Thursday, July 31, 2008
Have a read.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Seriously? Let’s think about this for a minute. Who really thought our economy could continue outpacing itself when America was spending more than it made?
People claim that deals aren’t getting done and businesses aren’t expanding because it’s just too hard to borrow money. Let’s have some perspective. Is it really hard to borrow money now? Well that depends on your definition of ‘hard’. It might be harder than it was two years ago, but is it harder than it was in the early 80’s when rates were well above 10%? Did we really think that banks could continue loaning money to people based on how much money they ‘said’ they made? You mean people don’t tell the truth all the time? Are we really that naïve?
I read an article yesterday that insinuated a 5% - 10% down payment was “a lot”. Really? Have we gotten that spoiled?
I am not pretending that I predicted this downturn coming, although some economists probably did. Sure the increasing number of foreclosures and the need for the government to get Freddie and Fannie out of detention is surprising. But are you really shocked that the market is trying to correct itself? Sooner or later you have to actually pay a debt off with real money. You can’t keep “making” money by borrowing more.
We were going to be faced with this reality at some point. I would make the argument we are handling it pretty well. Despite the negative forces at hand, our economy as a whole and especially in N.C. is continuing to grow. We are adding jobs, building schools, expanding hospitals and more. You can accuse me of being an optimist, but its all fact. Actually I like to use the word realist.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
You now need to register with the city to own rental property in Raleigh. And you need to pay.
The registration fee is $30 for the first unit and $10/year for every unit you own. Here is an article from the N&O about it.
The problems with this are ten-fold. It's hard to know where to start, really. Not only has the city created yet another bureaucracy, they have done so at the behest of just a couple of spoiled, vindictive inside-the-beltline neighborhoods pursuing the eradication of rental properties regardless of the fact that they live next to a major university.
While it seems clear to most people with more common sense than a rutabaga that if you move in next to a college you may end up with some rental property nearby. Nevertheless, people in that position are certainly due their peace and quiet. However, and I'll try to say this as clearly as possible: a landlord can't stop a tenant from partying. If the law isn't being broken and rent is being paid on time, eviction really isn't an option. The city believes, however, that by evicting the tenant responsible for the PROP violation, the problem will eventually be solved. As if those tenants will simply move to another neighborhood and never bother anyone again.
The most problematic component of the PROP is the fact that violations remain with the property, even after the bad tenant is gone, whether through eviction or lease termination. How does that help? Again, I'm not sure people really understand rental property. Landlords do not ask for their property to be wrecked, partied in or transformed into a landfill. Tenants sign leases with specific clauses to those very issues. When a tenant does so, they are in violation of their lease. But, a landlord can't physically be at their property every day. It's literally impossible. Weekly checks? Sure, that's reasonable enough. But all it takes is one mattress, one time; on the day the landlord is out of town, to warrant a PROP violation.
Now that the city has funding and a staff, look for a much more aggressive approach toward curbing the ownership of rental property in Raleigh. This vision they have conjured of a shiny happy city where no property is left un-spit-shined like a pair of Meeker's boots licked clean by his councilmen is nothing more than that, a complete and utter delusion of grandeur.
The PROP will not curb blight in the city. It will not stop bad landlords from owning property. What it will do is spike the number of evictions in the city, push poor tenants from property to property, raise rents and strongly bolster the already formidable wall built between city government and the citizens of Raleigh who happen to own rental property.
I would welcome insight on this topic. I will be glad to respond.