Dec 8, 2008

It's So Perfect, I Need Someone to Tell Me What's Wrong With It

A personal, middle class bail-out plan is needed.

How long before the Stock Market kicks in to recoup to the tune of 60%?
How much longer, then, before home value is restored to the tune of 40%?

I need a bail out NOW. I found one and I'm a giver so I'll share. It's so sweet, it's a crime, albeit a victimless crime. But it has some drawbacks. Like inconvenience. But what is a little inconvenience now in the face of a brighter future, right?

Here was my inspiration:

Rameau is an activist executing a bailout plan of his own around Miami's empty streets: Helping homeless people illegally move into foreclosed homes.

"We're matching homeless people with people-less homes," he said with a grin.

Rameau and other advocates formed Take Back the Land, which also helps new "tenants" with used furniture, cleaning supplies and yard upkeep. He's moved six families into foreclosed homes and has nine on a waiting list.

Rameau said he was doing the owner a favour. Before Pierre moved in, someone had stolen the air conditioner. "Within a couple of months, this place would be stripped and drug dealers would be living here," he said.

Rameau's not scared of getting arrested. "There's a real need here, and there's a disconnect between the need and the law."

The city's Kelly Penton said officials didn't know Rameau was moving homeless into empty buildings -- but they're not stopping him. "If people trespass into private property, it is up to the property owner to take action."

Pay attention peeps, I'm serial, man. This man is providing a service to already beleaguered banks that have found themselves to be property managers.

See, no bank wants to become a property manager. There are too many exposure risks when you get people and contracts involved. But the property's gonna get rolled if it sits empty and idle for months. Insurance gets canceled. Plus, the neighborhood begins to deteriorate, and nobody wants that, either.

So you have to go below the radar with winks and nods and private P.O. Boxes for leads and keys to assign properties. I know if I were a financial institution saddled with chronic vacancies and foreclosures, I'd much prefer a nice, middle-class couple with no kids, nice cars, good furniture and a lawnmower occupying the premises for free. Little wear and tear on the property. Just get a good background check and Bob's your Uncle: you're in.

Depending on your market, this can be a$ 18 - 36,000 boost to your personal economy in the next year. Do a Donald Trump, let your equity-challenged and overpriced home return to lender and find a sweet layover for 3-6 months at a time. You bring added value to the home by keeping the neighborhood at capacity and looking great. Lights are on, neighbors are happy, property value is maintained, banks are not prosecuting and everybody wins.

A tacit and non-official detente that the government doesn't want to get involved in, and a courtesy heads-up from the bank if a buyer is found. You should keep any personal heirlooms and irreplaceable items in a storage unit, in case the worst happens and you get bounced. You may have to move two or thee times in the year, but if you're living in a house like it's being staged for a Open House, you won't have too much to lug around with you.

You place an ad in Craigslist: "Professional couple, wife works at home, nice cars, no kids, and good furniture, is ready to occupy and safeguard your foreclosed properties. Leave reply at ...."

You got a better plan? If the Banks, the Media and UAW aren't too proud to beg why should you be too proud to provide a necessary and valuable service to your community?


Robin Starfish said...

Super idea. Boning up on a few basic black market skills now may pay dividends in the near future. I'm in.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Yep. Like DeNiro's character in Brazil.

pamibe said...

It's an awesome plan with little risk for either party.

Joan of Argghh! said...

C'mon guys. I need skeptics and cynics to talk me off the ledge...


julie said...

Why can this not be legitimized? I know that there are people whose job it actually is to basically "house sit," or live in homes that are up for sale - they make sure the homes look nice, I think they get paid to stay there, and of course, there's a rent-free roof over their heads. Potential buyers get to see what the place looks like as a home, in a state of good repair, and maybe are more likely to buy. It's a win-win for everyone. The families would have to be willing to move fairly frequently, but it's better than being homeless.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Not helping, Julie. It seems like a job I'm cut out for!

I'm half tempted to put the ad out there just for a look-see. Hehe.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I don't see a downside to this terrific plan, Joan.
It's a win-win situation!

Just don't make this available to frat boys. :^)

Joan for Senator!

Jean said...

Once in a while, a good person shows up and does something brilliant.
Strengthens my faith in mankind, it does.

Anonymous said...

How do the 'homelss,' who are unemployed, pay for the gas, electric, water, sewage, garbage fees, etc. to keep these houses functioning as required?

Joan of Argghh! said...

See, anon? That's what I wonder, too. So instead of homeowners risking the piracy of their plumbing or the squatting of folks who can't afford to keep the place up, they just need to let ME move in there.