Posterboy For The Housing Bust

Ah, more oogie in the wake of the recessing housing froth. Meet Casey Serin, a 24-year-old with $2.5 million in debt.

Serin’s trying to get out from under 6 money-losing properties. He’s not going to cut bait, file for bankruptcy and get a job.

Nope, he’s started a tell-all blog. SFGate’s Carol Llyod writes:

    “What Serin reveals about himself is that he’s a sucker for every real estate myth that the industry has been feeding us for the past 10 years: that the market will always go up, that if you buy at a discount you’re safe from financial risk, that gurus are doling out useful advice for the beginning real estate investor — and that if you make enough deals, you’re sure to come out ahead.”

Here’s a flyer he put up recently.

A would-be real estate mogul follows boom tips straight to bust” [SFGate] (Thanks to Philip!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Trai_Dep says:

    Pop Quiz: Pick the best aphorism:

    a) “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered”
    b) “Nothing gained, nothing lost”
    c) “A fool and his money are soon parted”
    d) “You just WAIT until your father gets home, young man!”

  2. Drinker Nisti says:

    I have zero sympathy for amateur real estate flippers. This guy clearly extended himself way to far. I think the more salient point in the SFGate column is the following:

    “His experience as a 23-year-old novice with no assets going out and getting not one but eight home loans in four different states shows just how eager the insiders have become to look the other way when things look fishy. Mortgage brokers are happily packaging applications filled with bogus information. Bank officers are allowing lending guidelines to become as flaccid as wet noodles. Too many real estate agents are willing to do anything to close a deal, and too many appraisers will pony up the numbers expected of them.”

  3. Trai_Dep says:

    Aww, just read his bio in the SFGate (great site!) article. At the risk of breaking the dark, shrivelled hearts of Consumeratti:

    “Serin, whose family emigrated from Uzbekistan to Sacramento when he was 12, exhibits the untarnished faith in American capitalism…” Has multiple quotes indicating he’s a good guy whose only sin was having wide-open eyes and a thirst for independence. Awww…now I feel guilty for being so snarky.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    I’m sure there’s an Uzbeki word for sucker trying to get rich on other suckers.

  5. Mike_ says:

    I think the word you’re looking for is “Amway”, Ben.

    Kudos to this guy and his family for getting out of Uzbekistan, though. That place is a bad scene, man. Bad scene.

  6. Smashville says:

    I like how he thinks if he get himself further into debt, he can get himself out of it.

  7. Wet_Baloney says:

    those of us old enough to be packing AARP cards should remember that old TV show “Dragnet”, where among the crimes Sgt. Friday busted people for was something they called “Bunko”. Funny thing happend over the last 40 or 50 years — Bunko was transformed into the American Way of Doing Business. There’s a loan shark (aka Payday Loan) on every corner. Your mailbox is stuffed with offers of easy credit. The TV blasts out endless blather from get-rich-quick infomercials to penis enlargment pills. It’s all legal, thanks to the now almost religious belief that government has no role in protecting us from our basest and most ignorant inclinations

  8. thrillhouse says:

    If you can’t pay for it in cash, then you have no business buying investment properties.

    Sounds like this guy fell for the Carlton Sheets BS on Sunday morning infomercials. Many of Carltons ‘students’ end up where this guy is – flat broke. You don’t remove the risk by buying at a discount, you remove the risk by paying cash and buying smart and having a clue. This is not a business for 24 year-olds.

    And the SFGate is right – this industry is totally screwed up. What do you want to bet, those loans were based on some gleaming FICO score? Shows what thats worth.

  9. He gets what he deserves.

    Plus, that punkass haircut doesn’t win him any pity points. He looks like that meth-smoking nut on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

    Those of use with families don’t exactly feel a lot of empathy for assholes eager to pump the value of property for speculation’s sake. Would it be any differnet if he tried to corner the market on baby food if moms weren’t able to make it themselves?

    I understand that property is by it’s nature speculative, but this ass has watched too much HGTV and gotten the vapors about making money without actually working for it. The vast majority of people buy homes because they need somewhere to put their families that isn’t too far from work.

    So, the majority of homeowners should feel sorry for an ass who puts himself in hock to the credit card jerks (and can apparently afford a $60.00 stylish haircut) just to screw us?

    Dear jerk: get your money back from the seminar ripoff artists – you got screwed. Take a lesson from a previous surreal estate article: make your fortune by working over a dot-com for millions of dollars, retire a few months later, and then finance some poor people’s homes.

  10. I have zero sympathy for this idiotic trust-fund baby.

  11. Sam Glover says:

    While I certainly agree that this kid was a big sucker, what kind of people do you think comprise the largest portion of our population?

    This guy is an extreme example of a sucker, but that doesn’t excuse the brokers and lenders who took advantage of his gullibility to fleece him and make themselves a hefty payday.

  12. I’m sure all those properties made him feel like a big man.

    I was an associate in a real estate investment startup several years back, we did rehabs, brokerage, loans, the works. I went to a couple of those “seminars” from “gurus.” They are just sales pitches, where they want you to buy their “investment kit” for outrageous sums of money, some as high as $1000, and you know what? As this kid proves, it’s all bullshit.

    Did he get what he deserves? Absolutely. But, hopefully some less educated people out there that see these gurus as offering a way out of the daily work grind will heed this kid’s warning before they quit their job and mess up their life listening to these scheisters.

  13. Sam Glover says:

    I should qualify that by “sucker” in reference to the population, I meant “uneducated about complex financial transactions and investments.”

  14. Pelagius says:

    Jagshemash. This just proves that Uzbek people are evil nitwits who have big bone in the middle of their brain.


  15. Triteon says:

    Everything Nisti said above– agreed. But I can’t find a reference to being a trust-fund baby.

  16. thrillhouse says:

    Apparently Pelagius has some Kazakh roots.

  17. FLConsumer says:

    $2.5 million in debt? Why couldn’t he be a normal child and get himself into $10-20k of credit card debt whilst in college?

  18. FLConsumer says:

    Just reading the guy’s blog now… looks like he intentionally got himself into this mess:
    Yes, I Lied on My Loans!

    No more excuses! It’s true. I lied on my loans.

    I overstated my income, and misrepresented my owner-occupied status and concealed the cash-back-at-close from the bank. I knew it all along. Nobody made me do it. It was my fault. I take full responsibility. And, that’s how I originally started this blog.

    But then… I started to spin it.

    First I though I will be some kind of “whistle blower” – exposing the industry, bad real estate gurus, etc. I then realized how stupid that was – I have no expertise or credibility to expose anything. I am guilty myself.

    Second, I tried blaming the banks. They made these loans so easy to get, so it’s their fault. WRONG! Easy or not, a lie is a lie! I am guilty and should not try to weasel out of it.

  19. The_Truth says:

    “I didn’t manage my cash flow and the market changed on me,” he told me. “I guess I didn’t have enough exit strategies.

    I hate buzzwords. I honestly believe you can tell the difference between those who make money and those who cannot by the use of buzzwords. In his sentance above he uses:
    Cash Flow
    Exit Strategy

    People who drop words like the above (And I know that market would not normally be considered a buzz word, but in this case it is) into sentances I honestly believe dont get it. A better sentance would have been:

    “I brought too much, with not enough cash, and now im fucked.”