In My Own Backyard

I know that this is happening everywhere, and I know this isn't news to anyone.... but, nonetheless, when it happens right up the hill from you, it just gets to you in a very different way.


I learned just last week that my neighbors had been evicted, and that their house is now bank owned.

I did not know the family well--they very much kept to themselves.   Even though I didn't know them personally, it of course still makes me sad and fills me with so many questions. I hope, wherever they are, that they are doing well and recovering from what must have been a very tumultuous year or more leading up to the foreclosure.

Yesterday I went to tour the house with my real estate agent and my business partner. When we learned that the property was up for sale, we immediately wanted to see if it might be a good fit as an investment. I admit that I would love to have some control over what happens to the beautiful parcel of land, which includes a spring-fed pond, gorgeous woods, and a vista that can't be beat. I would love to be able to shape the way the house is rehabilitated, if the structure is indeed worth saving.

Here is my son explaining to me later that afternoon why, clearly, we HAVE to buy the property and build a house for us on it. IF ONLY it were that easy....

Now, I have toured quite a few foreclosures in the past year for potential project houses, and all of them have a distinct, desperate "what-the-hell-happened-here" sorta vibe that lingers in the air. I wasn't sure what to expect when we entered this house that had always seemed--from a distance, that is-- solidly built to me.


There is a lack of maintenance that is evident throughout the property....

and overall neglect and disrepair. (The shot above is blurry, I know--but I don't know that we want to see that black stuff clinging to the walls clearly)...

The decking appears to have been removed at the rear of the house. I don't know if the bank removed it before it was put on the market to ensure that no one ended up falling through....? My business partner wondered out loud if things had gotten so bad  during last winter, if the wood had been burned for heat?

And there was standing water and water damage in many spots as well. (Note the buckling hardwood floor below.)

When looking at the grading and window wells around the foundation, it is not at all hard to see why water was making itself at home. This is pretty much a blinking neon sign inviting it in...

It is really something to me....really. The property itself is so lovely, and has so many beautiful mature trees. A lot of potential.

I will keep you posted as we weigh out the situation. There is much to consider. Hopefully, whatever happens, the property will have someone to love it and care for it in the near future.