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BARGAINING FOR A HOUSE!        DO 1850        8/4/83

       1. WHEN YOU HAVE MADE AN OFFER, THAT'S YOUR WORD! YOU HAVE VOWED A VOW & YOU'VE GOT TO LIVE UP TO IT EVEN IF IT HURTS! Now don't forget that! That's what happens in a fleece. If you made the wrong fleece, like I told you guys about that place in Sri Lanka, then you've got to stick to it no matter what. (See No.1394) It's your word as a Christian, as a righteous man, that your word means something, for our own conscience & before God! It is not right to offer somebody something or say something & then back down, except in maybe some very rare circumstance where you can't go through with it.
       2. I'M GIVING YOU A LITTLE LESSON ON ANY KIND OF DEAL: YOU DECIDE ON WHAT YOU FEEL LED OF GOD TO MAKE YOUR FLEECE, AT LEAST YOUR FIRST OFFER IF NOTHING ELSE, & BE PREPARED TO STICK TO IT!--That if he accepts such an offer, that you're willing to stick to it. I'd say a good fleece for the place would be perhaps $______-a-month & tell'm, "We'll just pay it by the month." Well, he'll probably quote a higher figure, you know, that's part of the show: "Oh, I can't do that, I wouldn't have any security, you've got to give me at least six months in advance!" Then what would you do? (Peter: I would dicker & probably offer him maybe the first three months.) Yes! You practically turn him down & you're ready to walk out the door or hang up the phone!
       3. WELL, THEN YOU COULD SAY THIS--& BE PREPARED TO KEEP YOUR WORD ON IT--"WELL, WE MIGHT BE WILLING TO GIVE YOU A SIX-MONTH CONTRACT, FIRST & LAST MONTH'S RENT IN ADVANCE!" And if you want it bad enough & he's squeamish about that, well, you can make him one final offer & say that's it, period, & this is your limit, three months in advance only, first & last two months in advance, period! Now that's a standard type of rental in the United States, even in the resort areas like Florida. They started off with first & last, & the last I heard they were insisting on the first & last two months, & maybe now they even insist on a full six months, I don't know.
       4. NOBODY WANTED TO GO TO FLORIDA IN THE SUMMERTIME IN THOSE DAYS BECAUSE OF THE MOSQUITOES & THE HEAT, SO THEY HAD TO MAKE ALL THEIR MONEY IN THE WINTER. So if you were willing to pay them what they'd expect to get out of six Winter months, they'd give you the Summer free!--Especially if you'd pay it all in advance where you'd give them what amounted to monthly rent for the whole year, you could get it a lot cheaper than the Winter rate, because the Winter rate was usually double.
       5. YOUR FIRST OFFER HAS GOT TO BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE AN ABSOLUTE MIRACLE IF HE'D ACCEPT IT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE SO LOW! Then you have to be prepared for what you're willing to come up to, because actually in all this Eastern bargaining, he works down from the top & you work up from the bottom & it's somewhere in-between that you meet! If he gets firm & gives a flat "no", then you know he means it. If he stops somewhere & there's no more bargaining & he doesn't come down any further, that's it!--Or if you have set a limit on how far you're willing to go up & that's where you stop, he'll know that that's it, he's losing his fish & there are no more nibbles, much less bites, when you're ready to walk out the door!
       6. THAT'S THE WAY THE JEWS IN MIAMI USED TO DO IT! I was used to doing that with them just as a kid, to go in & buy a pocketknife or anything! What they'd first ask you was never the final price. I always figured it was about double what they expected to get, so I would offer them half price. Then we would argue back & forth & he'd throw up his hands & scream & I'd walk out the door!
       7. BUT I'VE HAD THEM FOLLOW ME DOWN THE SIDEWALK & CATCH ME & SAY, "OH ALL RIGHT, COME ON BACK, SON! Come on, you're a nice boy, I'm sorry, business is bad today & I'm hot" & blah, blah & give all kinds of excuses for finally yielding to the price because I walked out the door & I was gone!--When he was sure I was gone, he came to the door & looked at me & I was still going down the block. I had one guy chase me clear down to the corner one time when he saw I was really leaving. He waited till I got to the corner waiting for the light to change & he figured, "Well, he's really going to cross the street. If he crosses the street he is really leaving," so he ran down the street & caught me! I think it was a pocketknife or something.
