Mountaineer Media Podcast – Episode 64

by Nov 22, 2021

Building Appalachia’s two co-founders, Jacob Skinner and Jordan Crist, were recently highlighted on a West Virginia podcast, the Mountaineer Media Podcast. In the interview, they talk about how Building Appalachia started while also providing insight into the home buying and selling process plus the importance of financial literacy.

C.J. Harvey and Cooper Simmerman are the hosts of the Mountaineer Media Podcast.

C.J. 
Alright, everybody, thanks for tuning into another episode of the Mountaineer Media podcast. Cooper Simmerman and C.J. Harvey here with a couple of great dudes. We’ve got Jordan Crist and Jacob Skinner of Building Appalachia.

Before we get going, we also want to announce that Building Appalachia and Mountaineer Media, we’re partners now! We’re going to be doing some content creation for you guys over the next couple of months and helping you guys build out your website and try and get some of that stuff going on social for you, too.

I think this is a match made in heaven when it comes down to it because of what Building Appalachia is all about. It’s not just like a real estate company. You guys aren’t just like flipping houses. It’s got such a meaningful story behind it and why you guys kind of started Building Appalachia is interesting. And maybe that’s kind of where we start today is both of you filling us in about what Building Appalachia is, how it came to be, and where it’s at now?

Jordan
Yeah, I can take that one. Jacob messaged me one day and said, “Hey, I think we can start flipping houses.” And I was like, “No, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” I don’t have my own house. I got a good job.

And then I started thinking about it. Actually, he sent me a couple of books. It was, Find, Fund, Fix and Flip. I was working at UPS at the time, so I started reading them in the package car. I had them downloaded on my tablet. I was like, “I hate this job, and this sounds interesting.” So on a whim just cold turkey, I dropped that job, a nice supervisor job, and we just started hitting the ground running.

That’s how it really started.

Cooper
Wow. Okay. Yeah. Jacob, what made you look into it? Like, did you just kind of start seeing stuff in the real estate market? You’re like, “Man, we could be in this.” What motivated you?

Jacob
I think not only myself and Jordan, but I think everybody sees financial freedom in real estate. A lot of the big names out there out there started in real estate. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that these guys are on to something. That’s kind of where it started for me.

I know some people locally and the famous people, the Warren Buffetts, Shaquille O’Neals, the Magic Johnsons, Donald Trump. All of these people started in real estate and built up a mountain of wealth. I know some people locally here and that’s kind of what got my interest.

So I thought if they could do it, why not me? If I worked hard enough, learned enough and asked the right questions to the right people, why can’t I be like them? So it started that way. And here we are.

There’s a fellow that I know around here. I used to wait tables actually. And he’d always come in there. I would pick his brain a little bit, and I asked him one day, “how many houses do you own?” He’s like, “58.”

I said, “What? Fifty-eight houses, how the heck did you do that?” We’re still friends to this day. And now he’s upwards of like 120. That was ten plus years ago that I met him and started picking his brain about stuff.

And it took me a really long time to get started. I sat dormant for a long time until I approached Jordan and was like, let’s do this thing, man.

Cooper
Yeah, the timing was right. That’s so interesting. I mean, for folks listening, you guys are more than just real estate flippers, because it seems like you basically find homes that are on the line of being distressed homes that are potentially not going to be able to make it unless someone comes in and really does something. You all find those homes, renovate them, work with the tenants or whoever the featured owners are. It’s almost like saving a community.

I see it as like instead of letting something just be like an eyesore on a block and then, like, too often happens in West Virginia communities, the house will get boarded up, and then it kind of just sits there, which can lead to all kinds of other problems. You all kind of find and identify those and really just give people the satisfaction of owning a home and getting them in a place that they can be proud of and not ashamed to come back to. Is that an accurate statement?

