Friday, March 8, 2013

Let Us Now Dance Upon the Misery of Others

This article is full of good news. If you visit one of the places listed above, you can find great deals on homes and take advantage of a "short sale" or a foreclosure. This means that you can pay less than what people currently owe on their home or pay a reduced price for a home that people have been thrown out of. The problem is, it is also completely devoid of any real compassion or emotion.

Here's the pertinent verbiage:
RealtyTrac found 15 cities where short sales and foreclosures are really taking off, meaning the market of these homes is big and growing -- the complete opposite of overall real estate trends that show inventory is slight and shrinking.
"Short sales are on the rise as a better alternative to foreclosure in many areas -- good news for buyers and investors in markets where short sales are closing more quickly at solid discounts," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a press release. "But buying from the bank may still be a better option in other markets because of increasing REO inventory, deeper discounts and shorter times to close."

Well, thank God for RealtyTrac. How else would I be able to figure out how to profit from the misfortune of others?

If something is "good news" for buyers and investors, doesn't that indicate we are building up another bubble? And, if so, why would it be "smart" to buy a home in a community that already has a terribly depressed real estate market?

Aside from the human factor here--which indicates sentimentality, I know--this is pretty clear evidence that someone is trying to increase home sales at reduced prices so that home sales will rise to a level that can't be sustained, thereby creating another crisis. We need complete and radical reform of how people buy and sell homes in this country; we need substantive mortgage industry oversight and reform. And yet, we have gutted consumer protections to the point where it's impossible to see what difference it would make now. That horse already ran out of the barn years ago.

Let's say you bought a home in one of these places--good for you. Your home is one that you're going to live in or rent? Will you hire someone to oversee it for you while you live and work in another state? What happened to the family that lived there? What happens to the people who live around you? What about their blighted homes, their abandoned areas, and the houses that no one will ever live in again because they have sat unoccupied for five years?

If you stop living in a house, it dies. It corrodes and crumbles. Communities dissolve and fade away. Nobody cares, though. It's all about profiting from the misery of others.

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