Before Elizabeth Warren was on the front lines of class warfare, chopping through buraucratic red tape with her tomahawk of populism, she was a lowly resident of Oklahoma City, buying houses on the cheap from old people and flipping them for six figure profits.
Oh, you didn’t know that Elizabeth Warren (D-$8.5 million net worth) was once a hard-hearted foreclosed property flipper who took advantage of people who lost their houses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, purchasing their homes at outrageously low prices, quickly rehabbing them (and in some cases, making very few meaningful upgrades) and then turning them back onto the market for a healthy sum? Well, she did. The Boston Globe wrote about it when she ran for Congress some time ago, but the allegation was newly resurrected by National Review just today.
Warren rose to political prominence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as a crusader against big banks and a dispenser of common-sense economic advice. She campaigned for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, intended to shield people from the predations of the mortgage and credit-card industries, among others. In her 2006 book All Your Worth, co-authored with her daughter, Amelia, Warren lists as a top myth the idea that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly.” She has made a career out of telling people how to behave in financially responsible ways, and out of creating laws that will make it illegal for them to do otherwise. Five months after purchasing Veo Vessels’ old home, Warren flipped the property, selling it for $115,000 more than she’d paid.
But Warren bought and sold at least five properties for profit at a different time in her life, before the cratering economy and a political career made her a star. Her life story has been the subject of much interest, and her 2014 memoir, A Fighting Chance, chronicled her rise from humble beginnings in small-town Oklahoma and her struggle to make ends meet. It didn’t much mention, though, the early 1990s, years when her children were teenagers and she was once again happily married. These are years when she wasn’t yet the multimillionaire she is today, and, she has said, she was voting Republican.
The housing market was good to Warren, who cut at least a 300% profit on every property she bought, “rehabbed” and then sold. Altogether, the business netted her and her brother a quarter of a million dollars – $250,000 that the current iteration of Elizabeth Warren would be very disappointed that the past iteration of Elizabeth Warren kept, no doubt.