"Every first Tuesday of the month, a crowd clusters outside the Collin County courthouse in McKinney for the foreclosure auction. Some bring coolers; others bring a tent.
Serious buyers have pockets bulging
with hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars in cashier’s
checks, ready to pay fully and immediately as required. Similar scenes
play out simultaneously throughout the state.
Collin County and elsewhere, local investors are being outbid by
out-of-state investment companies. In Collin, a major player is American
Homes 4 Rent, a company affiliated with a Malibu, Calif., financial
management company. The company’s strategy of converting foreclosed
homes to rental properties is ratcheting up and quietly having an impact
on neighborhoods — for good or ill.
Like American Homes 4 Rent,
other investment companies with budgets ranging from modest to
bottomless see residential rentals as a solid market in which to plunk
down millions or billions of dollars, confident the investment will
flourish — in rents and eventually in sales.
“What triggered this
was this realization that the prices of properties are so low now that
in many areas, investors could make a profit off buying property at a
low price and then renting them out,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice
President of RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosures."