Monday, November 01, 2010

Punching out another belt notch.

In condo homeowners associations, especially small ones like I live in, there aren't too many secrets. One of the houses across the street from me has been foreclosed on and owned by the bank now for several months. They haven't been able to turn it over for the kind of money they've been holding out for. The word is now that they are coming down on their price and would accept any offer down to and including $350,000.

If that is what these places are worth now and that's not established, it could well be lower, then most owners are deep underwater on their mortgages. They could walk away and be way better off than if they stayed, whether they can afford to keep paying or not. This opens the door to a lot of new and interesting possibilities. The homeowners associations in complexes like this could easily end up owning most of the houses through liens against unpaid association fees. With relatively few homeowners left to float the association, the associations themselves would quickly become insolvent. It's easy to see how whole condominium complexes could become derelict.

Even if somebody showed up one day and gifted me with all these places, I'm not sure that with the amount of deferred maintenance needed and the kind of rents I could get, that a positive cash flow wold be possible, at least for a few years and there is no reason to expect that values of properties like this will not go even lower.

I should have sold this place 4-5 years ago and moved into a rental in Anaheim. I thought about it. I didn't think things would get this bad. Nobody has ever really accused me of being a visionary.


Contrary said...

I think the next bubble that will go bust is gold. People buying now will soon see it drop to $600 to $800 range.

Mayor Villaraigosa said...

I've got an idea for those depressed housing prices....

Why not import millions more Mexicans? They need places to live, no?