First

by captain

Welcome to Shadytown. In October, The Flagpole published an article by local firebrand Melissa Link. The article inspired a number of negative comments. One comment caught my attention because I recognized the author’s writing style. What bothered me the most was that the author was a Realtor, but he failed to mention that fact. Why is that important? Because the article was about whether the Buena Vista Neighborhood should be designated a historic district. Realtors have a built-in financial conflict of interest when it comes to government action over land. It’s always like asking a cow whether you should eat at Burger King or Chick-fil-a (assuming the cow isn’t gay). Having encountered this Realtor’s unique style in the past, I made the poor decision to troll him. Specifically, Melissa made reference to a “shell game” of real estate transactions among developers, Realtors, and land investors. This very angry Realtor challenged her to give examples of this alleged shell game. Well, that’s when I offered one. I chose one of his (technically his wife’s) Hendrix lots. Now, I can’t take all the credit for the public meltdown that ensued, but I definitely added a little fuel. So, childish trolling aside, the comments ended up all over the place, addressing libel, the merits of capitalism, the investment habits of this Realtor and his wife, and some really over-the-top paranoia. So I created this blog as a place to discuss the shady business of real estate, particularly in Athens, but also in general. I’ll address each of the issues raised in the comments in no particular order. I encourage you to participate in the conversation in the comments, or, if you are so inclined, by submitting a guest post. Enjoy, and please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at captain@shadytown.org.