As the story goes, real estate investors were the main culprits behind the housing bubble and its eventual bursting. Yes, many greedy barons on Wall Street and their tycoon counterparts in the banks are also to blame. Those financial guys found a way to make lots of money after the government passed laws and put incentives in place to make sure mortgage loans were made to people who could not afford a home. This was after all, a great concept that our past presidents signed into law. Why should a country as great as the United States limit home ownership, or for that matter new car ownership, to only those people that can afford it?
Who are these heinous, despicable real estate investors? The vast majority of them look like you and me, and they live in middle class and even upper class residential areas. Some may even be living next door to you! These are folks that take their hard earned money and do something very un-American. They save that money and later invest it in real estate rather than in cars, boats, vacations, and fancy clothes like most people do. They buy a property, fix it up and rent it out to some family who needs a decent place to live. Can you imagine the audacity to take their hard earned money, save it, and invest it in real estate? To make it worse, the government has even given them tax incentives, like expense deductions and depreciation allowances to encourage them to provide housing for families and others who cannot afford a home or prefer to rent.
The really annoying thing about these investors is they usually make money on their investments. As I understand it, their well orchestrated scheme to create a housing bubble actually back-fired on some of them. They now own homes that are worth less than they paid, and in many cases they have been struggling to keep the houses out of foreclosure. Heck, if they lost the properties to foreclosure, we could be much happier. That family renting the home down the street could get kicked out, and the bankers could have another notch in their belt. The more investors that eventually give up their properties, the more vacant foreclosed homes we can have in our neighborhoods. We get rid of those tax paying families with noisy kids that keep offering to mow our lawns or baby sit, and asking us to help support their schools. Most importantly, we finally could end the cycle of home prices going up and up, and those real estate investors making money.
You probably are wondering what some of these real estate investors are up to lately. Many of the successful investors, especially those who have enough cash so they do not have to try to get non-existent bank loans, are at it again. They are buying up those vacant foreclosed homes in our neighborhoods, and turning them into family homes! In the process they are hiring many of the unemployed construction workers to fix up the properties. Some houses require appliances, new flooring, roofs, air conditioners, heating systems. Other properties even need thousands of dollars of rewiring and plumbing after the vandals sold the copper for scrap metal for $100. I have not yet seen a foreclosed property that did not require painting and landscaping.
Not only are these investors screwing up the unemployment statistics, they are also making it difficult to find handymen, painters and landscapers. Can you imagine the boldness of buying up vacant properties, and hiring our friends and neighbors to turn these properties back into family homes. Then all those tax paying parents and their kids have a place to live because of those greedy investors. Soon those neighbors will be bothering us by inviting us to picnics and reminding us that we left the garage door open. Unbelievable! Those investors are now getting their comeuppance though. The government and home owners associations are making them pay real estate taxes and association fees. That should show them!
To really make matters worse, as banks sell off these foreclosures, they will soon be in a position to make loans again for mortgages and to small businesses. You are probably already a step ahead of me, and have figured out that this means the economy will start expanding and home prices will be heading up again. Now brace yourself for the really big news. These despised real estate investors have devised the TACT Program, which requires no tax payer funding, and would really ramp up the banks' ability to sell those toxic assets we all have learned to love. If the banks collaborate with these investors and implement the TACT Program, we could have an economic recovery within six months rather than six years as the government data has been suggesting. Many of us will not be able to take full advantage of our unemployment benefits.
Interestingly, after reviewing my own article, I have gotten the impression that what those damn investors are doing is not so bad, and actually is very good for the economy. As a matter of fact, maybe we should start referring to them as "home providers" and thank them for helping pull us out of the Great Recession. I actually feel like we all should repent for bad mouthing real estate investors and rather than fight them, we should join them!
Incidentally, there are millions of people around the country saying this is a great time to be buying real estate. So I will. In two years I predict that 99% of those talking about it will wish they had.
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