Does anyone remember the Golden Rule? Treat others the way you want to be treated! I think everyone has to be familiar with this concept. You probably heard it as a child. There are so many different sets of beliefs and religions but I guarantee if you look at them, for the most part you will find a version of this concept lingering around. Unfortunately, it seems we either don’t understand or don’t care about the concept. I’m a realist, I know some things are inevitable such as war and sometimes your little sister is annoying and takes the piece of cake on your plate, so you snatch it back. It happens. However, some things are preventable. For instance, if you know you’re grumpy in the morning until you have breakfast, don’t go to work on an empty stomach. If you have a meeting scheduled at 3 pm but it’s January 12th in Rochester, NY with 2 ft. of freshly fallen snow with no end in sight, do not leave your current destination at 2:50 in hopes of being on time. You will find that you will arrive late, but not after being angry with half of the drivers on the road who didn’t drive 5 miles over the speed limit, all because you didn’t plan properly.
On to the real point.
We discuss the importance of being a good landlord for the most obvious reasons, people live there, AND it’s the right thing to do. More importantly, our investments should be made with the intent of creating something good. I will say it again, we need to invest in our communities before other people do. I won’t say all external investors are bad because it’s not true, however, there are more than enough willing to deplete communities to advance themselves. When the chips fall, the people within the community suffer most. I stumbled across an article about a small Disney town in Celebration, FL. It was created in 1995 by Disney, near Disney World, to be a “perfect” small town living situation. It was intentionally built to replicate a 1955 small town in America with heavy HOA regulation to maintain appearances. Disney was adamant about maintenance. It was a walkable town, everything was nearby. If you were looking for a clean place that was a far cry from crowded cities and typical suburbia, this was it. Even better if you were a Disney fanatic. The problem arose when Disney sold the downtown portion of the town, known as “Town Center” to a private company. This company allegedly collected the HOA fees without making repairs, leaving residents to live in unacceptable housing. On top of that, they pulled the equity out not once but twice. One can only assume this was to pursue other ventures, but perhaps it was for other reasons. It is currently a court issue with both sides having filed lawsuits against the other. The article says they’ll be in court January 2020. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. This is simply an example of bad investors sucking the value out of a community, come what may, as long as they get what they want.