0901 2012 New non-debt financing alternatives for homeowners and small businesses as an economic stimulus tool – the crowdfunding of a FARJHO homeownership structure or a SwapRent contract

This is a topic that I have published and blogged about (see historical blogs on these issues at http://swaprent.com/blog) many times before within the past 6 years since the creation of SwapRent in 2006 and FARJHO in 2009. The more I blogged about it each time through the years, the more it seems that it has carried on much more new meaning as our country’s economic situation evolves. With the recent fast paced development of the crowdfunding movement, the potential crowdsourcing availability of the funding for the new FARJHO homeownership structure and the SwapRent home financing method have become more and more relevant.

Let me start out by repeating the urgent need of developing a few new non-debt based financing alternatives, not only just to reform our country’s housing finance system for the sake of increasing affordable home ownership, but also to help create economic stimulus and create jobs for middle class Americans on Main Street.

Debt should not be the only way to finance home ownership but unfortunately mortgaged homeownership seems to have been the only consumer choice made available to the American people for centuries until today. We will need to educate the public, the academic, the government agencies and the lawmakers alike to help create the conducive regulatory structure, make available and foster the growth of the free market, non-debt based financing alternatives for both homeowners and property owning small business proprietors.

Without going into technical details, both the SwapRent and FARJHO business methods were simply created to realize the common economic concept of property equity sharing or property appreciation sharing. SwapRent took one step further by not only being just a new method to implement an old concept, but also introducing a new economic concept altogether. Instead of sharing up-front equity to realize sharing appreciation profit potential and the associated downside risks, SwapRent uses a cash flow sharing concept and method to let investors share potential upside appreciation in property value and the downside risks of losses with the property owners directly via a online portal marketplace REIDeX.com.

More detailed info on the SwapRent original creation process in 2006 is available at https://www.box.com/s/437c60e4d8931365b9e4 and on SwapRent application in the 2009 JHFI (Journal of Housing Finance International) by IUHF (International Union of Housing Finance) paper at https://www.box.com/s/feae725ede7042c53412 .

Within the past few years, the current administration has repeatedly called for the creation of green jobs to help revitalize the national economy while the opposition party plans to create the same old black jobs by trying to do more fracking of we homeowners’ backyards. Irrespective of the debate outcomes on what kind of green, black, pink or blue jobs to create, the 64 thousand dollar question is still on how to come up with additional money to fund new jobs creation via creating new economic stimulus. It is really the greenback, not the green jobs, that is going to get us out of the current economic dilemmas.

While the Monetarists at our Federal Reserve Board propose we continue to print more greenback, Keynesian economists believe we could continue to shanghai the Chinese to cough up more money to finance our national debt in order for the policy makers to conduct more conventional government led fiscal stimulus projects, Solyndra included.

Perhaps, it is time for these policy makers to think outside the box now. What if, just what if, we could create a new free market based business method that could provide fresh new capital into our economy by encouraging free market investors to voluntarily pump their own money into the system, not for charity, but for the potential possibility of making financial profits from the long run recovery of the US economy, materialized through the increased property value of homes and real estate properties throughout the country that they got to “partially” own when they voluntarily agreed to pump their money into our economic system.

Since neither the new alternative housing finance system of SwapRent or the new home ownership structure of FARJHO are based on a lending concept but rather a tradable co-ownership equity financing concept to help our nation de-leverage, it does not have to rely on a low interest rate environment to be effective to create jobs and to stimulate our nation’s economic growth. It is in fact neutral to the interest rate levels and it has its own dimension in influencing the macro-economic activities so to speak.

Therefore, once a SwapRent or a FARJHO market has been established, the Fed or central banks in other countries could raise interest rates at any time, as they see fit, in order to prevent growing further asset bubbles, to fight potential inflation or to save the value of the national currency from potential devaluation without having to worry about its potential impact on hurting the chances of an economic recovery.

The relevance of SwapRent or FARJHO to job creations is based on how entrepreneurs and local small businessmen could create new monthly income cash flows by willingly giving up partial future property value appreciation of their own homes or other properties that they own. This potential appreciation may or may not even be realized by the horizon date (e.g. 2, 3, 5, 8 or 10 years from now) given the current economic situation. Through property equity sharing or appreciation sharing to attract fresh capital injection into the local economy, the potential appreciation in property value could actually be artificially created via a self-fulfilling prophecy as more money could chase up the property prices.

The local entrepreneurs could then pool these new monthly cash flows obtained directly from these new programs to say open a new local restaurant together and hire more people to create jobs or to make any other new investments directly right at the grassroots level on Main Street. They would not have to worry about getting this new found fresh capital injection into the local community to be fleeced on Wall Street first or being diverted by some smart bankers to invest in and stimulate other foreign country’s economies altogether simply for personal gains.

