I talked about two things in the forefront of my mind to various people Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A new-ish fear of mine regarding real estate and a book by my mentor at the Huffington Post that I really enjoyed.
Predominantly, my successful clients (meaning those whose deals are going through) are paying cash for houses they hope to profit on. I ask them where the profit will be, and from whom, but most are fairly vague about that, dazzled as they are by the “cheap” home prices. A colleague told me he had one investor with cash buy 15 houses last week. What will he do with all those houses? I was told he’ll be holding them until he can turn a profit.
There are refinancing restrictions, taxes and other carrying costs to be paid, and a lot of prospective tenants around who will be nightmares to let rent the houses (each has an ever growing string of stiffed creditors). Legit buyers are finding it very hard to qualify for mortgages, so how long will these not yet profitable houses sit vacant? Will they be improved or at least maintained? Logic dictates that they should be, but how much is left in the checkbook of currently active investors?
Not a “light” summertime book, in the international spy--sexy vampire--waitress meets billionaire varieties, but for my money, This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim would be as good a read by the fireplace as at the beach.
I really enjoyed the book, and if a straight-laced vegan who drinks nothing stronger than detox tea and cringes at even taking an Advil can find the history of drugs so interesting, you should as well. Ryan explains, interprets, and gives the back story on many different drugs, and clues you in on why political efforts are so ineffectual.
After reading the book and learning about the prevalence of drugs before the 1960s--heck, before the 1860s-- I started to wonder if my great-grandparents relished opium and if my grandparents enjoyed cocaine!