A reader writes:
My partner and I (we are a gay male couple) have been deeply touched by the current recession, but in a 180 degree direction from most people.
I am employed as a software engineer, working on a government contract that is solidly funded. My partner owns a residential appraisal business, and a residential real-estate business. He is a very astute man, and a number of years ago he recognized that the ballooning of sub-prime mortgages, as well as other exotic loans, would result in an up-tick in defaults. He began marketing himself to banks and asset management companies offering to act as their local real-estate broker to assist in disposal of foreclosed properties. His cut is the typical 2.5% - 3% commission on the sales price of the house.
He now has a larger staff, additional contract agents working for him, and a business that is generating tremendous amounts of revenue.
The two of us had always been fiscally conservative, living well below our means, planning for a retirement in about 15 years when we'll be in our middle 50's. When I met him 8 years ago, he was living in a tiny 1100sq ft 3 bedroom house built in the 1950's. Now we're looking for a million dollar plus house for ourselves, and buying up rental properties that we'll sell when values tick back up at some point. We're rather stunned by the whole thing.
Regardless of the economic conditions, there will always be opportunities for people who can recognize what now means in terms of 5 years down the road. Think "infrastructure" and Federal money. We're working on finding out who those people are with the shovels for the "shovel ready" projects.
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