If you have "no place to go," come here!

If you don't want your neighborhood gentrified, here's a handy tip


A person claiming to be a real estate agent mailed an angry and unsigned letter to an older couple in Ocean City, New Jersey, because they choose to park their car on their own front lawn.

The handwritten letter, reminiscent of an adolescent high school screed, reads:

"I'm trying to sell million dollar homes in the neighborhood. I drive my clients around and they see your car parked side ways on the front lawn! You have a driveway — use it!"

The note was sent to Bill and Barbara Doughten, who have lived in their home for decades, according to a report from

Not to say "real estate agent" and "asshole" are always synonyms, but in this case:

Bill Doughten explained why he sometimes parks his Chevy sedan on his lawn. "I got a bad leg, I shake, and I'm an old man," he told

So, that's your tip: Park your car on your lawn.*

* * *

And in other real estate news:

How tight is San Francisco’s housing market? So tight that the landlord of a rent-controlled apartment building at 312 Fillmore Street has sent a memo to his existing tenants, telling them they must show they have an annual income of at least $100,000 and a FICO credit score of at least 725. ...

Local housing and tenants’ rights experts tell ABC News they are in no doubt what such memos are meant to accomplish: They’re supposed to scare the heck out of tenants, on the chance that ones unaware of their rights will vacate.

Landlords want old tenants out so that they charge new ones higher rent, explains Delene Wolf, executive director of the San Francisco Rent Board. She tells ABC News she has specialized in local rent control issues for 30 years. But, she says, “I have never seen rents like this--not even during the dotcom boom. A teeny 1-bedroom can go for $4,000 a month.” The bidding-up of rents she calls a frenzy. The market, she says, "is amazing--but not in a good way.” ...

Ted Gullicksen, director of the San Francisco Tenants’ Union, tells ABC News the vacancy rate in the city is only about 2 percent now. “Anything under 4 percent is considered a crisis." When an apartment opens up, it’s not uncommon for 50 to 75 people to show up for the open house, he says, and those aspiring renters bid against one another. The driving engine of the bidding, he says, are the high salaries paid to tech industry workers.

The only way for landlords to get a market rate, says Wolf, is for them to offer either a brand new apartment or one newly vacated. There are, she says, 16 legal ways for a landlord to get a tenant out; but re-screening for income is not one of them.

Evelyn Rios is a tenant in Robert Shelton’s building, who happens to work for ABC television station KGO.... This latest [memo], like the others, she calls poorly worded and confusing. Is it meant to apply to applicants or to existing tenants or to both? She says it’s hard to tell. Its effect, she says, whether intentional or not, has been to intimidate the building's older residents.

Looks like froth at the top of a market, to me. And $100K for stuff like coding up tween photo-sharing apps without any revenue. I guess it must be the personal data people give away freely that's the asset... Making those apartment rents... rent-seeking on top of rent-seeking. Yay!

Anyhow, be sure to leave your car on the lawn, concrete blocks or not.

NOTE * Of course, who needs lawns? You can't eat the lawn!

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...salespeople are scum. There was a time, if I'm not mistaken, when sales was an honorable profession; Fuller Brush comes to mind...