In many of my blog posts I have expressed anger towards property investors, property managers, and real estate agents in Dickinson. I want to explain this.
People need to have food, clothing, and shelter. These are necessities that people must have. I believe very strongly that it is wrong for individuals to try to buy up necessities intended for other people, so that they can then overcharge for these necessities. In other words, I think that it is absolutely wrong for anyone to come up with any type of scheme to buy up, control, inflate the price, and over charge for basic necessities that would normally be inexpensive if it weren’t for greedy people trying to manipulate supply, availability, and prices.
Just because a person can conceive to do something, and then go do it, does not mean that it is right.
During the 1700s and 1800s, people went over to Africa and caught blacks, sold them as slaves, and then forced them to work for free. In the United States we already argued, fought, and had a Civil War over this. Now, 99% of people believe that you can’t catch other people and own them. But, if there wasn’t a law against it, people would still be trying to catch and own slaves in the United States, because some people are so greedy, they disregard right and wrong, moral and immoral, just and unjust, like the Property Investors, Property Managers, and Real Estate Agents here in Dickinson.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, children as young as 8,9,10 years old, worked in factories, twelve hours a day, seven days a week, in dangerous and unsafe conditions. To many business owners, there was nothing wrong with this, that is why they did it in the first place. Even to this day, business owners like to say, “Supply and demand, free markets, let the market place decide, capitalism.” Letting business people do what they want, resulted in slavery, child labor in factories, 12 hour work days every day of the week, unsafe and dangerous work conditions. If it weren’t for the Emancipation Proclamation, Child Labor Laws, Federal Wage Laws, and OHSA, all of the things that I just mentioned would be still going on today.
The scheme has also occurred to greedy business people, that they could buy up necessities, so that these necessities would not be available to other people, and then they could overcharge for them. What would happen if wealthy business people bought all of the food, all of it? What if the wealthy business people then decided that you should pay $2.50 for a can of beans, carrots, or peas? This may happen one day, because there is no law against it. But just because someone can do it, does that make it right?
In the beginning of the United States, single family homes were built for single families to live in. Probably early on, some single family homes were occupied by renters. Renters are easily subject to being taken advantage of. In some areas of the United States, single family homes were occupied by share-croppers, which was even more perilous than being a renter. Being at the mercy of someone else for your housing, existed from the beginning of the United States. However, after World War II, people were nearly free from other people controlling their housing, and we could have stayed on that course, had it not been for greedy people getting involved.
After World War II, due to advances in manufacturing, technology, engineering, agriculture, and energy transmission, the standard of living in the United States was the highest it had ever been. A husband could work outside the home for eight hours a day, forty hours per week, and he could afford to purchase a home for his family to live in, buy furniture, buy an automobile, and pay for all of his family’s necessities. The same kind of business minds that brought us slavery and 10 year old children working in factories, went to work on how to take advantage of people.
Business people began to think, why not buy single family homes as an investment? Everybody needs a place to live, why not buy single family homes, and charge more for rent than the mortgage payment? As long as you can rent out a single family home for more than the mortgage, property tax, and insurance, it pays for itself, and in fifteen or twenty years, it will be completely paid for. If this is the case, why not buy ten single family homes, rent them out, and in twenty years, you will have ten homes that are completely paid off? One reason not to do it, would be that you are driving up the single family home prices, and preventing ten families from owning their own home.
There is a saying, banks loan money to people who can prove that they do not need a loan. There are people that have high incomes, that are able to pay for all of their necessities and still have a great deal of money left over each month. They can prove to the bank that their own home is paid for, they have a large amount of money in savings, and that they have several thousand dollars of extra money each month after their necessities are paid for. The bank is happy to give them a mortgage on several single family homes, they can easily afford the monthly payments, plus, they are just going to rent them out anyway, for more than the monthly mortgage.
A young husband and wife, with no savings, and not very good employment, is not able to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage. This same husband and wife, as they become older, if they have had a period of unemployment or medical problems, they may still be unable to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage. This same husband and wife in old age, have spent all of their earnings raising children and helping other family members, they may still be unable to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage.
