Chapter 9: This is it
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
“Distinguished guests, welcome. I am called Robins Garcia, the temporary caretaker here.” Seeing Jiang Hai and Will get out of the car, the middle aged man came forward with a somewhat forced smile.
“Hi, I’m Jiang Hai, you can just call me Jiang.” With just a shake of hands, you can tell difference between amateurs and professionals (1).
“Hello Mr. Jiang. I know why you’re here, follow me please.” Knowing Jiang Hai is chinese, Robins spoke slowly, clearly enunciating each word. Although Jiang Hai didn’t have many opportunities to learn english, it’s still passable.
Since he was going to come to America, during the period when he was waiting for his visa documents, he started to relearn english. Who knows if it’s because of the tattoo, but he became smarter than he was before. Half a month of cramming, plus listening and participating in conversations after coming to America, he is now able to comprehend most of what is being said to him. Of course, Jiang Hai would never admit that Will had helped in any way whatsoever. This is also why Will only helps out with the more difficult words, changing them into simpler English, rather than Mandarin.
“Alright.” Answered Jiang Hai. After which both Jiang Hai and Will followed Robins into the estate.
The unit used to measure plots of land in Europe, America, Canada and Australia is acres (2). Thus all land is priced around acres. Different areas have different prices. Places like Texas or Montana, have very cheap land prices. An acre costs around a thousand to two thousand USD. If it’s New Mexico then an acre cost less than a grand USD. Sometimes, it’s even possible to purchase land there for around 550 USD an acre. Don’t even think about these prices on the east coast. You’d be lucky to get an acre for ten thousand.
According to the research done by Jiang Hai, an acre in Winthrop cost roughly 12,700 USD. At this price, you can get more than 6 acres of land in Montana. According to the estate data, the total land is 11,200 acres. Of those 11,200 acres, 9,200 acres is taken up by the ranch, plus a 1000 acres of forests (3). The trees here are all at least a decade old. Of course, if Jiang Hai wanted them gone, it can be done. But when he suffers losses due to blizzards or hurricanes he can’t go crying to the insurance companies. They won’t compensate you if you have removed or not created natural (trees) or man-made (walls), barriers of protection. The last 1000 acres is for the winery. Three types of grapes are planted here, but noone is taking care of them at the moment.
Just the land value alone is 142.24 million. The original owner of this place is the general director of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. At the peak of its time the company was worth 691 billion USD, but sadly when the mortgage bubble burst in 2008, the company filed for bankruptcy. In order to recover, this major shareholder can only liquidate his assets which included this estate. At that time, he sold this piece of property to Philips for 150 million, but now they’re selling it to Jiang Hai for 280 million. The amount of scamming these people do is definitely next level (4). Of course, Jiang Hai doesn’t know.
He only knows that this estate has 11,200 acres of land with 720 square kilometers of maritime space. The estate boundaries is defined by his ranch. By following the ranch’s coastal line, it encompases a total of 4.2km. But this is very little when compared to the estate’s holding in the sea. On paper the estate has an effective range of 170 kilometers, that’s roughly 92 nautical miles. If going by a boat with a top cruising speed of 30 knots, then from coast to edge would take 3 hours, a round trip around the whole perimeter would take roughly the whole day. This much land can all belong to Jiang Hai with just a nod of his head.
“The land here is really, really great. I don’t know the particular result of farming grains here, but farming vegetables and ranching all have great yields. There is also the gulf here with abundant freshwater resources at the nearby Lake Lewis. There are also a lot of underground water sources, so there are no worries about any water shortages. The previous owner set up four springs to provide enough water for irrigation and everyday usage.” Robins explained as they prepared to enter the estate with the already prepared ATVs.
Generally, these vehicles are not allowed on the road, but it is one of the best modes of transportation in a ranch. Jiang Hai has a driver’s licence, but never had the chance to drive. This is also his first time driving this type of vehicle, but at least there is Robins providing support (5). Along the way, Robins kept on explaining the current situation with the estate.
