Hi, I’m Jordan Laubaugh.

I want to take a couple minutes to introduce myself. I’d like to allow you to get to know me through my blog. This category of posts will allow me to periodically talk about myself and my life. It should prove entertaining!

Here we go

I was born and raised in Michigan and that is where I currently reside. I do have plans in the near future of moving out of state. But for the time being I will remain here, plugging away.

I was born into a very conservative Christian home and attended educational institutions which mirrored those beliefs as a child. This background of “far right” thinking has shaped my belief systems today in a major way. That way of life is so closed and sheltered to the outside world that had something drastic not changed, I probably wouldn’t even know who Lil Wayne is today. But I was the lucky one.

When I was 11 my parents divorced.

After my parents split up I ended up living with my Mom in Hastings. My Dad lived about an hour away and we didn’t see each other too frequently. It was usually 1-2x per month.

After eighth grade I transferred from a private Christian school to Hastings High School because my mom could no longer afford the tuition. The divorce of my parents caused me to go from a middle class lifestyle to that of someone far below the poverty line. My mother supported 4 kids by working at the local grocery store. Needless to say $8/hr, 30 hours per week is hardly enough to provide for a family of 5.

I write this not to complain, seek pity, or to place blame. I just want to be honest in my approach. I am not some rich kid. At the same time I don’t feel like some gangster from the streets. I think my background is fairly typical and I can’t complain compared to what some people go through.

Even though I was very poor throughout high school, I would never change the experience at all. I really believe that if any part of my past were different than I may not have reached the position I am in today. A position that I would not trade for the world.

High school was fun! I played football, basketball (at times), made a lot of friends, got free lunch, was on student council, and graduated. I was a bright kid, but lacked motivation (cliche?). Initially, I had wanted to be a doctor, but then decided that 12 more years of school wasn’t my true calling.

One night I was house sitting for my student council adviser and saw an episode of Flip This House on A & E. That night a passion was born. I didn’t know how I would do it but I knew I wanted to be in Real Estate. So my quest began and I started to learn everything I could about the business. My brain became a sponge for real estate and an amazingly beneficial habit was born.

I learned the value of education throughout this process. Something, surprisingly, high school had never taught me. I established relationships with people who were in the real estate business. A good friends parent owned a Title & Escrow company and I became close friends with his mother, Sandy (and still am today).

My teacher, student council adviser, and mentor Mike was a licensed agent. I sought advice from him about life, real estate, goals, and aspirations. I have always considered his advice to be priceless as we have so much in common personality wise. He is another person I remain in close contact with today.

I offered my plans on becoming a Real Estate Entrepreneur to people around me. It was all I wanted to talk about. I can’t count how many times I was laughed at. I would say, “I’m gonna be a Real Estate Investor”. The echoing response would always be, “You’re a poor white kid, you don’t have any money to invest. The only people who are real estate investors are rich”!

I some how managed to not let them deter me. I never doubted that I could do it. So for the next couple months I devoted everything to it. One of the most important things I learned was the value of surrounding myself with like minded individuals who had similar goals to mine. This is evident in the people I mentioned above.

It was at this point that I decided I needed to move away from Hastings. I started sharing this idea with my friends and family and was met with about the same criticism as when I said I would become a Real Estate Investor. “How are you going to pay bills? You don’t work and have no money. No landlord would ever rent to you. Etc”. This went on for several weeks but I never quit trying to solve the riddle of moving out. This was Mid-March of my senior year of high school.

Then I got a phone call!

It was from my Dad. Of the 4 children I had been the one who remained closest to my dad. I would spend weekends at his house, go on trips together, fishing, etc. We didn’t have a perfect relationship by any stretch of the imagination but we never lost touch with each other.

On the phone call my dad informed me that he was going to be around this weekend and wanted me to come to his house to have lunch with he and my step mom. Pretty standard with graduation coming up they wanted to know what arrangements were, my plans, etc.

I accepted the invitation. At their house after lunch we sat in the drawing room and were discussing my after high school plans (Graduation was about 2 months away).

I had 2 options: #1 was Michigan State University (I had been accepted and was sort of planning on attending that is up until I decided to become a RE investor). #2 was to move to an apartment in Grand Rapids and attend community college (CC was just a cover for me to be able to live in a city where I could begin my career).

They were both very supportive of me attending Grand Rapids CC. For one, it would be a lot cheaper than MSU. Also, though they didn’t say, Grand Rapids would be a lot closer to them than East Lansing. That day, Bonnie (step mother) offered me an apartment at a rental house she owned. With the notion, “If you decide you want to move to Grand Rapids and go to CC we will help you out by providing you a place to live”.

I would still have to pay rent, but I had an in for an apartment at $300 per month. I was also offered a job from her to mow the lawn and do other maintenance related work in order to make some money.

Finally, I had my way out of Hastings! I went through with all the arrangements with her and signed a lease stating I would move in June 1, 2008. The next 2 months went by faster than I would have ever liked them to. It was emotional for me, knowing I would be moving to a place where I didn’t know anyone. Leaving all my friends who would be living in Hastings for the summer. I can’t count how many times I asked myself, “what the hell are you thinking!? You will starve to death”.

Graduation was on May 23rd.

I turned 18 on May 26th.

I partied for 1 more week with my friends and

on June 1 I moved into my new apartment.

That night, standing in the living room of my new place, having no idea what I was getting myself into, was the happiest time in my 18 years of life.

I had made it!