Delaying repairs to save money and dehumanising your renters … 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, secured them up with supremacy and phone lines, arranged for a rubbish collecting, and welcomed my first renters. I parcelled the person or persons in, stacked the human rights unit, and the profits soon began to pile up nicely.
Its fun being a virtual landowner. Ive been playing Project Highrise, a PC and Mac real estate administration pretending, since video games liberate in September. It demonstrates cash-strapped renters like me a chance to indulge the wild fiction of owning property. It also offers members of Generation Rent some insight into how real-world proprietors and largest developers actually do business.
Despite its cutesy look, 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 debt before your renters can provide a steady revenue stream. Before too long, youre hiring consultancy firms to hallway city hall for a metro station and wished to know whether cachet artwork in the hallway might attract higher-paying residents.
In becoming a digital Donald Trump, I learned some interesting, if slightly depressing exercises. For one thing, its costly to lose holders. You dont crave a daylight to go by without any hire; and you dont want to have to reach into your pocket to refurbish an empty flat to make it rentable again. So its better to hinder all current tenants glad, if you can. But tying up occupied apartments that have turned grimy is too expensive, so its worth trying to hold out as long as possible without doing repairs.
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