Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Foreclosure Next Door

3rd in a series of the perfect storm (foreclosures) surrounding my urban homestead.


Foreclosure due to Illness/Poor decisions - I'd been expecting the foreclosure of my neighbor's home since October when he had casually mentioned his bank note hadn't been paid in months. He had apparently missed the financial boat sometime within the 15+ years of home ownership to refinance @ a lower rate. Years later after smoking two packs a day for forever he came down with the big C, surviving isn't always the half of it. It is also surviving the cost of cancer. 
Without a steady paycheck burdened with a McMansion sized mortgage note, fed up with responsibilities of ownership he choose not to find a solution. Just as he choose not to have his roof replaced, or his furnace fixed, or gutters hung in times of plenty. Repairs now to the twin far out weigh it's current value. 

My neighbor's choices in life are now resting on my front stoop and my heart. My worry is that the twin can become a rental. Secondly, the value of my home has over night sunk even farther down the real estate rabbit hole. 

I had on the occasion of my marriage to Woodsrunner, made a promise - that with the last child out of high school we would move to the country (yes I would blog through that transition & no it wouldn't be a 100% happy move for me). Now not unlike a million other homeowners while not exactly upside down on my note, I have no pipe dreams of being able to sell. And I don't mean sell for a profit (no profit no raw land), I mean just selling to break even. 

The twin to my 1902 two story farmhouse built on a stacked stone foundation with a hand dug cellar in the balloon frame method is @ the widest point 13' from my own home. 
The floor plans is exactly the same with a few exceptions from remodels on both. The twin has had an additional toilet installed downstairs in what was originally a walk in kitchen closet that was then blocked off & door rerouted. My twin had a wall & doorway removed converting the downstairs bedroom into a dinning room. Not the smartest move, downgrading a home from three to two bedrooms. 

The most visible difference between the twins is exterior. 
For most who aren't gardeners the difference is house color. 
For others it's the porch designs. 
Neighbor's twin has two driveways a sweet deal where on-street parking can be the norm. 
But for me who has lived with spacial confinements and lack of life giving sun shine the biggest difference between the twins is MORE dirt for one twin, not enough for the other.

The other twin sits on a double lot, a full 60' x 90'. 
It also sits off to the right on that lot giving that extra 35' of lawn all day sunshine. An extra 420 inches. 

I covet my neighbor's lot.

~~ pelenaka ~~