Jacob
Money is a great motivator, of course, for this. But if you don’t have a drive or meaning or purpose behind what you’re doing, you’re probably going to fail. And that’s a lot of our drive and meaning. We’re not in it just for the almighty dollar and profit. We do want to help. We’re both born and raised here in West Virginia and primarily Kanawha County. I’m from the West Side, which is one of the most poverty impacted places around here, and it needs probably the most work. So I’m passionate about buying homes and renovating them, especially in that area and providing affordable housing for people, whether they’re renting or first-time home buyers.

Jordan
We’re helping a variety of people, from the sellers to the buyers to the renters. So it started out just we’re looking for cheap houses to fix and flip and sell and make money. And then it’s changed over the years. You have sellers that have problems. One of the first ones we did, the mother passed away and the son and the grandkids were looking for somebody that can take over a house and turn it into something nice. That’s one of the first ones we did. So at that point, it kind of switched a little bit. We got to help the sellers first, but it’s got to be a win-win for everybody. You can’t just go into it for a buck. You’ve got to be able to help people.

So we look at deaths in the family as ones that we really try to help those people out. They’re already stressed out. Then they have this estate they don’t know what to do with it. So that’s one piece of it. And then you’ve got people that are going into foreclosure and getting ready to lose their homes or get behind on taxes, things like that.

So we try to find those people and help them first. And then we go and there’s already foreclosures out there that are vacant and in terrible condition. Probably 50% of our business comes from foreclosures, but it’s also all about the sellers. What can we do to help you? And if the numbers match and meet up, then we’re going to be able to help them out.

So it goes from there and then you have to exit. You’ve got to sell that house. You’ve got to figure out how to rent that house. You have to have an exit strategy. You have to have options. So over the four years, our strategy has definitely changed, and we’re just an iron sharpens iron kind of thing. We keep doing this and learning and learning and then we have more options for people.

CJ
Yeah. This is very much a beautification process. You want to make these houses and these properties shine and glow and kind of be part of the community, right? It’s more or less not just finding somebody to move them in, but you want the place to kind of be a centerpiece of the community and be like, “Hey, we can help build these communities back.”

You’re called Building Appalachia. You want people to come here and those properties to shine in those communities.

Jacob
That definitely makes us feel good, not only for us, but the community I’m sure appreciates that, because we take a house that’s really ugly on the streets, the neighbors hate it, there are homeless people breaking into it, potentially burning it down. It more or less devalues the properties next to it.

So we take pride in purchasing that house, renovating it, making it nicer, newer and really selling it for a premium because that ultimately helps the city, the county taxes, state taxes, it provides jobs and most importantly, the neighbors appreciate it because they thought their house was $125,000 house, and it’s the same beds, baths and style as ours, and we make it really pretty and sell for $140,000. They’re going to thank us.

Cooper
Yeah. And BuildingAppalachia.com for folks that are listening to this. You can go to BuildingAppalachia.com and check all this out.

CJ
Check them out on all of their social media platforms, too, because you guys do have some great videos of going into houses for the first time that is just like, Whoa. Okay. This thing needs a lot of clean up, and then you’ll kind of do the six months later, however long it takes you and then you’re like, holy smokes. This place is completely different. It’s almost like HGTV.

Cooper
Those things are satisfying to watch, too. I love seeing, like the before and after.

Jordan
I try to do as good as I can on those. And I’ve been joking around, I need somebody to follow me around with the camera because I go into a lot more houses than I’m able to record. Jacob too. He’s been in some crazy ones recently. We do need, like, somebody to follow us. Definitely check out that Tennessee Street duplex that we’re doing right now. That video. Shew. That one’s a wreck.

Cooper
Well, to me, it’s particularly cool. I’ve always said that in West Virginia, we’re all West Virginians. There’s a feeling of wanting to love your state, you want to improve it. But then it’s also, most people are not expecting something to come like swooping in and fixing West Virginia or saving West Virginia, in my opinion, that’s not coming. We’re not going to have one company, one industry that comes do it.

