House Poor: The Landlord's Prayer
A 'Friday Funny' by Homer Guthrie, Expert Homeowner
Posted by: RET Staff
Believe me, the last thing in life I ever wanted to be was a landlord. The thought of it reminds me of the old silent movies tying his poor tenant to a railroad track as she screams, "No, I can't pay the rent!"
It started at one of our Friday coffees at the Deli Delight where I get together with my real estate team—Bea Meriwether, real estate agent and Earnest S. Crowe, mortgage guy. Bea was selling a bank-owned bungalow two blocks away from me in my hometown of Mirage Mills, the Chernobyl of American real estate and the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. Since there were two dozen fire sale-priced properties listed for sale within a mile of hers, she was having a hard time.
"It would be a perfect investment property for you and Felicia. You know the neighborhood like the back of your hand. It's close and easy for you to manage. It's in very good shape for the neighborhood and it's priced to move fast," said Bea. Her voice dropped a half-octave and she gently placed her hand on mine.
"And I know that the bank is dying on this one. They've taken a beating on it for more than a year and they'll do anything to get it off the books."
Nothing she said changed my mind. The bank could go on taking a beating for all I cared. Then Earnest started in on me.
"Homer, wise up dude. How much you making on your 401K in this market? I'll bet you're losing money big time."
How did he know?