The Housing Chronicles Blog: How would YOU end California's budget deficit?

Monday, June 8, 2009

How would YOU end California's budget deficit?

Yes, I've been a bit remiss about blogging lately, but that's because impacts of the recession have left me personally distracted, which meant that the poor Housing Chronicles blog was temporarily sent to the corner. The income properties I have which have helped me weather the current storm also saddled me with multiple occupancies to fill as well as various maintenance items to address (new carpet, paint, repairs, etc.). Although renters always want their entire deposits returned, they seem to forget that ripping out something from a wall (and taking out plaster with it) does indeed incur a cost. At the same time, rents have softened just as more inventory (some of it shadow) has been dumped onto the marketplace.

Now as a former renter, I have a pretty good idea of what to do to attract tenants (spruce it up, advertise like mad, price under market, offer rent specials, offer unusual benefits such as free on-site laundry, be flexible), but it's hard to do all of that, run a consulting practice AND continue to blog regularly. So if you missed my snark, I do apologize, but things are now largely back under control, so blogging should resume at its normal pace today. But when I blog about changes in home prices or rents, etc., I'm also experiencing it at the same time.

So just as I've been managing my own revenue vs. surplus/deficit scenario, I learned about an interesting interactive feature on the L.A. Times Web site on the decisions YOU might make to balance the budget. I went through the exercise and managed to get a small surplus of about $800 million. Want to check it out? Click here.

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