Gonzo Realty

I hate when I’m late to arrive on a story, but here’s an excellent profile from The Los Angeles Times on Jim Klinge, the Realtor-cum-blogger who, expressing pre-burst housing bubble incredulity, started taking his message to the Web.

The broker, who operates in California’s North San Diego County, launched his his blog in 2005 when he saw prospective homebuyers emboldened enough to take on more debt than they could handle.

A recent blog surveys a 1,900-square-foot, 31-year-old home directly across from Interstate 5 (or the Detroit River, as Klinge refers to it) that sold for $1 million in 2006 — the result of a “fraud deal” as Klinge speculates, noting that the purchaser financed $925,000 of the mortgage. The house, now an REO listed for $575,000 (“and that’s probably optimistic”) is replete with mold, a pool, and possible inhabitants already, as Klinge surveys the pool, he takes notice of a sign that warns against diving because of the shallow water: “This’ll be good for the homeless: they won’t hurt themselves out here.” But then realizes that all the doors to the house were open when he arrived so that “they’re probably living here now.”

For more on Klinge’s blog, click here.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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