       8. REMEMBER, JEWS ARE ORIENTALS & THAT'S THE WAY THEY DO IT! Only the Americans & rich Europeans can set a price & say, "That's it, buddy, forget it! I don't have to sell it, take it or leave it!" Well, we found we could even do a little bargaining with them, didn't we, Peter? We've done a little bargaining on that score.
       9. WITH THE HOUSE IN TENERIFE WE HAD BEEN OUT LOOKING & WE KNEW THE HOUSING MARKET, WE KNEW THE PRICES, we knew what else you could get for this amount of money, that amount of money etc., so I just figured about what that place was worth according to the housing market at the time. Well, I also figured this way, the landlord wasn't there!--In fact, he couldn't even come back into the country or they would have nabbed him, so he wasn't in a very good demanding position.
       10. WE WERE GOOD RENTERS BUT HE WAS THREATENING TO KICK US OUT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SELL THE PLACE, & he finally gave us two months' notice to get out. He was putting the pressure on us: "Buy or get out, here's your notice!" I don't know whether you knew all this was going on at that time, Alf, you didn't have to. You had done your part in getting us the house in the first place at a good cheap rent.
       11. WELL, I KNEW, OF COURSE, THAT WAS HIS ASKING PRICE & HIS ASKING POSITION & HE WAS JUST PUTTING THE PRESSURE ON US, SO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS USE WHAT LEVERAGE YOU'VE GOT ON THEM! I knew the guy needed the money & I knew he couldn't come back, he had to use an agent for selling, the housing market wasn't all that good right then, in fact it had been going down because of different things, & I figured, "Well, his starting price is way too much, something a lot lower would be a fair price." But I wanted it to be a miracle, a fleece, so that I would know it had to be God if he would meet it.
       12. SO I ASKED FOR TWO MIRACLES! In the first place I offered him my price, which was quite a bit below the market value, & I said, "No fees, no taxes, no nothing, this is my top price & nothing else!"--Otherwise we would have had to pay taxes & fees to transfer the title & all kinds of things. I said, "Nothing doing, that's my top price!" So Rachel & Emanuele & I think Arthur went down there, & on the first trip they were about like you guys, they were old softies! They came back & said, "Nothing doing, it's impossible, he won't take less." I said, "That's too bad, because that's all we're going to give him, period!"
       13. WELL, TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, THEY WENT BACK & TOLD HIM, "MY FATHER SAYS, THIS IS HIS FLAT PRICE & THAT'S IT!" I told them to tell him, "My father believes in God & he believes that if it's God's will to take this house, you'll take his offer!"--And one big advantage was that he was out of the country & he couldn't come get the money. We had to pay out of the country from other banks & that was a big temptation to him because he couldn't get money out of Spain then.
       14. THE AGENT WAS PRACTICALLY SCREAMING & SAID, "NOTHING DOING! I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO PHONE HIM! Besides, I have to wait till he calls me, I have no way to get in touch with him." This was a legal thing too, because if he knew his whereabouts & let on to the government, they could have pressured him into telling them where he was. He said, "I have to wait till he calls me!" So I told them to get tough this time & just say, "Nothing doing, you tell him!" So thank God for Emanuele, he said, "Come on now, you're not handling his house & all his business & his property without any way to get in touch with him in an emergency!"--And the agent finally confessed that there were indirect ways, that he could call somebody & they could call him, & this, that & the other.
       15. SO FINALLY HE PICKED UP THE PHONE & CALLED HIM & THE OWNER SAID, "THAT GUY IS KNIFING ME IN THE BACK! He knows he's got me, he's killing me! Here I'm a sick man, I've lost everything & now he gives me a knife in the back!" Oh, they can put up the pitiful tales! But Emanuele said, "Well, that's all my father is willing to offer, period, & that's it!" So he told the agent on the phone, "OK, take it, I need the money!" So the agent said to Emanuele, "OK, I didn't think he'd ever do it."
       16. SO THEY STARTED DRAWING UP ALL THE PAPERS & STARTED GIVING THEM ALL THIS INFORMATION ABOUT HOW MUCH TAXES WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY & HOW MUCH FEES, & they come back up to me with this story, "Yes, well it's your price plus this that & the other!" I said, "I said my price plus nothing!" So they went back to the agent, & oh, he was screaming, "This is impossible! It's never happened in Spain! This is always the way it's done, it's never done his way, the buyer always pays all the fees & the taxes & everything!" I said, "I don't care how it's always been done, this is the way it's going to be done this time! Even if it's the first time it's ever happened in Spain, this is it! I offered him my top price & that's it! If you want to nix the deal, forget it!" I mean, you've got to talk & talk tough, Son! Be nice, but be firm about things!
