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Lives and homes ripped apart, tragic signs of the times.

May 10, 2010

Lives and homes ripped apart, tragic signs of the times.

Homes lost to hard timesI went to see a house with my broker today, we will be listing it soon. This is not a foreclosure, a friend had bailed the previous owners out with the promise of keeping up on the rent. That didn’t happen. Unfortunately the current owner is in to it for far more than it is worth in its current state. He has never seen it, tomorrow morning he is driving quite a long distance to get his first glimpse of the destruction that is now his headache.

The sad part, scattered throughout the yard are the remnants of children lives involved in the tragedy. A dilapidated swing set, doll houses tossed out with other piles of garbage. Little bits and pieces of the families life together in the house lay strewn about the yard. Anger, frustration, all visible in the contents left behind. The house is crying out for major repairs from the outside in. Years of neglect, projects started and stopped, then total destruction as the situation must have become intolerable to the family.

Tomorrow we will meet the owner, armed with flashlights, boots on our feet and hats on our heads and a whole lot of courage. (I refused to go into the basement without being properly armed).

Kitchen  destroyed

Unsafe porch


The area is fantastic, set just a block away from the center of a small town. The homes are tenderly cared for, many of them built in the early 1900’s as is this one. The large yard is wonderful, a true find as most of the homes on this street are on postage stamp lots. At first glance we were pleased with what we saw, real potential, until our eyes adjusted to the piles of garbage left behind, the broken windows, the total disarray and disrepair.

Horrible bathroomThe front porch is unsafe, we entered through the open back door to see such devastation. I know that most of us have seen foreclosures before the trash-outs, however as I stated above, this is not the case with this home. The previous owners were bailed out by a friend in a time of desperate need. It would have been best if they had just walked away way back then.

I don’t know how we will approach this in pricing, I know where I think it should be. Some day I hope it will again join the ranks of the homes surrounding it, well cared for and well loved. For now it is a terrible reminder of lives and homes ripped apart. We could almost hear the the echos of the family and the house crying.

The finial image I will leave you with is a book I found laying on top of one of the piles of garbage. How poignant.

On top of a pile of garbage

“Appraising the Single Family Residence”

(In case you can’t read it upside down)

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