So I get inspired by people that are like, to change West Virginia and to grow West Virginia and to make West Virginia a fun place to be and a happy place to live and work, it has to come from within. So I love that you guys are from West Virginia, fixing and building something inside of West Virginia for the sake of bettering the community because I think a lot of people get stuck in this rut of waiting for something to happen to us or something. Like, “I tell you what West Virginia needs is something external…” and it’s like, who are these day people?

If you want to fix where you live, be the two people that say, you know what? Screw it. We’re going to be the ones that actually do that. So I love seeing success stories like that with you guys and building that from internally from West Virginia. Jacob, I went to Stonewall Jackson Middle School. So I grew up on the West Side.

Jacob
Nice man.

Cooper
Yeah. It’s intense man. Sports. I played basketball. There’d be like, 2000 people at our game. It was like the whole community would come. It was like pressure. We’re like, little 13-year-old kids. And our coaches were so serious and, like, the whole community is there.

Jacob
It was intense, man. Coach Swaine just retired.

C.J.
It’s funny. He retired from coaching football, but he’s still helping coach basketball at Nitro High School. And, yeah, they just won a state championship last year. So he’s an assistant coach at Nitro. It’s like a half retirement.

Cooper
30 years or something.

C.J.
It was really cool, actually. They had, like, all of these kids that played with him over the last 30 years, lined up behind the other side of Laidley field for his final game. And he had no idea they were coming in and they started marching out. And it’s like, all these people are showing up from his past, his history. It was neat.

But, yeah, you guys are doing great work.

Just piggybacking off what Cooper was saying to it’s like, nobody from the outside is coming in. And if they are coming in from the outside, then that’s a red flag in itself because that means they’re probably coming in and looking for something other than just helping this place out. Right? So it really does need to start from the ground up. And you guys are doing that.

Jordan
It’s a movement that we’re happy to be a part of, and we can’t do it ourselves. We’re definitely not the only game in town. But if we can inspire somebody and create like-minds and even develop partnerships, we work with other investors as well. We all have a similar common goal. And I would say the majority of the people that are in this business are not in it for bad reasons. They’re in it to help. These are special kinds of people, really. And like I said, we’re glad to be a part of that.

Cooper
Is there a housing shortage in America? I’ve been reading talk about supply-side stuff and this is the last year we’ve seen home prices increase sometimes 10%, 15%, 20%. Like, we’re kind of casually looking to buy a home. And it’s like if you’re not offering, like, $50,000 above the offering they’re gone the next day.

So in America and specifically West Virginia, because I think during COVID, a lot of people kind of realize, wait a second, maybe it is cool to live not in the downtown city, but maybe I do want to move somewhere like West Virginia, where I have easier access to the outdoors and a sense of community and stuff. So we should benefit from that movement that you were kind of speaking of, Jacob,

But in general, are there not enough homes for how many people want homes right now?

Jordan
Yeah, that’s accurate. There’s a couple of issues. People are moving. As you said, they’re moving out of big cities. They want something a little homier. But materials are so high, builders can’t really build right now.

They can, but they might lose their shirt. So people are looking. That’s why the competition is so stiff. As you said, when you go offer on a home, you’re getting blown out of the water unless you’re $20,000 to $50,000 higher than the asking price. Definite definite shortage.

We have people moving here from out of state, and we find that with our rentals, too, competition is steep. So now we’re making our rentals as nice as we can and trying to extract that maximum rent value out of it.

Because competition is high, people are willing to pay more to move from a not so nice place into one of our really nice places. So it’s definitely an interesting time for us. Early on, we’ve had houses sit on the market for a year. The first house we did sat on the market for a year, and we were clueless as to why. Now, in one day they’re gone.

C.J.
Maybe you guys can even get into that a little bit more about just your story, too, because when we had talked for the first time, you had said that over the course of four years, you said that early on it was hard. It was really hard for you guys to sell, and now it’s becoming easier for a couple of factors. One, maybe there is a shortage, but then definitely name recognition. When you guys have kind of planted and stamped your name on these projects, I’m sure that they have been able to move quickly now, but maybe you can walk us back because I know that you said early on, it was a struggle, and that was pre-COVID. It was a struggle to keep Building Appalachia moving and thriving.

