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Million Dollar Properties for a Steal (literally)! A quick look at Mansion Squatting

September 28, 2010

Randy Quaid, channeling his inner Cousin Eddie, is one of a growing trend of “mansion squatters”. Sadly, he and his wife were arrested recently for living in a guest house on a property he used to own in Monticeto CA. You can see MSNBC’s story about it here.

Though this all seems very “California”, we have our own squatters here in Seattle. A couple, very straighforwardly calling themselves the Mansion Squatters, asserting they are more Robin Hood than Criminal, attempt to take residence in Eastside mansions while trying to force banks into revealing they don’t actually own the property. Not that this makes any sense, because they don’t own it either. They are basically modern day claim jumpers. Here is Danny Westneat’s column on it. (As a side note, the guy doing this used to be a real estate agent. More on that in the future.)

This isn’t anything new. Early on in the foreclosure debaucle, there was a story in the paper about a man in Florida who was matching homeless people with people-less homes. He had started an organization called Take Back the Land.  His primary belief is that the purpose of houses is to provide shelter for people, not line the pockets of coorporations. So he works to match people with homes in foreclosure.  While this might seem somewhat noble on the surface, there is no doubt in my mind that the motives here are more politically driven than altruistic. 

It has given me a new idea for next year’s business plan though.  I think I’ll open my own brokerage called 5 Finger Discount Realty!

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