Wednesday, June 2, 2010

There's Free Rent for Mortgagers Across Country

This year the rent increase was the lowest in all San Francisco history, of .01!  This raised my rent a mere $1.09.  Usually the rent goes up $20 or so.  For three years my rent wasn't raised at all due to the rental market, but then retroactively jumped up all at once the fourth rental year.  I had saved probably over a thousand dollars for their not raising the rent.  So when I learned of this year's meager increase, I first thought the landlord gave me a break for starting my own businesses.  I later learned it wasn't them being nice to me this time, it was the local economy.

An interesting thing happened when I paid rent a few months ago. I accidentally wrote my rent against my business account that caused the check to bounce.  Fearing eviction, since the lease makes it plain anyone late whatsoever can be legally evicted, I panicked and ran down to my bank to get a money order.  When I contacted the landlord, she said as far as they were concerned the rent was paid because the check hadn't come back.  I was asked to hold the money order.  About a week later the landlord called to thank me that if it hadn't been for my contacting them, they would have never caught the bank error. A check was returned along with another item and it didn't register clearly as a bounced check to their accounting system. In other words, I would have received free rent had I not brought it to their attention.  My landlord and the building owners are great.  They had no intention of evicting me for the error.  I'm going on my eighth rental year now.

There seems to be a growing chorus of those in states where foreclosures take place through the judicial system (not California!) claiming great benefits from no longer making their mortgage payments.  In other words, if the value of their home is significantly less than their mortgage many people are opting out on payments while continuing to live in their homes.  Many state judicial systems are so backlogged with foreclosures, it now takes 438 days prior to an eviction.

Regardless of the free rent for mortgagees, it's really sad how bad things have gotten from the days of making tons of money for  home buyers whose properties doubled or tripled value in a few years.  If you really think about it, it's tragic homeowners are now feeling grateful to live with free rent a year or two prior to losing their homes and ruining their credit.

I would have loved to have had my own home with a yard and little doggie.  That's why I entered in the Dream Home Contest a few months ago.  It's a raffle to benefit Yerba Buena Arts to win a nice home in San Francisco and there are other drawings.  If I were to win the home, I'd take the payment instead because property taxes would be due and you need a lot of money to own a home anyway.