through July rose from 5.1% to 5.3% it is still below last year’s 5.5% at this time. A positive indicator is that passenger traffic at San Diego International increased by 3.3% from a year ago. Now my favorite positive indicator is that San Diego now has 121 breweries and only 111 McDonalds!
Speaking of transportation, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that U.S. and Mexican transportation officials recently announced an agreement that will clear the way to rebuild a 70-mile stretch of railway between San Diego and Mexico. When done, Tijuana factories (maquiladoras) will be connected to the U.S. Rail Services. This will lessen traffic at the border and should contribute about $6 billion of lost activity back to our economy.
Property taxes are typically the largest single expense associated with real estate ownership. Many people are not aware that assessed property values can be appealed. I was recently contacted by the folks at Tax Appeal Consultants (www.taxappealconsultants.com). They handle the entire process and typically charge 25% to 50% of one year’s tax savings (and only if successful). Depending on your county, filing deadlines are either September 15th or November 30th.
After you read this month’s story you will be glad to hear that the entire team at CDC Commercial didn’t miss a beat, despite me missing a few….
How being in shape and healthy nearly killed me!
As you may know I am pretty healthy and work hard at it. I run Marathons and Triathlons and walk when I golf. I also eat pretty lean and work hard to get all the fruits, seeds, nuts and vegetables into my diet. My Cholesterol levels are all low. I even had an appointment scheduled for my Birthday (August 9th) to have a Life Scan where they do a heart ultra sound and EKG and bone density just to establish my baseline for being 55.
In late July, we went back to Omaha for our Niece’s wedding. I brought my golf clubs so a few of us could go golfing. I got on the escalator at Lindberg field (golf clubs first) and turned to pull my other bag on. What I didn’t realize was that the clubs were not on the step so they were getting taller than me and coming at me rapidly. I couldn’t step back so got pushed over my bag. Got a big bruise on my hip but none the worse for the wear. Came home 4 days later and went for my morning run. Told Candy it was just hard work. I chalked it up to flying, maybe a bug or being tired. Same thing a couple of days later but thought it was just the humidity.
Golfed on Saturday and got light headed a couple of times but chalked it up to the humidity and that I was playing with a new group who played at a 3-hour pace instead of my normal 4-hour pace (them riding and me walking). Came home and didn’t think any more about it. Next night had some pain in my chest, sat up and had a big burp – gas. Two days later same thing. Nothing for a day. Went for my run on Tuesday (2nd) and got 200 yards and said something is just not right. Walked home told Candy and said I should probably go to the doctor. Candy had an appointment and after it was done we decided to have her drive me to the doctor. She went to get her keys and I said I would call and see if I should go to the doctor or Urgent care. I couldn’t make the call and got up and told her never mind, call 911. Within seconds I went from a pain scape of 1 to 9.5 and went clammy and then sweated through a shirt to just hanging on to stay conscious. Paramedics got to our house in 5 min or less and spent less than 10 minutes there – best pit stop turn around ever! The amazing thing was that never while they were there or in the ambulance ride to Palomar was my pulse over 100 and my blood pressure stayed pretty stable and in normal ranges. Meantime, they were pouring morphine and Nitrix into me. I got to ER and doctor said, don’t bother, let’s go straight to the Cath Lab (OR). Two hours later and two stents I was recovering in my room. Next day up walking and within 3 or 4 days was back walking 5-6 miles a day. So the recap is that they think a clot from the bruise may have caused it. Fortunately, being in good shape, the blood flow rerouted through a smaller artery and kept me going until they could unblock it so the heart never stopped and everything kept working throughout (like a lawnmower sputtering as it runs out of gas!). 1 in 10 chance of survival.
I spent the week working and getting caught up. Doctor cleared me for all activities except running and lifting. Sunday (14th) at 4 am Candy said I was thrashing all about and then went still and pale. She yanked me out of bed and started CPR and called paramedics. They zapped me a few times and got me to ER where they zapped me 7-8 more times and installed a pacemaker. I woke up Monday and had no idea what had happened (I still accuse Candy of beating the crap out of me and then blaming it on a 2nd heart attack). I got out of the hospital Wednesday (17th) afternoon and have been back to work since the 22nd. The cardiologist shrugs his shoulders and says, “Stuff happens” and that an arrhythmia like I had can occur during the healing of the heart from the first heart attack. He said it is another 1 in 10 chance. My Doctor shakes his head and says I am the healthiest heart patient he has. And surviving two 1 in 10 events makes me the luckiest! God and medicine are good!
- Take lots of aspirin if you sustain a bad bruise, especially if you are flying.
- Watch your blood / cholesterol numbers
- Eat food like it was medicine
- Get a heart scan
- Make sure you and your significant other all know CPR.