Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let me tell you a little story about pent up demand.

Well.... I have had my rental back for almost a month. My renter lived there for five years. So while he did trash the place - a lot of stuff I would have had to repair anyway. Paint and carpets and such. The back yard I'm doing as a capital improvement.

I always like to have my parachute somewhat in tact. Meaning I'm always calculating what I have to get done if I just want to sell the place. I look at all my houses that way. Tackle the things that will scuttle a sale well before you are in the middle of a sale.

Finding workers.... well. There is definitely a labor shortage in construction. And it's been this way since at least last summer. I was having a fireplace hearth installed at my house and I got chummy with the design consultant. He said they had been so busy that he'd never seen anything like it. Every new contractor I've had to endure is basically booked way out, or is trying to double book clients.

I think the reason for this is - there are a lot of big project going on in the Bay Area right now. But more importantly when your house is underwater - you do almost nothing to fix it up. Why put good money after bad? I ripped out both of my yards during the deepest parts of the recession. Which was a pretty good investment since we did the work ourselves. But people didn't know if they would lose their houses or if they would ever be worth anything for five years! Now that property values have increased people are doing what they do naturally. Improving stuff. And it's definitely causing labor shortages.

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