Out-of-State Homeowners Buying Property in Milwaukee on the Rise Change Neighborhoods | WUWM 89.7 FM

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According to the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education at Marquette Law School, approximately 6,000 properties, or 14% of rental housing in Milwaukee, are owned by non-state owners. In 2015, that number was 4,600 and in 2000 it was 1,500.

In a recent article by Milwaukee Journal SentinelLongtime investigative reporter Cary Spivak explains why investors across the country are buying property in Milwaukee.

“These companies have understood that it is more profitable to go into town and buy in volume, a lot of single-family homes or duplexes, they want to have enough properties to make it worth it”, explains- he.

But what’s the difference between renting from one local business or owner versus one outside of Wisconsin? On the one hand, Spivak says, resolving issues with property can become increasingly difficult.

“If you are renting from a foreign landlord, say in Florida or California, and you have a minor problem in your house, it might be more difficult to deal with them than the traditional landlord being the guy down the block. , or even if it’s a local business, at least there’s someone in the area you can find and talk to, ”he says.

Although some of these companies hire local managers or set up a local office, there is still often a great distance between the owner of the property and the principle.

Spivak found a real estate company named Milwaukee Capital, despite being located in Houston and the owner living in California, which prohibited its Milwaukee managers from giving out owner information.

These investors not only cause problems for tenants, but can also make it harder for people looking to buy their own homes by paying homes in cash and outbidding other potential buyers, Spivak explains.

“The companies that come to buy have the money [in cash], so you may be pushed to that end, but not only that, if you bid a little it might put a house out of reach for you because they increase property values ​​a little or a lot depending on where it turns out, ”he said.

This makes neighborhood groups fear that people will be forced to leave, as fewer homeowners are able to ground themselves in a community.

Some politicians are also concerned, with Milwaukee Common Council Chairman Cavalier Johnson calling these businesses “disconnected absentee owners.” But Spivak says the road to legislative change is difficult.

“Since 2010, there have been over 100 changes to the State Owners Principles Act, almost all in favor of owners,” he says.

Almost a quarter of state lawmakers themselves own property, according to Spivak, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. The state has even relaxed restrictions on a building’s proximity to a person’s contact with the property itself.

“The history of our state legislature over the past few years has not been marked by open changes and many benefits to the principles, they have been more sympathetic to the owners,” he says.

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