Jordan
I was definitely regretting my life decisions there for the first couple of years.

C.J.
You left this nice, cushy management job, went out on a limb, and all of a sudden, it’s like oh, man, what did I do?

Jordan
Went from $80,000 a year to $0 a year for the first two or three years.

Cooper
It will humble you real quick.

Jordan
The first deal we got into our lender loaned us on the purchase, and I loaned on the renovations. We had a crappy contractor. The school close to the neighborhood burned down. They ripped the road up and replaced all the utilities and it sat for a year. My investor made more money than we made on that one. We didn’t make anything. We had to pay him out of our own pocket. That sucked.

Then the next one was good. That was a probate house that we helped a friend out on, and we did well on that one. The third one was a nightmare. Long renovation time. Bad contractors. We had a lot of our friends working on our houses. They didn’t really know what they were doing, right? Had to do a lot of things twice there. The fourth house came around. I don’t even know if I’m legally allowed to talk about that one right now, but it was a good one. But we had a general contractor, finally hired a general contractor, and he did a crappy job. So we were sitting there, like how do we keep losing on these? And then 2018 rolled around. And I think that’s when we kind of started getting into rentals, we found some pretty dirt-cheap houses. People started recognizing what we’re doing. I think we flipped a couple in 2018, and then we bought a nightmare project in 2018. It was a 4500 square foot mess, four beds, four and a half baths. It was massive. I’ll never do it again. That one turned out amazing, but it was an 18-month project. My lender made more money on it than I did because it lasted way too long. And that was a very depressing time for us because we bought it in 2018. We didn’t sell it until March 2020, right before COVID. Thank God. Actually, if we still owned that house, probably worth $100,000 more than what we sold it for. That’s also depressing. I don’t want to talk about it, but, yeah, we’ve been kicked in the mouth so many times.

And then me and him had a discussion and we said, look, “we got to change some stuff up or we’re not going to survive.” So that was the talk that got us in gear.

In 2021, we came out of gates swinging. We’re finding our lanes now. We know what lanes were supposed to be in but it crisscrosses sometimes. We help each other out, but we know our roles. We have discussions about things every single day. But in early 2021, he was locking houses up left and right. And now at the end of 2021, we’re back at it again. We had some period in the middle there where we were in some renovations that were pretty heavy, and we slowed down a little bit. We’ve locked up like six houses, seven houses in the last 30 days.

Cooper
That’s amazing.

Jordan
Things change quickly. You just have to focus. You got to talk to your business partner. You got to figure out where you’re going with this thing, where you’re just going to be shuffling your feet. So that’s what I would say to anybody that’s young trying to get into it. Get ready to get kicked in the mouth because you’re going to until you learn. You got to learn. You got to learn fast.

Jacob
I think you learn one of the big things that I’m taking from that is persistence. You definitely have to be persistent, which goes back to, like, you got to have a drive. You got to have a passion for what you do, and we definitely do. I guess we’re too hard-headed to quit, but there’s a couple of things that Jordan might have skipped over like we’ve been kicked in the mouth a lot. But we’ve also had some huge wins. And those wins are what help keep up motivated and moving in the right direction.

When you lock up a contract and you purchase 14 to 20 houses from a guy, that’s a huge win for you. In the midst of all the bad things, we’re doing really good things like that. We bought 8, 9, 10 houses in the first half of this year, and then four units after that. Beyond that, we’re working on a 20-unit purchase. There are some really good things that are in there. Like I said, you just got to be persistent. You got to have drive.

And then what really changed for us was doing stuff the right way, like developing a system for what we do and not making mistakes. We’re learning from our own mistakes and learning from other people’s mistakes. That’s what’s helped us a lot in succeeding or getting turned in the right direction.