“Other ranches face a very troublesome problem of herding the animals every season. This is to leave the grass seeds untouched when all the grass in an area has been eliminated for the future, but we don’t have this problem here. We can raise at most 20,000 heads of cows here at one time, but the upkeep of this is too high, thus 5000 heads is perfectly fine, and allows them to wander. Fodder here is definitely not a problem, and this includes winter feeds.” Seeing Jiang Hai’s peaking interests in this area, Robins continued his explanation. From the looks of things, he is very knowledgeable in this field. Especially about the grassland here.
“Before 2008, the net profit from the beef raised here reached 11 million USD annually. This is also under the condition of not reaching max number of cows, if it is maxed then the net profit would at the very least be 3 times as much. The winery over there won a couple of international awards, thus selling a bottle for a couple dozen USD is perfectly fine. The 1000 acres can produce a minimum of several hundred thousand bottles annually. Subtracting labour costs and raw materials, it can bring in at least 5 million in profits.” The group quickly passed the grassland and entered the winery. There is currently nothing on these matured grape racks.
Past the winery is the forest. In China, timber is sold in terms of cubic meters, but in America, there are specific regions of lumbering. The forest here is protected; no one will buy timber from here, thus there was not much to introduce.
“The fishery is the biggest profit maker here. Before 2008, there used to be a 100 tonnage fishing trawler here. I don’t know the specifics, but I heard this place makes at least 20 million USD per annum. Due to the lack of activities in recent of years, the stocks have probably already recovered.” Past the forest, is the beach. As soon as they took a rest here, they felt the comforting sea breeze and heard Robins continuing his explanation.
“Sir, I know I’m not the first one to say this, but this is definitely a great place to settle. Great grassland, high levels of stocks in the fishing grounds, and only an hour’s drive away from Boston. New York’s Long Island is right across the sea. Roughly 3 hour drive to reach the Big Apple. No pollution of any kind, with a high air quality index score year round. I believe here is much better than in Montana since the cow feces smell sweet (6).” Seeing how Jiang Hai is pretty satisfied with the property, but still hasn’t said the final ward, Will can’t really do much. Even Robins became anxious as he said this.
Looking at the grand ocean in front of him, Jiang Hai is very satisfied, but this price is kind of a big deal. His only has 332 million, the other 2 million coming from the rest of of the gems and crystals. If he really did buy this then that’s 280 million gone with only 50 million left in his bank. This level of spending really makes him anxious. Therefore he is still wondering if it is worth it (7) to pay this gigantic bill.
“Ummm…” While Jiang Hai is still feeling this 280 million price tag is too much, he felt a burning sensation in his chest. This feeling, Jiang Hai has already gotten used to. Taking a look at his checkbook, Jiang Hai nodded.
“This place, I want it.”
1. GTFO NOOBS!! OMG STOP FEEDING, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GAIN ELO!! 😥
2. Chinese people like to use mu to measure plots of land. 1 acre = 6 mu
Kai: In Australia we use hectares ^.^ (acre = imperial, hectare = metric units)
3. TL: Original text 一亩英亩; I don’t understand what a mu of acres is so ima take an educated guess and say the author probably wanted to say 1000 here.
4. What does the scanner say about their scamming level? IT’S OVER 9000!!!!
5. FIRST TIMER INCOMING!! HIDE YO WIFE, HIDE YO KIDS!!!
Kai: inb4 Will pulls out an action cam and catches Jiang Hai stacking it
6. Raw: 牛屎的味道，这里的却是甜的, WTF?!?! O.o I’m done here, peace
Kai: Maybe he means, the environment is so good, the cow’s feces don’t smell as bad as feces from a cow in a polluted environment
7. WURF!! It’s so wurf. if u get want i mean 😀
Kai: Perhaps he haggles in the next chapter, no way would you accept the price straight away