A couple of readers sent me links to this story, originally in the LA Times, about “Jim the Realtor”, whose blogging on real estate makes me look positively civilized. Or it did, but now suitably inspired, I think I can turn things up a notch or two – time to switch to the more sophisticated WordPress program and get a video camera.
The lede says it all: “Sometimes the truth hurts. Real estate salesman Jim Klinge doesn’t care.”
From Peter Hong at the LA Times: The Hunter S. Thompson of real estate
Real estate salesman Jim Klinge … has become a notorious Internet chronicler of the real estate crash in north San Diego County, where he has lived and worked for decades.
Rather than downplay the greed and excess that caused the region’s travails, he revels in exposing them.
He surveys the wreckage with a pocket video camera, shooting footage of vacant, once-pricey houses turned into eyesores, voiced over with his deadpan narration. Then he posts them on his website, at www.bubbleinfo.com.
In one clip, the camera pans across the kitchen of a million-dollar fixer near Interstate 5. He pointedly notes the house’s proximity to the freeway, which he calls the “De-troit river.” There’s mold under the sink and a foot-sized hole in the drywall just above the floor.
“December 2006 this house sold for a million dollars,” he says. “Nineteen hundred square feet, built in ’78, right across the freeway. One million.”
His wife, Donna, who helps manage the family brokerage, was nervous. “He was really pushing the envelope with the blog, taking people on, naming names,” she said. “I took deep breaths. I didn’t know how it would turn out.”
She said she was shocked one day to see a photo on the blog of two young men sitting on the floor of a house with their wrists bound like prisoners. They had been squatting in a foreclosed house Jim was selling, and he had sneaked up on them as they slept and tied them up with plastic zip ties in a brazen citizen’s arrest.