Jordan
Another thing that I learned, too, is our partnerships with our contractors are like A+. They’re our best friends. I treat them well. I don’t beat them down on price. I’ve heard contractors say, “They just want to beat me down on price. They want to beat me down.” I don’t argue. The price is the price. You guys know materials and labor better than I do. That’s not my job. My job is to help sellers and find buyers. Your job is to get this house up running perfectly, right?

So knowing these guys and meeting with them weekly and taking them out to dinner and just doing stuff for them has just created really good relationships. So I don’t have to worry about Joe Schmo screwing up my plumbing anymore. That’s beyond me. Hire professionals. Vet them. Go to their jobs. Look at what they’re doing. See how they work. Those are things that have helped us move past our struggles.

Cooper
I was going to say that’s probably because it seems like now you follow people like Grant Cardone, right? I don’t know if you guys are familiar with him.

Very flamboyant in your face kind of real estate investor. But he’s like, “Everyone gets in real estate. Everyone gets in real estate.” I think some people now in this marketplace are probably jumping in not knowing like you guys just said, you’re going to get kicked in the mouth, which I think maybe it’s the only way to learn.

I mean, it’s hard to say anything in life if it doesn’t challenge you or it’s not extremely difficult, maybe it’s not worth pursuing. So I appreciate you guys, like, giving that kind of hedge, like, “Hey, guys, if you’re going to jump into this kind of job, expect some of these early challenges and whatnot?” And I can imagine your relationship with the general contractor that does a lot of the work and oversees at work is so important, and then you can’t just take somebody’s word for it. Like, yeah, I do good work. It’s like let me see the work you’ve done and then base the relationship off of that.”

Jordan
I was too trusting in the beginning. Honestly, way too trusting in the beginning. But now I’m trusty too because that’s a different level of trust. They literally are my best friends. We hang out. We go to dinner once a week and all that stuff. So they’re my best buds. We are inseparable. They’re a little older than me, but we provide them tons and tons of business and we’re flipping houses together now. We’re partners.

Cooper
I love it. Now talk to me about the process. Someone goes to BuildingAppalachia.com, either they’re trying to buy or sell a home. Is that where they can go to find houses that you currently have? Or maybe both. And if they have a house, they want to sell it, what’s kind of like the onboarding process? So folks listening to this. They’re in West Virginia. They’re curious about what you guys do or how they even want to partner with you or buy or sell a house. What should they expect from you on the upfront communication?

Jacob
That’s the major thing we do. Want to direct everybody to our website. That is it’s really a one-stop-shop for any of your real estate needs. This is where you’ll be able to go and see all the properties that we have for sale, up and coming properties, current projects that we’re working on, our rentals when they become available. You can see them on there. If you’re looking to sell your house as well, you go to BuildingAppalachia.com literally click sell your house. You put your name, your phone number, your email and myself or Jordan will reach out to you. We’ll make you familiar with the process, tell you as much as you want to hear or as little as you want to hear, ask you some questions about your house and see how we can help you. It’s really simple.

There’s a whole breakdown of that process on there as well, and you can check out our past projects as well.

Cooper
I’m looking at it right now. I would say I haven’t been on, like, a real estate website quite this. Like, I don’t know. It’s easy to use and see these houses clearly for sale.

Jordan
Shout out to Top Results Consulting for that. This is another thing that we’ve learned in this industry: get yourself a coach. get yourself a mentor. These guys are more than website builders for us. We get on a weekly call with them. They coach us up. Shawn Tiberio and Roger Valdez are another group of my best friends. We take trips out into the woods. I met them out in Arizona and went canoeing down the Colorado River for three days and camping on the side of the river banks. But they build my websites. Now we’re friends, business partners, they’re mentors to us, and they do great work. I think I sent this to CJ the other day, and they have awesome customer support and they’re just great guys, in general, to work with.

So, like Jacob said, we’re a company of two. If you go on there and you want to sell your house, you’re talking to me or him. You’re not going to get any foreign pickup service or anything like that. You’re talking to one of us. It’s where our houses are listed to buy. Our rentals are on there. And if you want to partner with us on something, we’re trying to push this a little bit more. We can only do so much. We can only buy as many houses or do as many projects as we have funding for. So we have an investor page on there. If you want to partner with us on deals, our lifeblood is our investors.