       17. SO THEY MADE I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TRIPS BACK & FORTH & TELEPHONE CALLS & HIM SCREAMING & I'LL BET IT TOOK AT LEAST A WEEK BEFORE HE FINALLY CAME AROUND & SAW WE REALLY MEANT IT! They said, "No, nothing doing! Forget it! My Dad won't pay those fees or taxes, nothing! He won't pay a peseta over his top price, that is it!" "Well, what about the filing fee or what about this little fee?" I mean, he was trying to get some little something out of it!--Ha!--Including his commission was supposed to be on top of that! I said, "No sir, brother, uh-uh! You're going to take all that out of what I've offered & your commission & the works," because it was a fleece! I just figured God had to do the miracle! Even if it was the first time it had ever been done in Spain, it was going to be a miracle! That's the only thing the World understands, Honey, you just have to be firm or get tough or whatever you want to call it.
       18. NOW LET'S TAKE THIS, THIS & THIS, A SAMPLE CASE OF HOW TO WORK IT! He's asking special consideration & asking to be paid in foreign currency, number one, & in a special way, number two, right? That's going to cost us a little extra in bank fees, in cheque fees, right?--Maybe not much, but something. So he's asking us a couple of special favours there too, so it's time for us to ask him special favours, & a special one is for him to come down in the price! If we pay in foreign currency, then $_______ a month, that's somewhere around $_______ a week, & he's probably asking top price for that location.
       19. NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS, YOU SAY, "WELL, THAT'S OUR OFFER!" YOU'VE JUST SORT OF GOT TO PLAY IT BY EAR & SEE HIS REACTION. After he's blown off steam, then he settles down on something. He may say you have to pay it all in advance, that's what he'll dicker for first of all, but he's got to set his floor & you've got to set your ceiling, & I wouldn't actually call it a fleece unless he came down close to your price & your terms, your last offer. Start at $_______ & decide on what you'll be willing to go up to, & not more than three months in advance, first & last two months. He's probably expecting to get it all in advance.
       20. WELL, THAT'S NO FLEECE IF IT'S GENERALLY WHAT THEY DO! IF IT'S NO MIRACLE & IT'S WHAT THEY EXPECT, THEN THAT'S NOT A FLEECE! We just can't afford to put out so much money, Son. But I'm just telling you how I would go about this deal & how you must remember to go about it, & your best chance on these things is your first time there. If you phone back, he figures you're still nibbling & you're really interested to phone back, so your best chance is to dicker & get a deal on the spot the first time around.--At least it's your best chance if you do a little bargaining & leave him with what is your semi-final offer. Then maybe if he calls you & says, "Well, I thought it over & I decided I won't do that, but I'll do this," then you have a chance to come up to your final offer & say that's as far as you go, period. So he hangs up & he has time to think that over & waits to see if you'll call back, & if you don't call back, it's obvious he lost you, so he calls you again & says, "Well, all right!" You savvy?
       21. BUT REMEMBER, YOUR BEST TIME TO BARGAIN FOR A HOUSE IS ON YOUR FIRST VISIT, & GET ALL THE DETAILS!--The exact telephone situation, the utility situation, the security situation, who pays the gardener etc. I mean, that's not included & you're not going to pay for gardeners & whatnot on top of it. If he's already got them there taking care of his house, he can keep them, right? He's got to take care of the place & it's his house, so why not? He's already paying for them, why should you have to pay for them? Let him keep the gardener guarding the place & taking care of the place.
       22. YOU MUST THINK OF ALL THESE LITTLE DETAILS, BECAUSE HE'S THINKING ABOUT THEM! They're money-minded, let me tell you, & they don't forget anything where it's going to cost them a cent! They've got it all figured out in advance as to exactly what it's costing them & what they're planning to stick you with in addition to what they said! "Oh well, we aren't going to charge you extra for the phone, but we charge you extra for the gardener, we charge you extra for this or that." Did we do any dickering for this house at all? (Peter: Yes, Sir! They came down on the price & on the contract.) Very good! That's what I call good dealing, Honey. (Peter: You're the one who told me what to say, so you get the credit!)
