WINTER HOUSING

Happy Halloween folks! It’s that time of year again and the snow is already making an appearance. There are people still camping in the city parks even in these cold temperatures. Crazy!

I’ve been thinking about the housing crisis going on all over it seems. It isn’t people moving to the cities from the countrysides that’s creating the problems here. I hear on the radio how the Mall of America is nearly empty with closed store fronts. Online shopping has been effecting the brick and mortar retail shops for quite some time now and the pandemic has made it worse. I hear that small businesses are going under due to the pandemic, but in reality, most of them don’t need to pay the rents anymore, they can sell from their homes or rent a warehouse or locker now for much less. The world is changing. Are people so impatient with the lockdowns or is it the owners of the real estate that lost their tenants who are the ones behind all this crying? We’re so easily duped. The system is rigged against us. Coming from the taxi industry I can vouch for that. I had the raw experience of being duped and seeing the system rigged.

Landlords. I have nothing against landlords especially the small one who made the wise investment in order to have a nest egg and retire someday when working is not an option anymore.

I’ve had pretty good landlords for the most part before I became a homeowner myself. However, I have seen a shift in rental property go from the hands of the individual to the big investment and management companies. Much has contributed to this shift. First I’ll begin with the irresponsible tenant who is capable of doing much damage and making it tough for the next guy. It can take a landlord a long time to evict a tenant these days usually for non-payment of rent. The small landlord cannot afford to carry the burden of a bad tenant. Then there are the justice warriors who cry for tenants rights against the landlords constitutional rights over his own property. As these cries chip away and change things in favor of the tenant it becomes more of a loss for the landlord who eventually will cut his losses and sell out to the big guys who can afford and do know how to deal with bad tenants, usually raising the rents so that tenants without a decent job can’t pay the rent. The philosophy is, if a tenant has a good income then that tenant must be a good rent paying tenant. Make sense? That’s one solution and it seems to be working well. At the same time there are all these cries about socialism. People seem to associate socialism with communism, but in a way that is where all this is going; Communism the government owns all the property. What will we be when the corporations own all the property?

That’s the mighty Mississippi frozen under that bridge.

Soon it will look like this in Minneapolis. That’s the Washington Avenue bridge going to the East Bank campus of the University from the West Bank. Just downstream from the 35W bridge, the one that collapsed in 2007.

I was once told that commercial property was a money maker but the world changes for everyone. Uber disrupted the taxi industry and the internet disrupted the retail industry which in turn is disrupting the commercial real estate. The moguls are now scrambling for another money maker, housing. Most of us couldn’t fathom buying a commercial building, the purchase price and upkeep was way over our heads and most of us never learn about it anyway. The American dream was always to own your own home. That’s still possible but getting more and more out of reach. I own my home with a partner and this partnership is what made my home ownership possible. Maybe everything isn’t perfect but it’s not so bad. I could do worse, I could be a tenant with a bad landlord. One who doesn’t fix anything and demands higher rent every lease renewal. That is becoming the norm and most people are stuck with it. We’ve been enticed to spend our money rather than save it, beginning with the credit card instant gratification mentality and all the new and shiny things advertised on the television every five minutes. We gotta have it, all our friends have one! We gotta fit in, look alike and be accepted. Being in debt is just a part of life, normal! With all the political correct talk going around, we’re brainwashed and frightened to not even think for ourselves. We’ve also been taught to get a job with benefits, let the company take care of you, better than the government. Is this what capitalism was supposed to be for you and me?

Partner up my Friends. None of us can make it alone.

I just met the guys who bought the house on the corner. It’s a duplex and the two guys are young and good friends. I think they’ll make it and I think I will see more of this as time goes on. It’s a good thing to do because there are so many obstacles to home ownership and the thieving fees hidden through out all that paperwork. Many fees don’t come due until certain conditions are met. Here’s one example: EHCO loans. What is that? I don’t know, it appears to be a fee that only grants permission to buy the property. Hmmm! That didn’t come due until my partner and I refinanced the house and took out a loan that got worked into the mortgage so we could replace the roof. (My partner is not a saver). Because we remortgaged at a higher loan than what we owed, instead of taking out an expensive equity loan, that ECHO loan came due. It started out at $3000 and was up to $4500. So we had to borrow more to pay that off or not get our loan at all for the roof, otherwise it would’ve come due when we sold our house. Well, at least we won’t owe it at the time of sale. These moguls just can’t live and let live!

Try not to look like this guy.

Buying a house shouldn’t be so scary and going in on one with a partner may have is drawbacks, but it’s foot in the door. There are tenancy in common agreements that can clearly spell out the rules and expectations and cost very little to create and file with the county. $246 is all I paid. Don’t let the commercials tell you what you need to fit into society and have friends and save your money. A little at a time goes a long long way! The moguls all started out with partners, none of them got rich all by themselves. It takes trust and mutual respect, not such a high price. Who knows, maybe you’ll be happy after all!

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