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5 at 5: Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 09/04/2020

Sep 04, 2020 by Marc Rapport

Blacks and high-cost mortgages, eviction ban and the housing crisis, Alexa for apartment managers, empty malls as classrooms, and ways for landlords to cut costs.

In Today's News

Blacks More Likely to Get High-Cost Mortgages

LendingTree's (NASDAQ: TREE) analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shows the disparity in all 50 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, according to a report today in Credit Union Times.

Why it matters: While income, employment history, and credit scores are color-blind data on the surface, the fact that Black Americans are more likely to pay above the benchmark national average for a mortgage loan points to a systemic problem of equity that needs to be resolved if a rising economic tide is to lift all boats.

Why an Eviction Ban Alone Won't Prevent a Housing Crisis

This New York Times article takes a look at the impact of an eviction ban on owners of just a few properties and brings together multiple perspectives on the ongoing economic crisis hitting tenants and landlords alike.

Why it matters: "It's the real estate equivalent of a family-owned small business," a Brookings Institution economist said in this insightful piece. That's a point that can be missed in the flood of news about the rental housing crisis brought on by the pandemic.

Amazon Launches Alexa for Residential Managers

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is rolling out Alexa for Residential, an all-new service the e-commerce giant says enables properties to offer residents a move-in ready Alexa-enabled smart apartment with no setup necessary.

Why it matters: Besides offering easy access to all the smart-home features tech-savvy apartment dwellers want for themselves, the new service allows managers to manage service requests, amenity reservations, and more. Seems like a no-brainer to fans of Alexa and the Echo devices it uses and another selling point for apartment properties that offer it.

Today on Millionacres

Could Empty Malls Become Classrooms This Fall?

Converting unused space to learning hubs is already taking place in at least one Maryland mall, and Millionacres' Maurie Backman shares her reasoning on why this could be a trend that gets traction.

Why it matters: What a big help to so many if this could work out en masse. Of course, there are a lot of issues to resolve in terms of liability and staffing, etc., but this could truly be a win-win for parents and kids and for the property owners. Lots of room for accomplishing both social distancing and social good.

5 Ways to Cut Costs As a Landlord

Whether you're facing hard times or just want to boost that bottom line, reducing costs can help. It's easier than you might think.

Why it matters: Millionacres' Aly Yale shares five areas where landlords can save money, ranging from financing to taxes to doing repairs yourself when you can. Saving money is always a good thing anytime, and for many, especially now.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Marc Rapport owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.