Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On The Street of Abandoned Houses

It seems to happen overnight around here. People move out of their house, the yard starts looking neglected, and next thing you know, there's that tell-tale letter from the bank taped to the front door, flapping in the breeze, letting the whole street know that another one has bit the dust. Another foreclosure and another empty house. There are a lot of them in my neighborhood.

The latest casualty appears to be our next door neighbors. They are a young couple, early thirties, with three girls. The oldest is around 10, another about 3, and one who I think just turned 1, she is just learning to walk and talk. They moved in a few months after we did and over the years have done a lot of expensive improvements on the house, new paint, new carpet and floors, a backyard covered patio, new furniture, and so on, all of which they had contractors do. So, we figured that these two were doing pretty well since they were able to pay for all that. But, yesterday, we saw what appeared to be real estate agents bringing people to look at the house. No for sale sign is up so we were a little perplexed as to what was going on. Being the nosy neighbor that he is, Keith asked the oldest girl if they were moving. The girl said yes, her mom just told her that day to start packing her stuff and be ready to move in the next 30 days. He also said that he had heard the neighbor talking to her mom on the phone about how overextended they were. Keith was of course pressed up against the fence straining to overhear every word as they talked. No, we're not nosy! So, we've come to the conclusion that they are short selling the house to get out from under it. The mom had opened a salon a few years ago and I guess business has been really slow lately so times are getting hard for them. Makes sense, in a down economy you start doing your own nails and hair and get the spray on tan in a bottle instead of going to the salon.

So, we were kind of talking about how we may be a little worried and pinching those old pennies, at least we haven't been living on credit cards like a lot of people, and unless the whole world comes crashing down, we should be able to ride it out and at least are able to pay our mortgage and keep things going. Could be a lot worse.

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