Saturday, October 07, 2006


Matt O gets his wish

Back in May 2005 I posted a long fisking of James Glassman and his naivete. In the comments to that post Matt made it clear that he was relieved to be trading California real estate for Chicago real estate. He also made it clear that he didn't like the type of people who were pushing up prices.

I'm as eager as you are to see those twenty-something housing speculators get their comeuppance.

Well here you go.

Real estate, also a world where appearances often trump content, operates according to a similar couching of reality. "Putting together" a loan package, for instance, or "writing up" an offer or "leveraging" your investment -- all these practices have their customary manipulations that many insiders give the nod to -- even when the practices are illegal, unethical or sometimes just stupid.

So when some loudmouth neophyte comes along with the sordid blow-by-blow of his real estate dealings -- from the "get real estate quick" seminars to the credit card-funded down payments, the stated income loans (a.k.a. "liar loans") to the over-leveraged portfolio, all collapsing in multiple foreclosures -- it's a confession worth listening to.

Welcome to the world according to Casey Serin, a 24-year-old real estate investor and author of the self-flagellating blog If Robert Kiyosaki was the pin-up patriarch for the real estate boom, Casey must be the poster child for its fall.

I do feel sorry for Casey. If he had done this six years ago he would have looked like a genius. I am sure he will make a comeback but for now his story is a cautionary tale. Soon it will be a great time to invest in real estate and we will owe a debt of gratitude to the Casey Serin's of the world for spurring the collapse of the real estate market.

Suddenly his voice has the buoyancy of a true believer. "To succeed in real estate you have to have the right knowledge and the ability to take action. I fell down this year. But I'm not going to go out without a fight."

Casey, mighty Casey.

Diego adds: It seems to me that Casey's problem is not real estate. It sounds like he has a gambling problem.


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