> From the editor:
At the Source, we have long allowed unsigned letters to the editor and anonymous comments on our website. We did so out of recognition that sometimes it is only under the shield of anonymity that people can safely share important information or perspectives. However, in the interest of honest, transparency, and good old-fashioned manners, we're singing a new tune. From this issue forward, all letters to the editor must be signed to be considered for print. This space is intended to be a forum to discuss the issues of the day and to feature carefully considered perspectives from real people in the community.
Of course, we still understand that sometimes, it simply isn't safe or wise to put one's name to a piece of information. And we're happy to consider anonymous tips. But to participate in the discussion here, we're going to need names. Got strong feelings about this change? Write us a letter—just don't forget to sign your name.
BEND LANDLORD REBUTTALS
I love how, when a person tries to use some clear facts to try to explain investment issues to crybaby renters, the writer is called a whiner. I don't see that here.
But anyway, how about some more facts for the renters who are economically challenged, brain-wise.
Regarding the huge profits you think investment property owners make upon resale of a home, the eventual resale also generates substantial tax bills for the seller for costs called capital gains and depreciation recapture. Also, don't forget the closing costs and six percent sales expense. These can easily add up to 40-60 percent of the gains.
Hold the home for 30 years to get that giant, inflated growth figures tossed out by the math challenged here and guess what, during that period the owner will have paid for a new roof ($14,000, ca ching, ca ching), new kitchen and laundry appliances, new hot water heater, new carpet and paint several times etc., plus other costs of ownership.
Write off the interest on the loan? Well, yeah, maybe but only about 25 cents for every dollar it actually costs you.
Clearly, few of your renters have any real understanding of rental ownership costs.
And as far as owners being "lucky/hardworking/successful" enough to afford realty investments, consider this: I had three paper routes at age 13 and invested my earnings way back then in stocks, I worked at multiple jobs while going to college, got scholarships as a result of studying my ass off, promptly paid off my school loans after graduating, and lived for years with multiple roommates to be able to afford rent.
My first full time job after graduation paid $14,700 a year with no benefits. Basically, I saved and scrimped all my life to save money for my retirement investments. I have no pension and my rental income is my retirement.
What I did not do was spend $600 each on smart phones, $100 a month on streaming data plans, hundreds of dollars on tattoos, $100 a month on hair styling, or spend $80 a month on $5 coffees or even more on $7 micro brews. You younger folks just don't understand how spoiled you really are. You don't have any clue as to how to save and invest money, and so you can only sit and complain to yourselves about how tough life is.
My last comment that was also mentioned in that landlord letter and bears repeating: if investors did not buy rental properties, those of you who cannot afford to buy your own home would have no place to live except for going back home to momma and daddy!
IN REPLY TO "HOUSING PRESSURE" (11/4)
Bend's proposed UGB expansion was rejected by the state in 2010, not 2005 as indicated in the article.
Amendments to Bend's planning code—as recommended by and/or implemented with the leadership of Councilors Boddie and Campbell—are in the long term more critical factors than the UGB expansion in addressing the City's affordable housing needs. SDC exemptions, inclusionary zoning, and zoning for higher density and true mixed-use development are sound strategies for addressing Bend's housing crunch. Our City Council has been doing good work on this issue and I applaud them.
BEND'S MISGUIDED TOURISM FOCUS
Much concern has been expressed about affordable housing in Bend and cutting systems development charges seems to be the popular remedy. However, this only deals with the cost side of the issue and simply passes development charges on to the middle and upper classes. At least a part of the problem stems from the fact that the tourism and retail industries pay so little that the hundreds of people employed by those industries won't be able to afford a home no matter how much you cut development charges. What type of house can you afford with an income of $10-$15 per hour?
Another contributing factor resulting from our misguided emphasis on tourism is that some of our leaders have pushed Bend to become a resort community and many in the community work to attract the wealthy, especially from California. This drives up housing prices and locals are not able to compete against Californians coming to Bend with fistfuls of cash equity. A recent ad in the real estate section of the Bulletin proclaimed proudly that Tetherow Resort has recently sold several lots for $300,000 and several homes for about a million dollars each.
Some like to blame the State of Oregon for making less land available for development. The alternative is to continue the sprawl that dominates Central Oregon. Many of us would like to see some way to slow growth as the livability of the local environment is rapidly being compromised, but I am sure the local business community and developers would not stand for it. They appear to dominate the City Council and local planning commissions. Who in this city speaks effectively for a non-congested livable environment? As long as we continue to grow rapidly, we will continue to degrade the environment.
As long as an emphasis is placed upon tourism and developing a resort community, reducing Systems Development Charges will only amount to a token "feel good" exercise.