In the depths of the last housing crisis, self-storage billionaire B. Wayne Hughes flew to Las Vegas and Phoenix to lay the groundwork for a new bet. His plan: Buy foreclosed homes, spruce them up and rent them out. He tested his ideas on three houses in each market and then dispatched deputies to buy tends of thousands more across the U.S.
Nine years later the land grab is paying off…
And the rest is behind the paywall. But, the possible connection between these two investments is intriguing:
- Both self-storage units and McMansions are relatively recent phenomenon in terms of their scale and regular use.
- Americans have a lot of stuff. One answer to having a lot of stuff is to put things in storage. Another solution is to buy a bigger house to put everything in.
- Both have architectural quirks. As a kid, I remember more single-story, sprawling self-storage facilities. Now, I see more two to three story buildings – I can think of at least three within 10 miles of my house in built-up suburbia – that look a bit nicer (though are still boxy).
- With their architectural quirks, are both of these kinds of structures naked ploys for making money? The McMansion tries to impress and offer as much space as possible for a reasonable price. The self-storage unit facility maximizes the number of storage units and space that can be rented.