       23. WELL, IF THIS LITTLE PROPOSITION DOESN'T DO ANYTHING BUT SERVE AS A BASIS OF A LESSON ON HOW TO BARGAIN, IT'LL BE WORTH IT! I thought you guys knew all this before! I said before to get all the information. So if you can't remember all these things, then you need to make yourself a little card to brief yourself on, to refer to from your notebook. Just take out your notebook & have a list all prepared. Just be very obvious about it, write it down. Say, "You don't mind my writing this down, do you? My memory is not too good & I might forget & we need to know all the details." Have a list prepared with blanks to fill in & then you won't forget anything.
       24. YOU GUYS CAN WORK TOGETHER ON IT & MAKE A LIST OF ALL THESE THINGS I'VE TOLD YOU TO ASK, A STANDARD CHECKLIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ASK ABOUT A HOUSE SO YOU DON'T FORGET ANYTHING! I'm not going to go over it with you again, you make it out & I'll tell what you forgot. It needs to cover everything about the house, the exact size, location, security situation, noise situation, facilities, water, lights, utilities, telephone, pool, water source, in every respect. There are at least a half-a-dozen questions you've got to ask just about the telephone: "Is it a private line, how much, long distance or just local or what? How well does it work? How often does it work? Are the water & electricity reliable?" (See also FN 57, Pg.68.)
       25. HE'S THE SELLER & YOU'RE THE BUYER SO IT'S UP TO YOU TO ASK THE QUESTIONS! He's not going to volunteer! Ask everything about the house: "How is the plumbing? What kind of sewage disposal does it have?--Is it sewage, septic tank or cesspool? How well does it work? Any drainage problems? Any yard flooding problems?" I think that's why they got that place cheap in Peru, it seems to have a habit of getting flooded when it rains! Well, the owner wasn't going to tell them that, of course!
       26. SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO ASK AROUND, ASK THE NEIGHBOURS OR SOMEONE WHAT THE SCORE IS, ASK SOMEBODY ELSE BESIDES THE OWNER WHAT THE SITUATION IS IN THAT AREA. Naturally, he is going to tell you that there are no problems & everything works fine, he's going to give it all a rosy glow! But why don't you ask a few neighbours or the people you meet on the street or somebody else, like you did. That was good, you got a lot of information from that one man, but don't just depend on his word alone. Ask around, ask in the corner store, find out all about the house.
       27. LOOK IT OVER CAREFULLY--HAS IT GOT ROACHES? HAS IT GOT RATS? Well, of course the owner is going to tell you it doesn't, but look! With either one you usually see their calling cards around somewhere. Open the drawers, open the cupboards, look! Look the whole place over, & if they're there you're going to see the evidence & you can even smell it! When I went into that little house, you know what I smelled? I smelled the toilet for one thing, & rats! I mean, they have a smell!
       28. YOU USUALLY CAN FIND OUT IF IT HAS ROACHES BY SUDDENLY YANKING OPEN THE KITCHEN CUPBOARDS! They like the darkness & they can be hiding in there, so if you yank it open quick without warning you'll probably see some scurrying for cover. Of course, the fact that nobody has been living there for awhile, that helps, because if the pickin's are not good the rats & the roaches might give up if no one's feeding them.--But they don't give up very easily! But still ask the owner, even if he's going to lie to you, because then you can hold it up to him when the time comes & say, "Listen! You told me this place had no rats & roaches! We've had to pay so-&-so to get rid of them!"--And rightfully we ought to charge the owners of this house for all this extermination business, because they claimed they didn't have rats or roaches!
       29. SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A COMPLETE LIST OF EVERYTHING SO AS NOT TO FORGET ANYTHING IN ANY HOUSE YOU LOOK AT! Stand there with your notebook & pen in hand & ask him all these questions--the whole thing, everything about it that pops into your mind--& jot them down so you won't forget & say, "Oh, I didn't think about that, I didn't ask him that!" Ask how long ago was the last occupancy. And when you've got all the information about it, then start asking about prices & terms & things like that, & on that first asking it's a good time to give him your first offer. When you've found out exactly what he's asking, make your first offer. Say, "Well, how about $_______ since we're going to all this trouble of paying it in foreign currency?"
