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This Is What Happens As America Converts Into A Nation Of Renters

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Zero Hedge
May 9, 2013

Wall Street got into the single-family home business about a year ago. The win-win idea is to buy and rent until prices increase enough to make selling profitable. Investors can improve neighborhoods by fixing up vacant or damaged properties and providing lower-cost housing to people who are recovering from a foreclosure. But, as The Sacramento Bee reportsa responsible landlord is not guaranteed, and while no one is bashing renters, experts say it is human nature to care more for where you live when you own.

The idea of a long-term home means more attention is paid to its upkeep and more consideration is given to neighbors, but “renters can change the culture of a neighborhood,” creating instability in neigborhoods since if there is any ‘issue’ (such as a strip club proposed nearby), renters are more likely to say ‘I’m outta here’, while homeowners will band together for a common cause.

The other potential problem is poor upkeep of rental properties leads to greater costs to communities overall since “renters have less tendency to take care of their surroundings.” The problems are widespread but in West Palm Beach, FL (where landlords are required to get licenses), applications are up from 296 in 2011 to 399 last year with one entity owning 150 ‘unregistered’ homes: “it’s a free-for-all, there’s no such thing as a community anymore.”

Via The Sac Bee,

The fragile sense of community in homeowner Bryan Melzard’s neighborhood – the impromptu chats on the sidewalk, shared gripes about overzealous condo commandos – is fading.

As corporate America sops up the remnants of the real estate crash, it’s not only more difficult for the traditional buyer with financing to find a home; it also has planted a niggling concern about how it could change the fabric of the American community.

“Renters can change the culture of a neighborhood,” said Alan Mallach

The idea of a long-term home means more attention is paid to its upkeep and more consideration is given to neighbors. Increased stability creates a bond to protect a common interest, such as if an unwanted store or strip club is proposed nearby.

“When you have a large body of homeowners, that neighborhood organizes in a millisecond around that kind of issue,” Mallach said. “If you have mainly renters, an awful lot will say, ‘Well, I’m out of here.’ “

“It’s out of control when local people can’t find a place to live,” said Paige, who didn’t want to live in a high-rental community. “Everything is turning to rentals.”…

it can be a slippery slope. Too many renters, Nye said, can lead to higher costs to the association, which may have to put in extra effort to maintain the property.

In West Palm Beach, new rental applications increased from 296 in 2011 to 399 last year, with a hefty number coming from international and out-of-state buyers, said Sandy Wuraftic, the city’s license permit supervisor.

“It can be kind of a free-for-all,” Melzard said. “There’s no such thing as a neighborhood anymore.”

This article was posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 4:30 am





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