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Flip This House: A Business Turnover

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Yesterday was a day for big financial and personal changes.

My little two person family owns a few commercial buildings, one of which has been rented out to a Montessori school run by a non-profit parent board organization. We’ve had many problems with the school over the past 25 years but all seem to have been straightened out since we as landlords moved to evict the tenant parent board for non-payment of many years of back rent owed in the mid 1990’s.

That brought about the resignation of the old director of the school and institution of a new director and teacher, who had no formal Montessori training but had worked as an aid under well-qualified teachers for 12 years. This new director has a heart of gold and is true country. Her word is her bond and she represents the best of Tennessee country personality: upright and honest, loving and caring, right-living according to the tenants of her faith. She’s been a delight to work with over the years and has “turned the school around” keeping the enrollment high enough to pay the very underaverage rent through innovative programs and her own hard work and dedication. There’s no money to be made in the preschool market unless the local population is making a higher than average wage, not the case in this area.

Now the State of Tennessee provides free daycare to 4 year olds. Hey, I applaud that move and hope these public daycare centers provide education beyond simple babysitting. However many of the private daycare centers are closing as a direct result of the State’s initiative, our tenants are one of them. The school will close at the end of the school year in May. They have not paid rent since December. My household budget has been very stretched.

This draws to a close my HusPartner’s personal involvement with a Montessori school that he and his prior wife, who left in 1984, started in 1980. The school has been located in this building and ongoing since 1982. That’s 25 years worth of history for him. Bless his heart, this must be a hard chapter to close. He is not a man built for changes but there it is.

Since we have paid off the land and building and it is now collateral on the mortgages our company owes we must continue to rent this building out as an income producing property to keep the insurance low and to provide some income back on all the years of investment we have made in the school. We have furnished all the materials, furniture and rennovations the school has needed.

The school building, an older home, is located across the street from a major TN University and is in a prime location. We may have new tenants lined up already who are looking for cheaper rents in exchange for cooperation on making needed changes and improvements to fit their business. The cooperative feature of the arrangement will give HusPartner and I time to draw out a plan for the future of the site.

The very last things we want to do is student rental units or a restaurant. Enough said on those subjects!

Who knows? Perhaps we will eventually raze the building and build a nice one family dwelling, live there a few years and then sell or rent to another single family. We’re not ready for a “Flip This House” rennovation right now as our production summer is fast approaching and we will be knee deep in sawdust with little personal time.

I know it will all work out for the best but my personal spending will be entirely shut down until the new tenants move in and the income returns.

Back to sewing up the stash!!! It’s all good.


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

One response »

  1. Good thing you had the NYC trip already … you have all that new stuff to sew up!

    I am glad that you have a prospective tenant already, though. That must make it easier to deal with this. Too bad about the school, though.


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