In the shadow of the spectacle of Casino-Resorts and the construction site of MGM’s CityCenter mega-development, is the over developed, foreclosure crazy residential market of Las Vegas, Nevada.
To see the real devastation, I have to leave the line of casinos along the Strip and drive to where people in Las Vegas actually live. I head out to spend the day with real estate agent Brooke Boemio
[…] Boemio is doing great during this recession. In fact, she’s never had a job that paid as well: she made more than $100,000 last year.
Even better, she’s willing to show me how messed up the real estate scene is.
Boemio specializes in short selling, in a particularly Vegas way. Basically, she finds clients who owe more on their house than the house is worth (and that’s about 60% of homeowners in Las Vegas) and sells them a new house similar to the one they’ve been living in at half the price they paid for their old house. Then she tells them to stop paying the mortgage on their old place until the bank becomes so fed up that it’s willing to let the owner sell the house at a huge loss rather than dragging everyone through foreclosure. Since that takes about nine months, many of the owners even rent out their old house in the interim, pocketing a profit. (See pictures of modernist houses available for rent.)