Monday, 3 January 2011
Foreclosures in Lane County
A few streets east of us, this house (which we've dubbed the Clown House) exemplifies the anger and frustration that grips many ex-homeowners in Eugene. Maybe since we moved to Eugene we are seeing things with fresh eyes, or maybe because we bought and sold a house last year, we are very aware of houses going up for sale in the area, and pick up fliers about houses that draw our interest.
There seem to be more houses for sale than we might expect, and some are for sale due to foreclosures. The irony is that the dispossessed and evicted residents, pushed out by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other major mortgage lenders, are usually in trouble due to unemployment, indirectly caused by the dubious business practises of the past decade of...Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So the people whose lives are being destroyed doubly blame these institutions for their plight, first for costing them their jobs and then for taking their houses. Meanwhile the government bailout of the FMs are likely to cost the US taxpayer $154 billion.
Back to the Clown House, we first noticed it before the clown face was painted, and it stuck out as the "undesireable neighbour" due to the litter in the garden, the unkempt grass, and the dark and dingy aspect of the house itself. Maybe the owners were already under the hammer and awaiting eviction. The house now stands empty as you see it, dragging down the value of any house in the neighbourhood. A select band of Realtors and their agents have the task of surveying such properties, cleaning them out, and getting them back into a saleable condition. It's a messy job as the houses have often been vandalised by their former owners, but according to a recent article in the Register-Guard, the workers are glad to still have a job. Many people don't.
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