Monday, December 14, 2009

Update for the last 3 weeks

Things certainly seem to be slowing down a bit in the rental market, which is typical for December. One of the vacancies was filled, and I have a firm commitment to rent one of the others around the 15th of this month. Three others remain vacant despite move-in incentives.

The first Wednesday of the month, I dropped off a sailor Christmas tree ornament retired Navy friend of mine in Long Beach. I went by and saw my grandma's new shower and bathroom in Reseda. Had a good conversation with a friend of mine in Santa Clarita. Then I attended the High Desert International Code Council meeting in Victorville. That was quite the trip around southern California.

Most of this time has been spent looking for clients, work, and working on the rentals or interviewing potential renters. Note to people looking to rent: treat it like a job interview, don't show up late without calling and don't look like a complete vagrant. Just saying.

I took a two day road trip to Boise, Idaho. I visited some friends up there, while my buddy took care of business. That was Monday and Tuesday the 7th and 8th.

Now I don't feel so well. I'm downing juice, Airborne ® , vitamin C, and drinking lots of herbal tea. Yesterday I made a hot toddy with some very harsh single malt scotch. Phew!

Over the last couple weeks, while waiting for a negotiator for a short sale, I've been looking at a lot of the regulations coming down the line from the EPA and other government agencies, and how they're going to affect the housing market or, at least, the value of some homes. There are a lot of changes slated, and there's not much chance of avoiding them, as the various agencies and bureaucrats make law by passing regulations, without any voter oversight.

This has led me to question the value of property ownership in general. There are definitely those who should own property, but it is not everyone, and not every property. Older properties are going to need extensive energy efficiency upgrades in order to be sold. With the proposed healthcare reform, the IRS will be enforcing compliance, which means that if for any reason you do not wish to participate, your assets will be liened by the IRS, this includes your bank or your property.

All of these things have really caused me to question the value of owning "things" and property ownership in particular. I would and do put a premium value on any arable land with a water supply. You can't go wrong with a property that is able to grow it's own food, and with possible cap and trade legislation and the fact that the north central valley of California was denied irrigation water this year (to save the delta smelt), you can bet food and energy costs are going to go up. If you can ship your food to yourself from your own property, then you can save on both fronts.

What all of this leads me up to is this: I've tried to compartmentalize my blogs and separate out the various aspects of my life, but property ownership is by it's very nature political, as property is always subject to the vagaries of politics and legislation. Over the last several administrations, property rights have declined, and the current attitudes seem to be contemptuous of property rights on several levels. So I am going to start a political blog in addition to the other ones I have.

Thanks for reading this rant, I hope it was somewhat clear. If not please ask questions, as they help me clarify my thinking and positions.