Thursday, March 6, 2008

Home $weet Home

Right now I feel like I’m in the ring about to tackle a Sumo wrestler. The Sumo wrestler is the Real Estate Market. This is a topic I knew very little about, but have recently tried my best to research a very large economic and social issue. Economically, the Real Estate Market represents a big hunk of money. A market which involves buyers, sellers, and builders. Socially, it represents the “American Dream.” Owning a home for your family has long been the meaning of “making it,” in life. That said, I risk sounding like either: A.) A complete idiot who completely lacks in knowledge of the current market. B.) Someone who did an alright job of attempting to understand such an issue which involves lots of numbers, dates, and technical terms. Or C.) "Real Estate Genius," whose knowledge is unmatched. At this very moment, I feel a little bit like all of the above. Either way, in my very own way I will now seek and destroy the topic of the Real Estate crisis which we currently face with my next installment of my Guerilla Media Campaign. Here we go…

During the dot-com boom of the 90s, big cities like San Francisco and San Jose seen a tremendous growth in their businesses. Curiously, as companies grew in numbers of employees, the population of these Bay Area cities did not. Instead of buying expensive homes in cities close to work, many flocked to cities in Merced and San Joaquin Counties. These counties saw rapid growth because of their building efforts of low-cost homes.

If we skip ahead, let’s say 7 years, we find these counties facing foreclosures and high amounts of mortgage debt. This is what many homeowners are facing all around the U.S., leaving a giant rift in our economy. You may have already heard about this situation because of news coverage. As I searched for articles online about the situation, I realized the issue is being addressed by many others, including blogs like this. Out of all the different sources, I found that most agree that the housing crisis points in the direction of a recession. This involves more homeowners being unable to pay their mortgage, home values declining, rising foreclosures, loss of jobs, and lower consumer spending. Overall, a shit storm to our economy.

I approach this particular shit storm with great caution, as I would any shit storm. I don’t think any thrown-together Guerilla Media idea could help this growing problem. I also think that this topic is quite well-known at the moment. Just look around your own neighborhood and notice all the “For Sale” signs. I had to go only two streets from my own house to find four on one block. Putting my creative mind to work, I devised a plan to add a little laughter to the seriousness of the situation. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny to call attention to the fact that these houses are not selling?” It really isn’t funny, seeing as these homes not selling means that the people who own it probably can’t afford it and really want to get rid of it. But I’m going to call attention to it anyway, because the people who don’t know about the situation might open their eyes to it. And I really don’t care what some Realtor in a fancy suit thinks about me defacing their sign. OH NO! I just gave away my plan. Alright, I have gone out into the night with some set goals. Like a vampire, I’m working hard tonight.

With four signs (Total cost of $12.95), duct tape, quiet shoes, and my sneakiest apparel, I aim to complete some Guerilla Media madness. Cue the Mission Impossible music…

I'm like the Unabomber, but with classier shades.

That's all for now. Please feel free to respond with whatever thoughts that may come to mind regarding my latest act of vandalism.