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October 01, 2008

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Main Street? Wall Street? The distinction is meaningless now that the contagion has spread throughout the economy and around the world. We are all Wall Street now.

Sounds like a great idea, but...

Anyone who's been a landlord knows that renters come with plenty of problems, starting with the fact that most of them fail to keep up the property. Low-income renters tend to be worse than average, and resentful renters are the worst.

Your proposal would convert a great number of unsophisticated buyers into resentful renters, cheated (in their minds) first by the lender and secondarily by the government that is supposed to care for them. The properties would be often trashed, losing a great deal of value.

Those with a romantic view of the poor will wish to dispute this, but experience shows it to be accurate. I soon learned to stop renting, simply rehabilitating the properties and selling them.

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