When I said before SwapRent was a bit ahead of its time since its birth in 2006, I meant that most people were unfamiliar with what economic value it could bring. After the financial crisis, most economic policy makers were still learning what property equity sharing concept is and what methods are out there that could be used to solve our current housing led economic crisis. Sadly after more than 5 years, it still appears that the law makers, financial regulators, economic policy makers of the federal governments are only starting to realize the value of the concept and making recommendations for the private sector banks as well as the GSEs, housing agencies to learn how to apply these concepts through the only term in this equity sharing field that they know of, i.e. shared appreciation mortgage.
As one of the most superior and advanced methods to deliver the economic benefits of property equity sharing, ownership sharing or appreciation sharing, the SwapRent related methodologies have been made available to private sector banks, housing finance agencies of the federal, state and local governments through various direct communications and educational campaigns since 2007. It seems that all those efforts were in vain. Now that these supposedly wise men at the government are being called upon by the politicians to study the application of shared appreciation mortgage again to solve the housing finance led economic problems of our country. So let’s take another try to see whether they could comprehend it now or are willing to think outside the box to learn something new.
The new creation of a SwapRent transaction is to allow a free market exchange, between an arms length investor and a property owner, a series of cash flow payment responsibility for a period of time vs. a portion of the upside appreciation right and the downside depreciation risk obligation of the property in question at the maturity date of that cash flow paying commitment time period.
This new SwapRent contract could be flexibly offered separately, super-imposed on and be artificially attached to a conventional mortgage, be combined as a package and/or be detached at any time so that the SwapRent contract could be traded by itself independently, like a free market based derivative financial contract, in an open exchange to allow price discovery and capital regeneration. It is therefore much more flexible, effective, efficient and useful than the old, obsolete, flaw-ridden and rigid shared appreciation mortgage, the shared equity mortgage that have been around for more than 30 years as well as their most recent reincarnation of shared ownership mortgage.
The unfortunate thing is that these academics and economic policy makers whose task is to study, research and come up with a better mouse trap than the old shared appreciation mortgage simply went straight back into those old, obsolete, flaw-ridden and rigid shared appreciation mortgage concepts and methods again. They do not seem to be able to jump out of that old mortgage box to start thinking outside the box. The longer these incompetent policy makers continue to squat on their jobs the more our country’s economy will continue to hemorrhage. It appears a competency issue that only history will prove on hindsight.
Anyway, since the information of the SwapRent based solutions have been made widely available in many written articles at this blog, at SwapRent home page, in many published newspapers and academic journals already, there may not be a need to repeat all those info here again. Let’s take a quick look at what SwapRent concept can do on more than helping cure distressed non-performing mortgages and assisting home owners to hang on to their homes instead.
The way to think of this swap between receiving a series of monthly cash flows vs. giving up a part of the future upside potential could be interpreted and applied to many other events in our daily economic lives.
For example, use you yourself, the body and mind owner, as a case in point. You, like all of us, have a need to receive a series of monthly cash flows to buy groceries to feed your family and pay rent or mortgage payments for your home as a shelter. After you have applied for a job and been hired by your employer, you have effectively entered into a SwapRent transaction. Your boss has simply agreed to provide you with a series of monthly cash flows (your salary) for a period of time (your employment contract period) in exchange for your upside productive potential. Whatever you could produce for the company during the contract period will simply become the company’s material or intellectual properties and become exclusively the company’s financial rewards. Even if you have a great money making idea and developed a patent on it, that would become the company’s property and the company will make all the upside financial rewards out of that patent and all your other future economic productivity to make the patent financially valuable.
On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you receive no fixed monthly cash flows from anybody else since you have no boss but you get to control your own destiny and get to enjoy the entire upside potential rewards of your own talents.
Similarly, what the SwapRent related concepts and methods were originally designed to do for you, the real estate property owner, as a comparison case in point, is quite similar. You may have a need to receive a series of monthly cash flows to pay for a part, or in whole, your monthly mortgage payments which may become delinquent when you have lost your job, either completely or got a lesser paying job instead. So you could, out of free will, decide to give up a part, or in whole, the future financial price appreciation potential of your home property in exchange for receiving the series of monthly cash flows that you need now to continue to keep the legal ownership of your house. If you do not receive any cash flows from any body else, you would of course get to enjoy the entire potential upside appreciation, i.e. assuming you have some other non-free market based magical way that you would not get foreclosed.
In this example above, the new concept and method of the cash flow sharing SwapRent contract simply provides another way for you to obtain a series of monthly cash flows to meet your daily responsibilities in your economic life. Taking a job was the only choice in our capitalism society before. Now with the invention of SwapRent, you the consumer, have been given another free market based choice, if you happen to own a real estate property already.
From an employer’s or an investor’s perspective, the way for them to derive more upside financial returns and grow economic potential for their capital and resources, they could either hire a person by giving him/her a series of monthly cash flows to enjoy the whole upside of his/her talents through a job or an employment contract, or they could simply provide a series of cash flows to a property owner in exchange of either a part, or in whole, of the upside financial appreciation potential of his/her property for a period of time.
I hope the analogy provides a better way to understand what the new SwapRent transaction is about and what kind of power it could provide as an additional consumer choice alternative to our daily economic lives on a pure free market basis.