Facing Foreclosure on NPR

October 20, 2006

So this dude Casey Serin got in way over his head in the house-flipping game, and now that the housing market is sagging, he’s in flippin’ trouble. A week or so ago, the SF Gate wrote an article on him (as part of the aptly named column Surreal Estate), he was featured on the local news, Motley Fool wrote about him, and now NPR has done a profile on Casey and his troubles.

Basically, Casey bought his first house in Sacramento and flipped it for an easy 30K profit. From there, he bought eight houses in several states with essentially no money down. Now that the market is sinking, making it harder for him to sell these homes at a profit, the costs of holding any one of these houses is killing him.

His blog, I am Facing Foreclosure, is an interesting read. I alternately feel terribly sorry for this guy and annoyed, especially when he talks about getting back into the real-estate game after all he’s been through, or mentions that he’s dragging his loyal wife into his mess. He waffles between getting a day job and borrowing more money in order to get more houses and flip his way back to solvency.

This being the internet, some have questioned if Casey Serin and his blog are for real, since some of the highest-paying Google Ads are those associated with home loans and bankruptcy. However, a few photos like these, with bills and finances sprayed across the floor, make it plainly clear that this guy is no fraud… at least in the blogging sense.

Maybe he’ll manage to create opportunity from this bizarre fame he’s generated (his story sounds custom-made for Extreme Home Makeover, perhaps?). How about a Frank Abagnale career comeback (the former identity thief now does lectures, and even inspired a movie). Leonardo DiCaprio could play Casey. We’ll see.

But his blog could come back to haunt him, because he pretty much admitted publicly that he overstated his income while purchasing his houses, meaning that he may have set himself up for more legal problems, according to this analysis.

Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Day trading meet real estate flipping. I wonder what the next boondoggle will be in 7 years?

    That being said, I have a hard time feeling too sorry for guys like this. My main issue with folks like Serin is that greed ultimately gets the best of them. The dude wouldn’t have been so highly leveraged if he wasn’t seeing easy money dancing before his eyes.

    Just goes to show that there’s easy money. But by the time you get around to it, you need to look in the mirror — because you’ve become the easy money.

  2. webomatica says:

    I’m thinking my interest in Serin might just boil down to this: Schadenfrude (a term I first learned about after the .com bubble burst).

  3. From how i see it, he's doing it wrong… he should be renting out properties instead… by packaging his homes as cash flow properties, he gets investors and renters to do the work for him.