Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crowdsourcing Real Estate

 How would you like to get in on a real estate deal which allows you to invest a small amount collectively with other neighborhood investors and be part of a local based development decision that you feel good about? Well, they are trying this out in D.C., Fundrise allows for crowd sourcing local investors to finance a neighborhood commercial development. Check it out at: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/11/real-estate-deal-could-change-future-everything/3897/

I like the potential for the democratization of finance, but also the potential for equity. As far as gentrification, yes I think we need to ask, who benefits, who is involved in the decision making, and for whom will this crowd sourced development be for? It's a start though and I think these guys who created this model are thinking outside the box and have some altruistic motives; but lets push the possibilities of the model further. Can a non-profit or a for-profit use this model in creating affordable housing? So many blocks on the west side and south side of this city have been ravaged by foreclosures, who better to invest in these homes and multi-units than community leaders and neighbors on the block. If the model truly believes longtime locals are best to make and partake contextual development decisions, then we need to bring this democratization down to the guy/gal who has $100 or even $10 to give towards getting homes and buildings livable again.

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