• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

Turning it back on the squatter

Shelton’s passion for the cause started back in 2019 when his father died. His mother decided to sell her Northern California home, but while the house was empty and on the market, seven strangers moved in — even bringing in their own furniture.

Local law enforcement told Shelton there was nothing they could do so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

As Shelton explains to KTLA, squatters sometimes have a fake lease, and so his first move was to have his mother prepare him a phony lease for the property. Then, when the group left one day, he snuck in through an open window and put up cameras, ensured they couldn’t get back in and moved their belongings out onto the driveway.

“I figured out that if they can take a home, I can take a home.”

And now taking homes back has become his full-time gig, with fees starting at $5,000. Social media posts for his business rack up millions of views as he shares clips of confronting squatters or reclaiming possession of a property.

He’s even petitioning to have the laws around squatting changed.

Stop overpaying for home insurance

Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.

Explore better rates

Protecting yourself, your investments

KTLA emphasizes that Shelton always works with police and “does his homework to assess the threat” before he moves into a property, but his strategy does put him at risk of physical harm or injury.

However, there’s clearly a need for his services. Headlines of serial squatters or “professional tenants” are commonplace these days. Countless management companies have even created resources for landlords or property managers to help them spot scammers.

For the “mom-and-pop” landlords in the U.S. — many of whom are just trying to secure a little extra stability for their retirement — getting targeted by serial squatters is a worst-case scenario.

But leaving yourself open to this risk isn’t the only way to make a little extra money by investing in real estate.

Commercial real estate, for example, has long been a savvy investment that only the ultra wealthy could access. Now, using certain platforms, you can even own a share of properties leased by big-name national brands like Whole Foods, CVS, Kroger and Walmart.

Rental properties are another popular option for those looking to earn a little passive income. But as any landlord might tell you, there’s nothing passive about taking care of these types of properties. And that assumes you have the capital to buy and manage a property in the first place.

Those curious about the investing possibilities of vacation rentals but anxious to avoid the costs and headaches involved, might want to explore the alternatives.

Sponsored

This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Sigrid Forberg Associate Editor

Sigrid’s is Moneywise.com's associate editor, and she has also worked as a reporter and staff writer on the Moneywise team.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.