Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your tenants … Adam Forrest becomes a virtual landowner and learns some interesting and depressing lessons
Building my first high-rise tower wasnt too difficult. I shed up some studio apartments, fastened them up with ability and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collecting, and welcomed my first holders. I packed the person or persons in, stacked the human rights unit, and the profits soon began to pile up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual proprietor. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate handling simulation, since the games exhaust in September. It hands cash-strapped renters like me a chance to pander the wild fantasy of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and larger developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy impression, video games is surprisingly detailed and utterly unsentimental. You begin the game by managing the costs of building infrastructure, and trying to avoid taking on too much bank indebtednes before your tenants can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultants to lobby city hall for a metro station and wondering whether statu artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if somewhat depressing assignments. For one thing, its costly to lose holders. You dont crave a period to go by without any lease; and you dont want to have to reach into your pocket to refurbish an empty flat to make it rentable again. So its best to exclude all current renters joyous, if you are able to. But tying up occupied apartments that have turned grimy is also expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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