We have probably 10 or 15 lenders that fund the majority of our projects. But we’re looking for more people that want to get into this with us because we can do more good if we have more funding.

Jacob
And that’s a good way to start, like, if you want to learn, you can be as active or as passive as you want to and for the first part that’s a great starting point. Like, if I would have started that way, I wouldn’t have made the mistakes that we’ve made if you’re investing in a project. I mean, my God, you own this house.

Any information, any questions, whatever you want to know about the house, you’re inclined to that information, and we can literally hold somebody’s hand along the investment process and literally teach them real estate.

Cooper
Is there a minimum to invest for folks?

Jordan
No, because we have projects of all different sizes. We can get houses for $15,000. We can get houses for $100,000 and have to put $100,000 into them. So if you’ve got a quarter of a million dollars laying in a savings account, I can make you a lot more money than what that’s doing. But again, the same thing with your $15,000. We’ll give you an example.

We bought a house the other day for $15,000. Jacob was trying to help these out-of-state folks. The father passed away they don’t want to deal with it. We buy it for $15,000. We turned around and just sold it to another landlord for $30,000. We made $15,000. That guy’s going to make $100,000 on that thing over the course of that property’s life, maybe more. So we help the seller. We help the buyer. And we help ourselves.

Jacob
And this same guy, I would say he’s probably not as experienced as us. And I’ve expressed to him he’s like, “I’ve tried to do this in the past, and it hit me in the butt.” I opened up to him. I explained I was like, “Man, I just don’t want to sell you this house and let that be it.” I’ve already had a contractor walk it. If you need some help with contracting that worked out, getting contractors building a scope of work. Let me know.

I’m hoping that we can work together in the future as well. He expressed that that was obviously something he’s very interested in and that he probably will do. We’re building partnerships.

Jordan
Check out the Appalachian Ambassadors on our page. There are contractors, insurance agencies, lenders the whole nine yards. Those are people that we’ve used before. We’ve asked them, hey, you did really good work here. Would you like to be on our website so that we can direct people that ask us these questions about who do you have to? Yeah. To you, you can call them, and I get no kickback off of that. That’s just to help other people.

Cooper
Yeah, that’s amazing.

Jordan
And those are all West Virginia-based companies, too.

Jacob
Buy fresh, buy local.

Cooper
Talk to me about real estate agents, because I think some people that I mean, I haven’t bought a home. I accidentally submitted my information on Zillow for this house and this guy, he’s been like, blowing me up, calling me. He found me on Facebook, LinkedIn. He’s like, just like, crazy, like, involved trying to get me to talk to him. But talk to me about it because I don’t want to knock real estate agents. They do a good profession.

Jacob
We couldn’t do it without them.

Cooper
Yeah. What are some good recommendations for someone when they work with an agent? What are the things that maybe they should be looking for and what should they expect?

Jacob
I guess I would tell you not to not put your information in Zillow, because honestly, for some people, that’s a starting point. Zillow, despite the calamity behind them, I think that’s an avenue.

And like you say, for some, someone like yourself, you may not know any better, but enough of us know somebody who knows somebody. And if you can work with a real estate agent that, you know, or is a good friend of someone that, you know, I would say probably start there. But then the next thing would be to really check out people’s reviews. There are really good real estate agents in this area. And like I said before, we can’t do our job without them. We don’t sell the majority of our houses, real estate agents do. So that’s a partnership that we look to build as well. And we don’t have time to show houses and do listing questions. A real estate agent is going to really take the brunt of the work for you.

Whether you’re buying your first house or you’re buying an investment property, the real estate agent is going to take you there, show it to you. They’re going to help you negotiate. They’re going to give you some tips and tricks and things and also connect you with the right people. To buy and sell a house, it takes more than a buyer in itself. A lot of times there are lenders, inspectors, inspection companies, title companies, contractors that need to fix things.