       30. PICK OUT ALL THE FLAWS IN THE PLACE! "It's unfurnished, I've got to pay you in dollars, it's a lot of trouble, & the house is not even safe, you can see through it & there's no way to lock it & blah, blah, blah!" You can go on & on about all the drawbacks which he knows exist but he's just waiting to see if you're smart enough to notice them! Pick out all the drawbacks & all the flaws: "Now listen, it's this, that & the other!--$_______!--Besides, you want me to pay in dollars!"
       31. BUT BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY OFFERS AT ALL, FIND OUT HIS PRICE & HIS TERMS, WHAT IS HE GUNNING FOR TO BEGIN WITH? And he'll give you his top, not necessarily what he is going to get, but what he wants. He'll probably say, "Well, I want $_______ a month, 12 months in advance." So you can work from there. "OK, I'm offering you $_______ a month, foreign currency, which is causing me a lot of trouble, but I'll give you two months in advance, first & last month, six months." Decide ahead of time how high you're going to go & what terms. Then you finally give him your flat offer of maybe $_______ as the top. "All this trouble & what little you've got to offer, no furniture, no nothing! I'm not even sure I'm going to like it. I'll take it for six months, first & last two months in advance & that's it!" That's half the payment in advance, in other words, three months in advance for only a six-month contract.
       32. NOW FOR A PLACE LIKE THAT I'D SAY THAT WOULD BE TOPS & AS FAR AS YOU OUGHT TO GO, BECAUSE IF YOU'RE JUST GOING TO GET WHAT IS THE GENERAL AVERAGE & WHAT IS USUALLY DONE & EXPECTED, THAT'S NO MIRACLE & THAT'S NO FLEECE! We expect miracles! We expect God to do something unusual to give us a sign, to show us that that's the place so we should take it! It's got to take a miracle, "It takes a miracle," as the old song goes. Make him an impossible offer to meet impossible conditions & then you get an impossible answer--a miracle!--A fleece! But you have to know ahead of time after discussion & consideration.
       33. YOU ONLY HAVE TO HAVE YOUR ROCK-BOTTOM FIRST OFFER WHILE YOU'RE RIGHT THERE. You can walk out on that one, see, because he can always phone you back, or he knows you can phone him back. You may phone him back then after we discuss here & decide on what's going to be our second offer, & you phone him up & give him a second offer. You understand? It's bargaining! You've got to do it this way, & the fact of the matter is, it's done all over the World, big businessmen do it all the time!
       34. YOU'VE GOT TO THINK ABOUT WHETHER THERE IS WATER, ELECTRICITY, PHONE, SEWAGE, GOOD PLUMBING ETC. If you can get a place with a pool, so much the better. You can't drink the pool water without boiling it, but at least you can use it for washing & flushing. I'm not just telling you all these things for the sake of just one little place, I'm telling you how to shop for a house, wherever!
       35. YOU'VE GOT TO FIND THE RIGHT LOCATION & MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE IS NOT EXPOSED & IS SECURE & HAS GOT SOME KIND OF A FENCE OR GATE OR SOMETHING SO THAT ANY PROWLER CAN'T JUST WALK IN. He'd have to climb in & find it a little bit difficult to get in, so that if there is somebody inside the yard, then you know they're a prowler & criminal & what they're up to, that they're not just passing by. You have to have some first line of defense, which is "defence", you get it? Nobody laughed so I figured you didn't get it.--Of course preferably a wall, but if not a wall, at least a fence, or something if possible. All these things I've told you before.
       36. THERE'S ANOTHER QUESTION YOU NEED TO ASK HIM. Will the house current carry an electric stove? What kind of stove can the house handle? Can it be electrical or does it have to be gas? Do you furnish the bottles or do we have to buy them or rent them? Where do you get your gas or do they come & deliver it?--All of that. If he is going to take care of the electricity, he's probably expecting you to have a gas stove. What about an electric stove? Maybe he meant just the lights.
       37. FIRST OF ALL, ALL THE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HOUSE SITUATION: Number one is the location, all the different questions about location. Number two is the security situation. There are a whole bunch of questions in each of these categories. Number three, the utility situation--lights, water, etc., where do they get'm & what do they cost, including your telephone.--All utilities & all about them. And after you find out all those necessities, then you can talk about Number four, house accommodations--what's the house got? How many rooms & how many of this & how many of that? Exactly what are the accommodations & what's the situation?
