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Guest Post by David L. Sahud (my dad)

dad and pupHardly a day goes by when some neophyte doesn’t try to partake of my financial wisdom. Let’s see, there’s Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, The Donald and The David. There aren’t too many of us left. The Carnegies, Rockefellers and the Mellons have left their fortunes to unworthy off-springs, so we are carrying the torch in today’s world. Of the four, only Trump and Sahud have devoted most of our talents toward real estate.

Donald and I made our entrance to the Atlantic City market at about the same time. He pushed to buy the new Hilton Hotel on the Bay, because one of the Hilton directors was found to be on the “Unacceptable List” of the NJ Gambling Commission. It turned out to be a distress sale and Donald was right on the spot. I, on the other hand, being of higher ethical standards, did not choose to be the beneficiary of ill-gotten cost advantages. I bought a new three bedroom condo right on the beach in Brigantine (just over a small bridge from Atlantic City) for list price. Those were the early days of Atlantic City gambling and there was no doubt that real estate values were going to soar. I was convinced that I had made a brilliant investment, while Trump was struggling to salvage a fledgling hotel.

So we proceeded to furnish our beach front condo lavishly and awaited the onrush of guests, all of whom used it as a base for exploring the new Atlantic City. Our condo became a free hotel for friends and relatives, who graciously accepted the room and board, dashing off to the casinos with the last bite of free food still in their mouths. Judy served as cook and maid, with me as a non-handy handyman. Unfortunately, we were not blessed with as large a staff as Trump and wore ourselves out.

Three years later, with Atlantic City not growing fast enough for us, we decided to sell our condo. This took brilliant planning, since we were at the beginning of a real estate crash in Atlantic City. Four condominiums in Brigantine ceased construction and went bankrupt. It took several months to find a buyer for our elegant condo. We finally found one named Sal Smith (not his real name to protect my ass), from Reading Pennsylvania, who was a close friend of the heavyweight champion, Larry Holmes. He was 250 pounds of solid muscle, with knuckles dragging. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he was not a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard. His raspy voice and snappy clothes were reminiscent of many cast members of “The Godfather.” With his close ties to the crooked boxing industry, I was convinced that if he wasn’t a member of the mob…..then I am Winston Churchill.

His “Wife” was an unadulterated “Bimbo,” with a shrieking expletive-laden speech pattern, chewing gum like a cow. She was definitely a “Moll” from central casting. She leaped off our ground floor deck to assure herself that we were really on the beach and brought three pounds of sand into out carpeted living room. Hopefully it will be her living room – full of sand.

While I was thrilled to sell the condo and lose lots of money, the closing was an episode of “The Sopranos.” Marie Smith (not her real name for same reason) was screaming and cursing at the three teen age kids (of undetermined origin) and Sal was telling her to shut up. The payoff was even stranger. Sal handed over five certified checks from five different banks totalling the purchase price. So while Donald was wrestling with men of ill-repute at the Hilton, I was probably trading in stolen money.

Fast forward to 2005. One late October morning, over our usual breakfast of chitlins and hog fat, Judy turned to me and said, “We should sell our house and move into a retirement community.” The stairs were getting to be too much for us. The neighborhood had changed in 44 years and we hardly knew our neighbors.

I answered, “OK, but could you let me finish my breakfast and give me a few hours to work it out?” She said, “Yes, but don’t procrastinate like you usually do.”

Ignoring the sarcasm, I set out to work. Google presented me with a Del Webb-Pulte Retirement Community being built in a hamlet called Wanaque, New Jersey. This god-forsaken place was only 35 miles from our home in New City. Two hours later, we were in the sales office. Twelve minutes thereafter we wrote a binder check for $1000, with a 10% deposit two weeks later. The price was right and we could sell our house in the middle of a real estate boom in New City. Two houses on the block were sold for outrageously high prices. We called a realtor and she recommended we wait until we returned from Florida in the spring before putting the house up for sale.

But the drive from Florida must have taken longer than I thought. On our arrival, we saw three comparable houses for sale. The prices were the October prices minus $100,000. WWDD- What would Donald do? First of all, he wouldn’t have committed to a new place without selling the old one (although he didn’t exactly have the mark of success stamped on his casino bankruptcies).

As he saying goes, “When you have lemons you make Tortellini Alfredo,” (or something like that). So we put our house on the market for $5000 less than the other three houses.

Now all we had to do was wait for the thundering herd of buyers. Unfortunately the hoof beats were few and far between. For every one of the nine viewers, we huddled in the corner of our den, like orphans in a storm and kept quiet, unless questioned. We heard doors opening and closing, shoes thumping and voices ringing as they walked right past us. Some visitors and agents were very complimentary about the condition of the 44 year old house. There were obviously futile questions like, “Where is the swimming pool?” or “Why is the master bedroom so small?” or “What- no fireplace?” or “Why is the bedroom on the second floor?”

One Chinese engineer being transferred from Boston asked if we would throw in the baby grand piano. Little did he know that I would have been glad to even throw in five grandchildren and two dogs.. But I played it cool and told him it was negotiable. He never came back. Word has it that he bought a much cheaper house.