And a good real estate agent is going to know and have these people in their back pocket. And they can give you their contact information to help you through that process. Because buying a house is probably the most stressful thing you will ever do. Number two, buying a car. But how many cars do you own in your life? But you’re buying this house, you’re going to be there every single day and probably for a really long time. Cars don’t last 30 years.

C.J.
Jacob stop me if I’m wrong, but you also work at Moses, right?

Jacob
Yeah, I do.

C.J.
So, you sell cars, too. So, you are in the business of selling houses and cars. So, you know, one and two pretty well.

Jordan
The man is trying to get rich!

Jacob
I help people make these really hard decisions that they got to make. I like to help people. I’ve been selling cars for almost 9 years. And anybody who’s bought a car for me, anybody who’s worked with us in real estate, they will tell you like this guy, this kid, he wants to help. And that’s so true. Like a hand on my bible, I just want to help people out. It really makes me happy. It helps me sleep at night.

Cooper
I love it, man. I love it. How important is financial literacy? Because I think we all know that in high school, none of us had classes on, like, mortgages or taxes or anything like that.

C.J.
I skipped those classes in college, too. You know what I mean? What do I do?

Cooper
It’s barely in the college curriculum either, like core personal finance. Like what’s a credit card? What’s a student loan? What’s the mortgage like? That sort of thing when you all work with lenders, is that important to you?

Because everyone needs a good, quality lender that’s going to walk the buyer through the process or at least educate them on it. We’ll start with this.

Jordan
If you don’t have any financial literacy, I can definitely help you out with that. That’s actually one of my side hustles. I’m a consultant, a credit consultant. So I started doing that because we want to help people that want to buy houses from us, be able to buy houses from us. So, yes, finding a lender first is very important. You need to know where your credit score is at because you’re not buying anything without a good credit score. And if you have problems with your credit score, you can come to me and I can help you with that. There are great lenders in this area that will help you through that process.

So your actual process should be when you’re going to buy a house, you should go get a lender first, get pre-approved. Don’t go to a real estate agent and go shopping before you even know if you’re able to buy, that’s going to waste a whole lot of people’s time. Find a lender, get pre-approved, then start going shopping.

And if you have some time in the middle, have some financial literacy with somebody like myself. John Scholars out there. He does a great job, too. He’s from this area. He’s very smart. I’ll be on his podcast soon in December, and we’re going to talk all about credit and what you need to do to be able to buy a house. There are certain requirements that you need to have. So yeah, getting educated is huge.

Cooper
I think people are intimidated by it because they also see, like, well, interest rates. They get told interest rates are low. There are like all these changing parts. And I do think it can be overwhelming if you’re not in that world all the time to know if you’re making a good deal or not a good deal. So you don’t want to be rushed. You don’t want to make a quick rushed decision and get into something that maybe is not going to work out for you financially or overspend and buy a house, that’s twice the amount that you truly can afford. Even if maybe you’re pre-approved for that amount, be realistic with your budget and then see what you can actually afford.

Jordan
That’s something I’m worried about right now. With this price inflation, people are buying $50,000 over the asking price. You’re starting out with negative equity. So if you try to move in the next five years, you’re screwed. Hopefully you’re going to be there for a while. Think about that before you go getting in way over your head.

Cooper
That’s right. Because the appraisal value would not have changed just because you paid $50,000 doesn’t make the house. It doesn’t just jump up by $50,000 like you just paid them once you get into it.

Jordan
What happens when it crashes and burns like in 2008? It’ll happen again. It’s the cycle. So don’t go overpaying the cost.

Jacob
Fortunately, as Mountaineers, we are not in an area that has huge inflation or fluctuation of property values. Actually, like back in 2008, when everywhere else, the bottom fell out, this exact scenario presented itself when people were trying to move and they were $50,000 negative equity and they were foreclosing and the market was flooded with a million foreclosure properties, West Virginia actually took an appreciation jump in 2008.

