Sunday, August 3, 2008

Housing swap

Here's yet another example of the creativity — or is it desperation? — inspired by the flagging housing market: Some homebuilders around Genesee County are willing to take your old house off your hands, provided you buy one of their new houses.

Melissa Burden of The Flint Journal reports:

"With home owners struggling to sell their houses in an over-saturated market, some builders are offering a trade instead. Home owners buy a new home built by the construction company, which agrees to buy the old home.

"At least three area builders have such programs -- which builders say are helping them make deals in one of the toughest times the U.S. housing market has weathered.

"'We're seeing more of this,' said Lee Schwartz, executive vice president for government relations for the Michigan Association of Home Builders in Lansing. 'There are a number of companies now, that in order to sell existing housing stock that they have, they are buying the home of their customer. Generally it's a company with good resources behind it.'

"Builders with these programs likely are losing money on buying your house, but make a profit on the sale of the new homes."

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at