A couple of years ago, I went to a remodeling company to try to figure out what it would take to put the finishing touches on my home in a few short weeks.
A grand total of $1,200, a price tag that would leave me in a very bad financial position if I had lost my job or lost my house.
But in the interest of saving money and keeping my house looking better than it is right now, I figured out what I would pay for the work.
I figured I’d give it a try.
A few hundred dollars.
It was a pretty hefty amount of money.
But when I went back to the company the next day, I was stunned at how much of a difference it made.
The company was offering a whole package of services.
The price of the services included everything from the initial work to the installation of a new roof and plumbing system.
And if you needed the most in terms of a roof and pipes, the service packages would cost you more than $10,000.
In other words, the company was giving you a whole house at a very reasonable price.
“You don’t have to be rich to be able to do this work,” said the person I was working with, as she explained to me what to expect.
“It’s just as easy as getting a job,” the woman continued.
I’m an engineer, and I’m a huge fan of the house-building industry.
So I asked my wife, who works at the company, if I could come along.
I didn’t want to be a stranger.
So we drove to a nearby mall to get some more information.
She showed me the brochures and offered to show me a few of the things they were offering.
The first thing she pointed out was a special deal for women, which I found to be quite compelling.
She explained that the home-improvement company would pay her a fee of $100 per month for the first two years, then $1 per month thereafter.
And the fee would be waived if she went to another home improvement company and took on a second job.
So that was an amazing deal.
Plus, she added, the first home-repair job was just $5 per hour.
So if you’re looking for something you can save $50 per year or $10 per year, I’ve got the job for you.
“This is so good, I want to do it,” I said to myself.
The next thing I knew, I got a call from the home improvement person.
“Oh, my God, there’s a new job for me,” she said, as if she had never heard of me.
I had to put my name down.
“I just want to thank you for coming on,” she told me.
“Now you’re my new boss.
And you’ll get $100 for each job you do.”
So she gave me a package of $2,000 worth of services for $3,000 each.
I was thrilled.
It was like Christmas came early.
I put everything I had into the home, including the entire house, and it was perfect.
In less than a month, I had a beautiful home looking a lot better than I remembered it.
But then I thought about how much money I was losing.
I’d had my house built and I’d paid $1 million.
It wasn’t like I had any real savings.
And it wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I realized the deal wasn’t as good as I thought it was.
I told my wife that the company I’d been working for was offering an amazing, one-year service plan.
“My wife, this is your new home,” she replied.
“What are you paying me for the next two years?”
“A million dollars!” she exclaimed.
That’s when I realized that this deal wasn- it was a joke.
And that was the end of my home-cleaning and house-clearing jobs for the year.
The people I had worked for in the past two years had never seen a home with a new coat of paint, a new furnace, a completely new roof, a roof decking job, or even a new carpet.
They were surprised to find themselves having to pay for all of these services.
They’d never heard the word “home improvement” before, let alone had to pay someone to do the work they were supposed to do.
I got to work on another house.
Now I had $2.8 million in savings and no regrets.
I called my wife and told her what I’d just learned.
“Why don’t we just call this company and start working together?” she asked.
And she told the other people I worked for, too.
That night, I called a few more people.
They said they were happy to help, but they also needed to know if this new service deal would be worth it.