       38. MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN ASK ABOUT GARDENING BECAUSE YOU CAN ALWAYS JUST REFUSE TO PAY THE GARDENER IF HE DECIDES TO TACK THAT ON AFTER YOU MOVE IN. You can say, "Hey, listen, we didn't ask for a gardener, we'll do our own gardening, forget it!" Some places you just refuse afterwards because you already made your deal & you're in & those are things that he is going to pay for anyhow, whether you do or not. He's got to take care of his property & you know that & he knows it, so he's got no leverage once you're in.
       39. SO AFTER YOU'VE FOUND THE RIGHT LOCATION & THE RIGHT SECURITY SITUATION, UTILITIES SITUATION & WHAT THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE, THEN YOU CAN THINK ABOUT THE PRICE! "What's the price, what are the terms, what do I have to do" & all that stuff. Then if you're interested, he makes his first asking price & you make your first offer. But don't make an offer unless you really plan to go through with it, in case he accepts it! Don't be like Jethro was with the guitar or he's apt to want to smash it over your head! Jethro said, "8, that's my top price!" Then afterwards the guy said, "OK, here, take it away," & hands him the guitar. Then Jethro says, "Well, I'll think about it!" Don't make an offer unless you're actually interested & you're making a solid offer you intend to keep!--And make it low enough it'll take a miracle for him to accept it.--Especially if you don't like the place too well, make it plenty low where it would really have to be a miracle, a sign from God to take it!
       40. WELL, I THINK I TOLD YOU ALL THIS ONCE BEFORE, BUT APPARENTLY YOU DIDN'T WRITE IT DOWN, so how about getting it written down this time & giving me a copy. You can divide it into those various categories & it'll help to remind you of all the questions you need to ask him about later. Number one is location--& don't forget noise on that. Is it safe? Noisy? Is it accessible? What about public transportation, the distance from places you have to go & all that sort of thing regarding the location--availability, accessibility, safety, protection, etc.
       41. BUT NO MATTER WHAT THE HOUSE LOOKS LIKE OR HOW WONDERFUL IT IS, IF IT HASN'T GOT UTILITIES & GOOD WATER & ELECTRICITY & TELEPHONE, FORGET IT! I'd rather have a cabin with good water & electricity & telephone than a mansion without! That's why I say ask about utilities next!--That's the next most important thing. After your location & your security situation, then start asking about utilities. There's no point in even looking at houses, no matter how nice they are, if they've got lots of utility problems & no telephone! So besides location & security situation, utilities comes next on the list.
       42. AND AFTER THAT THE ACCOMMODATIONS--JUST WHAT DOES THE HOUSE HAVE IN THE WAY OF ACCOMMODATIONS ETC.?--And that includes whether it's furnished or unfurnished, how much room does it have & how many bathrooms has it got, how many toilets does it have & how much yard does it have for the children to play in, the pool & all the rest in the way of accommodations. That's way down, fourth on the list, but don't forget it.
       43. FIRST OF ALL YOU WANT TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE, NEXT YOU WANT TO FIND OUT HOW SECURE IT IS GOING TO BE, & THIRD YOU WANT TO FIND OUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO LIVE THERE--water, lights, food, telephone, how close to the store, how expensive are the groceries etc.
       44. YOU MAY HAVE TO BUY IT IN HUNDRED-POUND SACKS OF RICE! We may have to eat rice every day, three times a day! I used to eat rice for breakfast. Did you ever eat rice with milk & sugar on it as a cold cereal?--It's delicious! I used to eat it for breakfast with buttered toast broken up in it, & it's very good! I loved it when I was a kid, I liked it better than oatmeal. Oatmeal to me was always so gummy & gooey I didn't always like it, but I really liked to eat rice! They used to put raisins in it too, but I didn't like the raisins.
       45. ANYWAY, YOU NEED TO SHOP AROUND & SEE WHAT THE CLOSE-BY SHOPPING IS, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE BIG TOWN EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO BUY A LITTLE GROCERY ITEM OR A LOAF OF BREAD! Go & price the staples--if you have to, buy them, don't just stand around pricing them--buy an armload of groceries, it won't hurt. Buy a loaf of bread, a box of milk, a sack of rice, things which you consider staple foods that are things you always need & will always be buying regularly & need often, & you don't want to have to run all the way to the big city for. Buy a nice big sackful or boxful of groceries & bring'm home with you.
