Cash for Trash, Clunkers and Junkers


by Roberta Murphy

Carlsbad-Traffic-on-La-Costa-AvenueCarlsbad, CA–I fear our Leaders of Unintended Consequences have opened the floodgates of absurdity with their Cash for Clunkers program. I will also admit to hoarding several bushels of sour grapes.

As a San Diego real estate professional, I’m more than a little jealous of local car dealers this weekend. They are able to offer their new car buyers up to $4500 of our tax dollars for trade-ins (regardless of condition).  That might be the equivalent of a 10 or 20 percent rebate for the purchase of a new car –and also gets incontinent and clunking cars off our streets and driveways. Obviously, car buyers may be getting far more than their clunker is worth–and the automobile industry is saved by  taxpayers once again.

I want the same kind of deal for our home buyers and sellers. San Diego has lovely real estate, but it also has its share of real estate junkers. There are homes with termites, homes that have been abandoned, homes with incontinent plumbing–and of course, San Diego’s inevitable short sales.

Wouldn’t it be fun to offer these homeowners an above-value premium for their junkers, if only they would buy a new home from us? Doing so would keep us at least as busy as the automobile dealers–and might do wonders for blighted neighborhoods.

But if we are to get this largesse for our clients, we’d better act quickly.

In the next month, we might expect the airline industry to want a $imilar trade-in for their high miler jets. It would be a boon for aerospace employment. And we could really pump money into the economy by offering a bounty for old computers, non-working appliances and all the old tires we find in clunkers and real estate junkers.

Your two cents?