Property values down, thinking of foreclosing; think of your neighbors

When I bought my condo two years ago, the neighbors were upset that I paid only $165,000. It was orginally on the market for $199,000. The previous owner had not done any upgrades and the paint( think bright orange kitchen) was pretty darn tragic in my book.  It had been on the market for one year. I was very excited about my "great" deal.

Little did I know, there were things going on in the building that would cause my property value to fall in to the toilet! Lets talk about having a three year foreclosure in the building.

For some unknown reason, the neighbors above me decided to stop paying their mortgage in 2009.  They slipped through the cracks of a foreclosure gone mad society for a year. It still doesn't make sense to me. They both had jobs, two cars and were always going out of town. They also went out to eat all the time. That doesn't constitute broke in my book!

When things finally came out in the open ( I knew months before), the husband lied and lied and lied. I am shocked that his nose didn't grow before our eyes. He kept repeating the same story. It was all I could do not to go postal on him.

We are a very supportative group of neighbors. We all have resources and would have tried to get them some help.

Obviously it started to wear on them as well. Gone were the out of town times. They became virtual shut ins. And lets not forget about the noice. Because they were dodging the people that were trying to evict them, they had to recreate their lives inside.

Yes, the 100 plus pound dog was now playing catch above my head. The baby learned to ride her plastic toys not in a park or a sidewalk, but right above my living room. Sometimes I had to take conference calls in the bathroom. Tacky but true.

The husband ended up losing his job. Talk about some funky karma. So now, I really didn't get a break. It started at six in the morning and went on till 11 at night. Since I work a weird schedule, I was always dealing with the noice. Sometimes I didn't even come home in between jobs. I sat in my car and worked.

A few times I was woken up out of a deep sleep. I guess is hard to tell a dog that the indoor park shuts down after dark. I ended up getting a few hours of sleep. One day I was so overtired that I came home and cried. Its not fair to me or my clients. I get paid to have energy and be mega productive. And yes, I did twitter about my lack of sleep and they threatened to sue me. If you look in the dictionary under squatter, you will find that I was being accurate of my description of them. Another day, another lie!!

What is wrong with picture? I am the one that pays their mortgage. I am not the one that stopped doing things around the building (we are self managed). And yes, they made comments when I cut the grass and swept the stairs. I have no desire to live in filth. Momma raised me better!

The straw that broke the camels back was when they flooded my bathroom. I told them several times in passing that they toilet was running (24 hours a day) and needed to be fixed. I thought they would be respectful and take care of it( what was I thinking, I live with pinocchio). So one morning at 3 am, I discovered a rainfall in my bathroom.

No, it gets worse. They would not answer their phone. Then they didn't want to let the emergency plumber in their unit ( we had to shut the water down). Then started the emails. They refused to give me their insurance information. They fought the claim. Then I refiled and they fought the claim again. The insurance company paid half and they paid half.  I wasted so much time with the unnecessary emails, phone calls, ect.. Man up dude!!

The karma bus drove up on April 24th. I didn't have to work till that afternoon. My neighbor saw the people outside. She asked if I would be willing to help them pack before they were evicted. So we called the house hubby and he didn't answer the phone. He basically sat there for 2 hours and did nothing until they knocked on his door. 

I always take the high ride (or try to). I was willing to help them even after all that they had done to me and the building. I go dressed and was ready to load the cars. The calls just went unanswered.  Everything went curbside. I remember hearing the crash of glass as the packers dragged the bags down the stairs.

Fast forward to June.  The unit went on the market for $81500. As you can imagine, the neighbors aren't jumping for joy. Several of us wanted to upgrade or sell in the upcoming years. That ain't gonna happen!

So think about it! Think about your neighbors. You may have built your savings account but you destroyed others. And don't be stupid enough to brag to the next door neighbor that  you lived for free for three years! Not cool!!

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  • Sounds like a modern day horror story, but it is not fiction, and it is happening everywhere. When I want to torture myself I check the value of my house on Zillow. The value looks like the downhill at any Six Flags ride, only worse, because at least the ride stops at zero, while my value will crash right through the earth.

    Some of it is due to foreclosure, some to short-sale and some to just "unloading" the house. Virtually all my equity is gone. When I talked to my mortgage service provider, one the mega banks, they said that they were not so hot to try to re-finance, because my house is "not a good investment". This lowered my "house self esteem" LOL. So... I said, if this house is not a good investment, why should I continue to pay on it? The answer is, that I still live here. Let's not even talk about the Crook County tax assessors inflated value of this place.

    When people are living on the margin, and when it SEEMS like Big Mortgage and Big Tax are applying the death crush, I can see why people want to say, "Back at 'cha!". No, it is not fair to the neighbors, but it is a tidal wave that is rolling over, not one little pebble rippling in the pond.

    As for the neighbors, when push comes to shove, they will not help beyond a "Gosh, I'm sorry." Nor, probably, should they. This is a no- win situation for many, and, despite pockets of improvement, the roller coaster car has not crashed through to bedrock yet.

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