       46. BE SURE YOU DON'T FORGET THE PRICE, SON! Some of the stuff which you brought home you couldn't even remember what you paid for it. Now I don't want to ever ask you about anything you buy that you can't even remember what you paid for it! It shows you must not have been much concerned about the price if you can't remember what you paid for it. If nothing else, you ought to jot it down on the item. If it's not already stickered, write it on yourself so you can remember what you paid for it.
       47. IF YOU'RE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT PRICES, YOU'RE NOT A GOOD MAN TO GO SHOPPING! That's a must now, remember that. If you're willing to pay anything for anything, well, that's not a good shopper! If you don't care what you pay for it, that's not good shopping. And if you don't know what the price was, you must not have been that concerned about it. So do a little shopping before you come home. Find the biggest & best market nearby & see what they've got & bring home a load of groceries.
       48. SO CHECK THE UTILITIES, THE ACCOMMODATIONS & THEN THE LAST THING IS THE TERMS. And remember, even the price sometimes is not as important as the terms. The higher price can sometimes be better at lower, easier terms. For example, if the guy is going to stick to his $_______-a-month & absolutely refuse to come down any further, say, "OK, a month at a time." You wouldn't mind paying $_______-a-month if you only had to pay it monthly, right? So the terms have a lot to do with it. If he'll come down to $_______, okay, we'll up our final offer to first & last two months in advance, a six-month contract. We don't want anything longer than a six-month contract because we don't know that much ahead of time. Maybe by that time the War will have hit & it won't be worth anything! Hopefully he'll be in another country when it hits & we won't have to worry about a landlord!--Ha! So pray that he takes his next trip in time for the War!
       49. BUT THE TERMS ARE IMPORTANT, & IF HE FLATLY REFUSES TO COME DOWN ON THE PRICE, ALL RIGHT, MAKE HIM COME UP ON THE TERMS! In other words, "OK, we'll pay you $ ______-a-month in foreign currency, but we'll only pay it by the month on a six-month contract & no more than two months in advance." You only thought it was worth $_______, that was your top price. You'd have been willing to give him three months in advance, a six-month contract for $_______. If he's going to stick to $_______, bring it down to something impossible you wouldn't expect him to accept. "OK, $_______, foreign currency, six-month contract, but only two months in advance." It's not even worth that! Say, "Listen, buddy, I need that money for more furniture. You don't even have this place fully furnished. I can't put out all this money all at once. I have a good steady income, but I don't have it all at once, you know! If we've got to buy any furniture, you've got to come down on the terms!" Savvy? Am I teaching you how to talk? (Boys: Yes, Sir!) Well, you've got to remember!
       50. OK, THAT'S ABOUT THE LAST THING ON A PLACE, WHEN YOU START DICKERING FOR THE PRICE.--Because unless you're satisfied on all these other points, there's no point even discussing price. If it hasn't got a good location, security, utilities & sufficient accommodations, then why worry about the price? It's got to have all that. You've got to have the right location, you've got to have security, you've got to have utilities & you've got to have sufficient accommodations, & if it hasn't got that, you don't want it at any price!
       51. BUT THEN WHEN YOU START DISCUSSING PRICES, HE STARTS WITH HIS ASKING PRICE, YOU START WITH YOUR OFFERING PRICE, & IF HE WON'T COME DOWN IN PRICE THEN HE'S GOT TO COME UP ON TERMS. And if the terms are easy enough, you might be willing to pay his price, OK? Now all those things are things you've got to remember when you're looking for a house! Don't ever come back here again & have me ask you any question about a place that you can't answer! OK? (Yes, Sir!) OK, now you guys go to work on the list!
       52. WHATEVER HOUSE IT IS, I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE DETAILS WHEN YOU GET BACK, BECAUSE ONE LITTLE THING ONE WAY OR THE OTHER MAY INFLUENCE MY INTEREST. Exactly what was the telephone situation? You saw a phone, but is it an extension of his, is it on his line? A line--I was happy to hear that at least the landlord next door had a phone. At least we can go over there & call, but if that's the situation, be sure you have the guaranteed privilege of being able to use his phone when you'd need it. But of course if you have an extension in your house, fine. Be sure you've got complete & free local use of the phone. You should only have to pay for long distance calls.--So that your price includes phone & all utilities except air conditioning.--Amen? GBAKY bargaining!--In Jesus' name, amen! (See also HH Checklist, FN 57, Pg.68.)

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family