Monday, October 08, 2007

Another investment tip

Now, we're seeing homebuilders undercutting people they sold to last year by hundreds of thousands of dollars, either straight up or at auction. But, often their spokespeople will say, "This is really the lowest price we can afford to sell at."

Banks are also taking over a lot of homes that they don't feel they can afford to sell. Banks traditionally get houses off their balance sheets pretty quickly, but I think the losses will be too shocking to accept. My expectation is that banks are going to end up holding on to a lot of residential real property.

But, really? Empty homes are a problem. Hobos move in, pipes burst, nobody notices leaks and displaced windows. Everything inside was designed to persist at temperatures and humidities comfortable to humans, whereas it'll be experience conditions ripe for black mold. You can't leave a house unoccupied until inflation recovers the value you bought it at and expect it to be OK.

I expect builders and banks both to start reaching out to management companies to rent all of these condos and houses that are starting to sit around. I don't know if there even are any national players, but that seems like a business that's going to seriously take off.

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