Jordan
That’s true. I wouldn’t expect that to happen again, though.

Jacob
It just boils down to what a great place we live in. Beautiful scenery, and it’s cheap. You can buy a house like dirt cheap. You literally take your house and transplant it anywhere else, and it’s 30% or 40% higher just to purchase it. Put it out in some of these other places in California, and you got a million-dollar house. Your $100,000 house is a million dollars house. How do people afford that? I have no idea.

C.J.
And part of the other problem, you’re talking about inflation and these appraisals and whatnot? It’s just like, you just don’t know where things are going to go. Although back in 2008, we knew things were going to like, as soon as everything collapsed, we knew it was going to get worse before it started getting better. Right now, it seems like we’re assuming that, but still, we haven’t gotten to that point where it feels like it’s getting worse yet.

I’m not quite sure if it’s still getting worse or if it’s finally getting better. I don’t know which direction we’re going. I think that’s part of the problem, but who knows if we’re getting better or not.

Cooper
And there’s definitely a lot of money, a lot of money chasing things that there’s not a lot of.

C.J.
Before we start closing shop here, I do want to say that Jacob is fighting in Rough N’ Rowdy here in a couple of weeks.

Cooper
What?

C.J.
Yeah. So Jacob is a fighter on the side. One, do you have any advice for us?

And two a little funny story. Back in college, Cooper’s got all of these little things that he tries and involves me in. This one in particular, he sent out a tweet. It was like if this tweet gets ten likes, CJ said he’ll fight in Rough N’ Rowdy. Of course, it gets like, 20 likes. It never happened.

By the way, that was never a high enough bar. I can post a picture of my cat and get ten likes.

Cooper
Back in 2011 that was a lot.

C.J.
No. So anyway, I didn’t fight. No, I’m not a fighter. Look at these little puny arms compared to this guy.

Jacob
Yeah, we’ll be fighting.

Cooper
Do you know who it is or?

Jacob
I do. Last time, I fought a guy from Tennessee. I fought him and I won and he didn’t like the decision.

C.J.
So this is the rematch?

Jacob 
Yeah, it’s a rematch now. So we’re doing that on December 10 at the Charleston Convention Center.

Cooper
No way. Get out of here. You guys are such a dynamic duo. We need to put the Mountaineer Media logo on your shorts or something.

Jordan
I like that.

C.J.
Good deal. Best piece of advice that you can give someone who’s never fought before?

Jacob
Duck.

C.J.
That’s funny.

Jacob
My advice is don’t. I do it for sport. I don’t like the street fight or anything. I’ve probably been in a street fighter, too, but I like to do that, but just train first.

Jordan
Yeah, use the training for exercise. Don’t just get in random bar fights, you never know who you’re going to run into.

C.J.
You guys did just say getting kicked in the mouth is the best way to learn.

Jacob
If you want to learn the hard just go start picking fights.

Jordan
Call Jacob, he’ll kick you in the mouth if you want.

Cooper
Look, guys, we’re super proud to be partners of you all. And you’re doing phenomenal work. You’re two charismatic, passionate individuals who have many hobbies and passions, and you’re making West Virginia better. Straight up. You’re making our state a better place to live, work for people that are currently here, and people that. Hey, look, welcome to West Virginia. Come to West Virginia and move to West Virginia. We certainly need it. So could not be happier to have you guys on board. And it was fun today getting to know you guys even more so than we already do.

Jordan
We appreciate you guys reaching out to us, man. For real. We love this state as you said, and we want to be a part of making it a better place. You guys reach out to us. Thanks for watching. Thanks for calling us. And thanks for giving us the opportunity. We’re super excited about the partnership, too. I think you guys are doing great things as well. And you’re round in that corner, too, in your business where you’ve probably taken some kicks in the mouth, too. But you’re passionate as well. And we know you guys are going to do good things. So thanks to you guys, we definitely appreciate it. It’s perfect timing. This is exactly what we need. We need some more exposure. We want to help more people, so thank you.

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