I bought a $50 Pan Pac this week. PCGS MS64 CAC (long read)
Forgive me to those folks who saw it over on the darkside forum, I don't post chunky gold that often
My wife has worked at one of the biggest, sprawling companies in town for about 20 years. Parking for everyone except for the biggest big-wigs on the campus where she works is several blocks away. That means parking, then waiting for the overcrowded shuttle, then a 5 or 10 minute shuttle ride, then the whole thing in reverse at the end of the day, fighting everyone else who has the same parking situation. Bad enough in the summer heat and rain, 10 times worse in the winter in office clothes, when it gets dark at 4:00 at night, and it's cold, icy or snowing. And some of the outer parking lots are really, really sketchy at night.
Figure a good 40 minutes every day, 5 days a week = about 15 hours a month of wasted time.
I pick her up pretty much every day for lunch, in part because it'd be that much all over again: wasting her entire lunch just getting to and from her car. Plus I like seeing her, and I'm a big fan of food.
Anyway, one day at lunch six or seven years back I noticed a tiny hand-written "for sale" sign in the yard of a house literally 30 yards from one of the entrances of the main building. The kind of sign you'd see next to a motorcycle or lawn mower. Cute little bungalow, with a huge two bay garage
So right after I dropped her off, I zipped over to the house and called the number on the sign. Asked the price. Asked to see the inside. They met me there a couple of hours later and I shocked the owners by agreeing to their terms, as is, where is, 30 day close. Luckily I've been a landlord for 30 years, so I kinda knew what I was doing
Inside the garage the day I visited prior to buying:
Closed really quickly, and my crew and I spent the next 6 weeks renovating the garage: New roof, framing out the two bays individually, new electrical, insulation. Installed heaters, lighting, new garage door and opener with remote. Even had time to put in a coat hook bar and a big mirror. Surprised my wife with it, for her birthday. A secure, covered, heated garage just a few steps from work.
Just after purchase:
Nice thing was that with a little effort and renovation (the kind I do all the time), the house started to cash flow pretty well. Literally started making money by providing her the most envious parking space on campus.
She's a serious type-a personality, painfully detail oriented. She's been consistently promoted way, way beyond what she'd originally signed up for. Of course, that means much more stress even with a lot more cash.
And we're both pretty frugal. Lived within our means even as those means grew. We both been able to put enough dough away over the years that we've kicked around the idea of early retirement and what that would mean. Reduced quality of life? Or much better without work hanging over us? Would we be bored, or would we be relaxed? The last couple of years reinforced that nobody knows how much time we have left, and grinding 45 or 50 hours a week doing stuff she never wanted to do wasn't what she signed up for. It wasn't making her happy. And with savings, it just wasn't really necessary either. About 6 months ago she surprised even me by saying she was done. She waited until big projects were finished, put in 6 weeks notice, and quietly began "early retirement" a few days before Christmas (COINcidentally, we also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last week).
Of course, that left the question of the parking space house. In the portfolio, it's just one of about 25 properties and I would have had no problem keeping it. But I knew something the sellers of the house didn't: The big corporation she worked for owned the rest of the block. And they'd just begun to draw up plans to expand one of their facilities on the end of the block adjacent to the house.
I reached out to them. They essentially said name your price. We closed on Wednesday of this week.
Now one of my all time dream coins is the Pan Pac $50. And, even after capital gains, closing fees, attorney costs, etc., there was just about enough left to get a MS64 octagon. And this was essentially found money!
Six months or a year ago, I would have pulled the trigger and dropped the mic. That's it. My box of 1 coin collection. And believe me, I know how to splurge on a nice coin, or a nice collectible, when the time is right.
But no matter how tempting the coin to end all coins was, having that windfall in liquid reserves, knowing the unexpected is always out there...? Especially now without her income? I just couldn't do it. So after depositing the comically oversize check, I withdrew a couple thousand dollars in crisp $100 bills and visited one of the local shops.
So here's my $50 Pan Pac PCGS MS64 CAC.
Ain't she pretty?
--Severian the Lame