I read a real estate investment book that was published in the 1980s. In this book, there were charts of single family home prices in cities like Orlando, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Omaha in the late 1970s. The charts showed that in these cities, the average single family home price was approximately twice the average annual salary of an individual in that city. The charts also showed that the monthly rents on the average single family home were slightly higher than the monthly mortgage amounts. So if you were a real estate investor, it made sense to buy as many single family homes in those cities as you could find. This real estate investment book also pointed out, that as time passed, you would have more and more equity in your single family rental homes, and could use this equity to borrow against in order buy more single family homes. Also, as time went by, prices on everything go up, if your mortgage payment on your single family rental home stays the same, and you increase your rent every year, your “positive cash flow” on each home increases every year.
When I was reading this real estate investment book that was published in the 1980s, it was 2005. At that time, the average single family home price in places like Orlando and Phoenix was now three to four times the average annual salary of an individual in that city. Why did the price of single family homes go from twice the annual salary of an individual to three to four times the annual salary of an individual? I will tell you why, because all of the real estate agents and property investors that were fucking around in the single family home market trying to get rich, that made the price of single family homes double.
An ordinary single family home, is just a place for a working husband and wife to have kids and raise a family, in an ordinary neighborhood, where other working people are doing the same thing. There shouldn’t be any reason for local attorneys, doctors, and dentists, to be trying to get their hands on as many ordinary single family homes as they can. There shouldn’t be people in New York City and Los Angeles trying to buy as many single family homes as they can in Omaha, but that is what is happening. The real estate agents take it upon themselves, to bump the listing prices on $100,000 homes in Omaha, up to $115,000, because the real estate investors in New York City and Los Angeles will still buy them, they don’t know, they don’t care that much either. The working husband and wife who finally saved up enough to afford the down payment on a $100,000 home, ask,”What the fuck just happened?”, when the price goes up to $115,000 the next week.
Real estate agents like to help inflate the price of housing, because their commissions are based on the price of housing sold. Real estate agents also like to help inflate the price of housing, so that they can tell potential buyers that they had better buy now, prices are climbing, if you buy now, your house will be worth 10% more in two years. The prices of single family homes went up and up because there were so many real estate investors trying to buy multiple single family homes. The real estate investors did not really care that the single family home prices were quickly rising, they thought that this was good, they would have equity in their homes more quickly, they went ahead and paid the high prices. Ordinary working people that were desperate to own a home, went ahead and entered into huge mortgages that they could barely afford to pay, ridiculously high mortgages based on their modest incomes.
The housing crash came. Many ordinary working people could not afford their ridiculously high mortgages on their single family home. Due to slumping employment, many ordinary working people could not afford high rent. Real estate investors that owned multiple single family homes, had some tenants move out, some tenants get behind on rent, some tenants negotiate lower rents. Real estate investors came to be unable to afford the mortgage payments on multiple rental houses when tenants moved out or failed to pay rent.
Real estate investors never should have been involved in single family homes that were intended for ordinary working people to live in and raise families. Real estate agents were willing accomplices in making single family homes unaffordable to ordinary working people.
If rich business people could do it, they would buy up all the food, all of it, and not let you have it unless you paid two or three times what it cost them. They don’t care how much suffering they cause.
The real estate investors, property managers, and real estate agents in Dickinson did not care how much hardship they caused people in Dickinson during this past oil boom. Rents on homes and apartments were increased to four or five times what they had been before the oil boom. Wealthy people, people who owned property, real estate agents, property investors, property managers, they all lobbied and made sure that no man-camp or trailer park was built in Stark County, in order to ensure that there continued to be a shortage of housing, and no inexpensive housing alternatives. I knew many people who slept in their vehicles, in the cold, in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 because they could not afford to rent an apartment in Dickinson. This is also why there is not a homeless shelter in Dickinson, the people with money in Dickinson didn’t want people to have any place to stay if they couldn’t afford to pay the extremely high rents.