Prospect number 9 gave me an opportunity to demonstrate my marketing skills. A Chinese UN employee in his fifties watched his adopted five year old daughter leap up the stairs ahead of him. As she ascended to the top, she saw our large deck and wooded backyard and shouted “Daddy I love it!” From then on I never took my eyes off the little girl, smiling, winking and holding my wallet in my hand. (She will be on my payroll forever). Mr. Smith (also not his real name to protect all of us) made us an offer that night.

We settled on the price through the agents. There were three closing postponements due to hitches with his buyer. Visions of having to default on our condo flashed before us. I wanted to discuss the situation with him directly to better understand the status. But his lawyer and his agent held him hostage for fear that I might upset him.

When I finally spoke to him on the walk-through before closing, he was a nervous wreck. He had been through the same insecurities as us. In fact he asked if we could leave the front door unlocked so that the movers could enter during the closing. My answer, “It’s your house.”

In the meantime, Donald trump came out of bankruptcy and I began to ponder my next move. Perhaps we could build a casino in beautiful downtown Wanaque, in back of the garbage dump?

About the Author

David Sahud is a retired businessman with extensive background as CEO of several companies in the plastic films and insulation industries. He has a masters degree in chemistry and a second masters in management engineering. He spends his free time writing short stories, traveling and chasing the cold weather.

About the Author

Julie Weishaar We will work with you to increase your online visibility by leveraging the latest in Internet and video technologies while helping you grow your business. We provide video marketing services and offer video marketing products for those who like to “do it themselves”, specializing in camera-less animated video production. We also provide consulting services for those who are just starting out on the Internet or with Video Marketing and need help with their Internet and Video Marketing Strategy.

Read them below or add one

  1. mithun says:

    Great story.i got a inspiration after reading it.waiting for another good one.

  2. Taylor says:

    Awesome story. There are very few doers in this world. And eat your heart out Trump! :)

  3. Sandy says:

    This post is really inspiring, I love every bit of it and learned a lot.
    Thanks for this golden advice.

  4. Shane says:

    This story is truly inspiring. It’s really amazing to hear humble beginnings from people who are already successful on what they do, right? Thanks for sharing.

  5. zolar says:

    Such a great story… It ain’t a short way to succes. Isn’t it?

  6. Clint says:

    I so envy David Sahud for his achievements. He must be a genius with all those accomplishments in life. What’s his secret to success? Thanks for sharing your encounter with him.


  7. Joan Lopez says:

    This post is really inspiring, i love how this article would inspire each and everyone of us, each of the readers who love reading such stories. I really got moved by this story, thanks so much! :)

  8. This story is great it can inspire every readers i love every bit of it.I learn more.

  9. Pershy says:

    Having a clear goal in life will lead you to success if you work for it. Thanks for sharing this with us. I can use this in my blogging.

  10. Hi…I am really inspired a lot because of your post here…Thanks for sharing such a lovely stuff…

  11. Howard Benson says:

    This is a very well compiled post. I loved every bit of it.


  12. Lewis says:

    This story is a good source of inspiration. Having a clear goal in life will lead you to success if you work for it.

  13. gigih says:

    he is my inspiration, and so on admire many people

  14. carly says:

    That’s so sweet that you let your dad post on your blog. I loved the story, too. BTW, his dog looks adorable. :)

  15. Edward says:

    Life is full of ups and downs . Not often we see the rise .. This story og rise will be an inspirational one …

  16. Born27 says:

    This story will serves as an inspiration to all! The world is indeed round. You can never can tell when your always on top!

  17. Courtney says:

    I think this is really inspiring! What made you think of the phrase “eat your heart out” when writing this? I think it is moving. So it works!

    Thanks for sharing!


  18. Karolina says:

    Such an inspiring story! I think it could be a lesson for everyone who wants to realize his/her resolutions and reach big goals! Thanks for sharing this great article!

  19. Karl Kaufman says:

    Wow! this is such a moving story of success and I have come to realize again that Donald Trump is just an ordinary guy back then with hopes and dreams, just as David is. They came out victorious even if the chose not-so different paths. Thank you for inspiring me. You make me feel like success is just at arm’s length and that anyone can become a Dahud or a Trump with the right mindset.

    Great post!

  20. Amy says:

    Careful, donald trump might be reading this post. Just kidding :)

  21. Laura says:

    Those were the early days of Atlantic City gambling and there was no doubt that real estate values were going to soar. 

  22. Heidi19 says:

    This is a very inspiring post! and i really enjoyed reading your story David! Thanks for sharing this with us and i’m looking forward to read more from you.

  23. Claudia says:

    Hello David. Thanks for such an inspiring post. That really meant a lot to me.

  24. Michael Davis says:

    Eat your heart out? Yeah, that’s a chuckle.

  25. Jonnah says:

    Hi David! I am really glad to hear about your triumphs and successes in life. This is one true inspiration for all of us here. What’s your next plan? Thank you very much for sharing this story to everyone.

  26. Carol says:

    This is very true and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing this to all of us. I really love it.

  27. marcia says:

    It is also a powerful and cool statement. You nailed it in this post!

  28. cmichaelsny says:

    You will never know until you’ll get there.. “Eat your Heart Out” is really good. It do motivates people.Thanks for sharing..

  29. Charlenevans09 says:

    Life is full of mysteries..You will never know until you’ll get there.. Your story serves as an inspiration and a lesson to be learned by many especially the rich one. Thank you for sharing this to us..

  30. Daniel says:

    The phrase “Eat your Heart Out” is really good. It do motivates people.

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