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Volunteers save the pool garden

Robert Esch, better known for his ballooning exploits in the early 80’s with Astronaut Ed Mitchell, and Tim Grotefendt, a lifelong resident of rural Madison County near Marine, Illinois, flew to California to help.

Robert and Tim are partners in a venture called RT Properties, a business dedicated to buying distressed properties and turning them into affordable, livable homes in the Illinois side of the St. Louis metropolis.

Robert literally stumbled on Fisher’s website www.DoghousetoDollhouseforDollars.com while researching the flipping market.  "I have long been impressed with Jeanette’s books," says Esch.  "She takes the business of remodeling homes for the average working person and adds a very human touch to it."

Since retiring from the Balloon business in 1982, Esch has built a successful financial planning practice dedicated to the preservation of wealth for senior citizens.  "I am 58 years old and will be one of those retired seniors all too soon.  I have always loved making my money earn money safely and just transferred my hobby of investing into a business."  Esch conducts financial workshops for seniors in Edwardsville, Collinsville, Alhambra, and Highland, Illinois, showing seniors how to grow their money without the risks associated with the stock market.

Robert Esch and Tim Grotefendt

 "I love my financial planning practice.” Says Esch. “But I am always looking for new challenges. I have known Tim for years.  He was looking for a way to put his marketing degree to use while at the same time helping people.  When he mentioned that to me I couldn't’t help but think of Jeanette.  So we formed this small business dedicated to helping people of all economic strata find affordable housing."

"This has been quite an education for me," says Grotefendt.  "It is one thing to learn all the marketing theory at the University.  It is quite another to learn first-hand from experts like Robert and Jeanette.  I can’t wait to put into action all that I have learned."

RT Properties is looking for single-family homes in the Metro-East area that can be refurbished for the working man or woman.  "There is such a need," says Esch.  "It is extremely satisfying to use our time and talents this way."

Robert Esch and Tim Ger

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Pool garden before

Robert and Tim boarded a flight from St. Louis and spent the better part of the week in California helping with the restoration project.  "Their help was very much appreciated," says Fisher. "Robert's B. S. degree in landscape architecture really added to our project.  We had plenty of eager workers but lacked an over-all design plan and someone to implement it…especially around the pool area.  Robert not only came up with the design but supervised the plant selection and installation of the plants and the sprinkler system."  

Robert's Financial Services for Seniors website offers great investment advice.

More before Faux Flip Pictures

Pool  Modello Stencil design
Ted Blake staining deck                                                                                                            Modello Design on pool bottom

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