Evicted :Poverty & Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

10 Replies

Not me.  Looks depressing.  And I have a hard time finding sympathy for many of the tenants in that book.  A gentle nurse addicted to heroin, so he can't pay his rent?  Landlords aren't charities.  So, nope, not interested.

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I think books like this will be the new darling of the liberal professors ( taking the place of books like Nickled & Dimed)  as our society is being told that no matter how many bad decisions you make including but not limited to failure to get the right education or job skills...having kids before you can afford them etc...housing is a RIGHT and an entitlement and at a price they think they should pay...it can't hurt to read a book like this to understand the changes that may be coming...might make an investor want to consider other options than buy and hold...forewarned is forearmed

I understand :) however sometimes if we surround ourselves with people who think like we do and read the same things and watch the same stock channels then we may be surprised by other folks views of the world and the resulting actions. I see small chinks in the landlord dam...for instance landlords supposed to disregard criminal records and today as a real life example I had an offer on a house and they potential buyers had $100 down ! $100 dollars and the loan was supposed to be paid by the government USDA but I was supposed to kick in the closing costs and a survey and a WDO report and who knows what else! These folks clearly think they are entitled to a house even when they only have $100.. it is astounding...most of us had to work hard and save for a down payment and to cover closing costs...the reason I would read a book like this is to try to understand the mindset of these folks because I foresee there are going to be more and more of them and I want to be prepared although maybe I am just a worry wart.

I think you already have a handle on the mind set. They have a very high scenes of entitlement and believe they live in a nanny state. The true realities of life will crush them eventually. 

Although difficult to deal with this financially retarded mentality will keep landlords cash flowing long into the future.

>the reason I would read a book like this is to try to understand the mindset of these folks because I foresee there are going to be more and more of them and I want to be prepared although maybe I am just a worry wart.

I'm actually kinda thinking I might read it - but only if I can find a s/h copy.

Not going to read it for insight, just kinda torture myself a bit with it.

Originally posted by @Zana Blue :

the reason I would read a book like this is to try to understand the mindset of these folks 

 Stop trying to understand stupid/crazy people. It's not possible. Most of them simply have mental defects. The rest are just lazy. Harsh but true.

I took the audiobook route. I recommend that, as I actually enjoyed the audio version. A funny thing about the audiobook, the narrator is AfAm and the author is white, and the narrator does a superb job when getting the poor black voices.

Anyway, even though the author sides with eight families in distress, he is fair to the two landlords. One is the owner of a trailer park, the other is a black woman who was a teacher who became a full time landlord who works with her husband who does maintenance. He mentions the REIA she attends and her phrase "the hood is good" regarding making money in poor areas of Milwaulkee. You can tell he spends more time with the AmAm landlord than he does with the out of area white owner of the trailer park, who comes in to deal with the city council wanting to shut the park down.

What I got out of the book is these are the kind of people you get when you don't screen, so screen. Screen like your life depends on it. Don't start nothing (feeling sorry and setting yourself and the renter for failure) won't be nothing (eviction, property damage, threats from the city). The author does a great job of making a sympathetic story, however if you have a rule about income that can be proven, check references, and only post on-line you can avoid some of these sad sacks.

Read this book if you haven't heard enough sad stories about why the rent can't get paid this month or the back rent can't get paid. Or if you are the kind of person who falls for these sob stories, read it and ask, do you want this person as your renter? There will always be a reason why they can't pay the rent. Understanding why they can't pay doesn't help with your bottom line. Maybe I'll recommended it to the next person who asks about their renter who hit hard times.