These additional monthly income cash flows would become the local home owners discretionary disposable income that would make them the ideal consumers with a new found consumption power to purchase the goods and services from the small business owners in the local communities.

For the existing home or property owners, a 100% ownership of a future zero appreciation scenario by horizon date is still zero, a partial shared 50% ownership of a future 20% or 30% appreciation scenario of their own properties driven by the new fresh capital injection into local communities induced by the SwapRent program or the FARJHO new homeownership structure will translate into a 10% or 15% (one half of the 20% or 30% total appreciation) gain for themselves.

It would seem a much better deal to co-prosper rather than being left poor alone. Meanwhile with the new swapped current monthly income streams they could enjoy perhaps an additional flat screen TVs purchased at local malls for their family, leasing another new electric hybrid car from local car dealers or eating out more at the local restaurants that the local entrepreneurs had just opened by using the new cash flows obtained through these same SwapRent programs. Wouldn’t this be the American way as usual on a pure free market basis without having to pile up any more debts or to raise citizen’s taxes?

In terms of helping reduce the current foreclosure rate, the homeowners who see the signs of an imminent swift recovery of the local property market will think twice about their earlier plans to walk away from their distressed homes. The only way for homeowners to feel that they should not purposely make a strategic default and walk away from their properties seems to be to somehow make them feel that they might be missing out on a swift recovery if they do walk away, another free market decision making process.

The key new economic concept for these proposed programs to work well is for the policy makers to change from a socialist oriented ideological focus on preferential rescue treatments for distressed homeowners that may most likely cause moral hazards, to “a free market based reversible exchange transaction of a part of future appreciation potential of the properties that they own for a perhaps very generous current monthly income cash flow now” offer which is open to all property owners and may be expediently targeted at a few specific high concentration foreclosure-infected neighborhoods that the banks may have exposures to for the best initial pilot project demonstration effect.

In a sense, the more participation by local property owners and free market investors to the SwapRent program or the FARJHO method the more additional fresh new capital would be injected into the local community through the new third party economic landlord investors. That is exactly the reason why these new innovative programs will have to be open to all property owners to participate without discrimination for the long haul, not just for the distressed homeowners on a short term rescuing mentality. Open up more innovative ways to let the free market forces rein and the economic prosperity will happen at its own swift pace.

If the government wants to take a token leadership, all the government policy and lawmakers need to do is to create law and order to become a good game keeper of these new proposed housing finance system and business methods, no tax payer’s money would ever need to be involved.

Based on pure free market principles, the more people there are in the “targeted neighborhoods” to sign on to this new program the more likely the local property markets and the local economic prosperity will indeed recover and the more likely free market based investors will step on each other’s shoulder to rush to inject fresh new fund into the local communities directly through this new free market mechanism. As a result the more the SwapRent contracts or FARJHO co-ownership member interests will indeed appreciate in value due to the property market recovery that will hence reward the initial SwapRent monthly cash flows or FARJHO up-front equity providers. This new economic concept of a farming approach to wealth creation is indeed a self-fulfilling prophecy in the true spirit of capitalism. The more you sow, the more you might reap.

Wealth creation by enhancing property value in this equity based manner is by no way creating malignant asset bubbles again. Low interest rates will. Malignant asset bubbles are formed when buying interests were created from using borrowed money (or OPM, other people’s money) where owners have an on-going obligation to service debts. The SwapRent or FARJHO approach by nature is based on a tradable economic version of the shared equity financing concept. Equity financing means that owners do not have to service any interest burden of debts. Therefore the benign asset wealth value created this way is not like leveraging created malignant asset bubbles made up of hot air that are usually doomed to burst. The analogy could be more like igneous rocks cooled from molten lava for equity based asset bubbles. This is simply the inherent more stable nature of equity financing vs. debt financing.

When these new alternative tradable equity based home financing objectives have been met, residential real estate properties or homes ownership will soon join corporations to become the dual engines of economic growth of our capitalism society, one for small business and the other for big business. Home financing through debt alone can not make that dream happen, as has been clearly illustrated by the current housing led financial crisis.

Without the stabilization factor of equity, debt financing only creates boom and bust cycles. Therefore instead of a policy of continuing to push banks for more loose credit at this very moment to repeat what had brought us here to begin with, it may make better sense for our government to consider helping the private sector entrepreneurial entities look for new ways to increase the shared equity-based home financing by creating more conducive legal and regulatory framework to let free market forces help our economy prosper.

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: