Storage unit facilities have had a booming year, thanks to the rise in home foreclosures. As more and more people are losing their homes, they need a place to store their possessions. Many people are being forced to downsize, or to live in small apartments without any garages or storage space. Even after they move out of their homes, many people face hard economic times because they have lost their jobs, and their savings as well. After a few months, many people get behind on their storage locker rent.
In Houston, Texas, a man named Bill, and his family were finally forced out of their modest four bedroom home after they fell more than one year behind in mortgage payments. They moved into a small, two bedroom apartment that Bill, his wife, and three daughters have to share. All of their personal belongings were placed into a storage unit. After five months, Bill was no longer able to keep up with his storage unit payments. Eventually, the unit went to auction. It was sold for $350. The buyer, who was new in the storage auction business, and declined to be identified, said he felt bad. “This was somebody’s life”, he said. “I feel really bad, but what can you do?” “If it was not me buying this unit, it would be somebody else. And if I didn’t pay my past due storage rental, they would be auctioning off my stuff too.” The buyer estimated between all of Bill’s furniture and personal belongings that he could sell everything and make an easy $2000 profit.
All over the nation there are plenty of stories like Bill’s. Homes are being foreclosed on at a historic rate. And people are also moving their possessions to storage units at historic rates. The number of storage auctions have increased threefold. A manager at a storage facility in Denver, Colorado said that sometimes they would have 2-4 auctions a month. Lately, they have been doing about 10-15 per month. At one storage site in Portland, Oregon, an auctioneer said he auctioned off 43 units in one single day!
It appears that the storage unit business, and storage auction business will be booming for quite some time, or at least until the economy improves. Until then, many people will have an opportunity to make money off of other people’s misfortune. Luckily for Bill, he landed a new job and he is trying to get back on his feet again. He holds no hard feelings against the man who bought his possessions. In fact, the buyer got in contact with Bill and returned some important family mementos, and documents. Bill thanked the buyer, and he wished him luck in his newfound business.