This excellent piece by Daily Herald reporter Elena Ferrarin almost slipped by unnoticed which is disappointing considering she’s really onto something.
Apparently, those 109 Elgin Princeton West subdivision homeowners are on edge regarding the impending installation of 90 new townhomes purportedly to be relegated to renters. According to the DH, condo association president, Tim Buelow, is worried that the dead end near I-90 nature of that subdivision sector would attract low-income renters, some of whom would avail themselves of Section 8 Assistance.
I have to give Mr. Buelow a lot of credit for disavowing himself of the codewords that the folks in the Geneva area Mill Creek subdivision used when they were faced with an influx of renters. We all know exactly who “those kind of people” really are.
Not only that, but having lived next door to a Section 8 resident, I can personally tell you, more often than not, it’s a nightmarish proposition. Though we don’t do a nearly good enough job taking care of the least of our brothers, Section 8 ain’t the answer.
The new developer, CH Ventures LLC, who purchased the foreclosed portion of the property from Bank of America, did their best to allay those fears. Citing an average $2,300 monthly rate, they noted, “They will have hardwood floors, a very fancy finish inside – it’s not going to be a cheap rental.”
But I’m not really concerned with this particular potential conflict because we’re just scratching the surface of a much deeper dynamic. You see, there’s a a brave new real estate world out there and Ms. Ferarrin was wise enough to pick up on it.
Please allow me to extrapolate.
After the subprime mortgage crisis tanked the housing market and took the economy down with it, since the pendulum always swings the other way, unless your credit rating is beyond reproach it’s almost impossible to get a mortgage these days.
Put more simply, the banks’ general reaction to their own lending stupidity has been somewhat along the lines of once bitten twice shy.
But because people have to live somewhere, with the market flush with mortgageless families, rental properties are all the rage. And real estate developers, who clearly understand the concept of supply and demand, know exactly which side of their bread is currently being buttered.
It’s true! Regardless of who the renter is, without nearly as much skin in the game, they don’t make the same mental investment in their living arrangements as the average homeowner. So here comes the karma part.
Back when the housing crash hit, we had a choice. We could bail out the banks or we could bail out the homeowners, many who were duped by companies like the now defunct Countrywide who pushed subprime paper to folks who had the credit to do better. And when despicable imbeciles like Rick Santelli started screeching about “deadbeat” homeowners, we did not choose wisely.
So not only do we have a slew of situations like the one in Elgin, but the banks we bailed out are buying up the very properties they foreclosed on and turning around to rent them right back to the folks they forced out.
Had we, like Iceland, done the right thing by jailing the bankers and bailing out the homeowners, we wouldn’t have this slew of rental barbarians at the subdivision gate.
So once again, the average American’s capacity to allow their righteous indignation to always overrule their already limited ability to foresee the long-term consequences of a particular course of action comes back to haunt them in yet another fascinating way.
Doncha just love truth, justice and the American way?