Jump to content

We sometimes forget.


Les
 Share

Recommended Posts

It is a Monday morning and as is our habit, we hang around my office and tell war stories and bitch about our spouses/partners.

A common talking point for the last few months is how stressful our job has been dealing with repos. We have actually been inspecting houses for folks that have lost their cornfield palace and are now moving into 20-30yrs old housing stock.

I know it is quite easy to just be objective and do our thing, but it is now having an effect on how we inspect repos. We have inspected more than 100 in the last several weeks.

These photos and my commentary are representative. They are not part of the report on any particular property.

Image Insert:

200711197440_DSC000312.jpg

52.19 KB

they had Christmas here for the last three years.

Image Insert:

200711197550_DSC000442.jpg

44.61 KB

The blue shirts are his uniform for his job that he lost. Good looking shirts, all laundered, starched and no longer needed.

Image Insert:

200711197710_DSC000493.jpg

61.1 KB

The 12yrs old son got a drum set for Christmas - last year.

Image Insert:

200711197853_DSC000471.jpg

53.67 KB

The teenage daughter got a manicure machine, make-up and some trinkets - you can see them in the photo.

Image Insert:

2007111971048_DSC000626.jpg

63.88 KB

The other teenager's bedroom in the basement - note the new shoes and clothes, never worn!

Image Insert:

200711197139_DSC000684.jpg

64.56 KB

The writing on the cake says "#$@#@!#" - they had it decorated especially for the moving out party!

Image Insert:

2007111971459_DSC000663.jpg

46.04 KB

Every closet. Now what is the bank going to do?

I guess I am just an old softy. Things are not good in Michigan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

It's a commentary on society.

The problem is that the current generation tends to live on the edge of their means. When I go downhill skiing, I ski just beyond my true abilities... it's exhilarating, but it's dangerous.

Most of the people I knew when when I was growing up raised families in three bedroom homes that were 1200 square feet. The houses cost no more than 1 and a half or two times their annual salary. Most families didn't have two cars. No families had more than one phone. There were no cable or internet bills. There was no 'extreme' anything.

As a society we live beyond our means. It will catch up up to us. 300 bucks a month for cell phone, internet and cable goes a long way to paying a mortgage.

600 bucks for two lease payments on gas guzzling SUVs does too.

It's sad, but there are signs that the family value system was askew. Clothes that were never worn simply never happened in my household, if my daughter wanted make-up she had to buy it herself. Even when they moved out and were so destitute, they bought a cake for 30 bucks when they could have baked one for two.

Nobody deserves a 3,500 square foot home with a jacuzzi. It's about planning, prudence and conservatism. Smart folks have a plan for when things go wrong.

I know I'm a hard ass but six months before the repo, those folks knew they were in trouble. They probably had negative equity, but the fact is they could have sold the home carried the debt and moved on to a more retrained lifestyle. When a bank repos a house, everyone loses. The innocent that want to borrow on a house they can actually afford have to subsidize the perps who spend beyond their ability to repay.

I'm a little fed up carrying folks who knowingly make poor choices. I have to pay high health premiums to take care of smokers and the morbidly obese. I have to pay uninsured motorists premiums for the losers that drive without.

My brother used to say: "Hammers fall out of the sky and hit me on the head. " My reply was: "Mark, it's where you're standing."

Folks need to stop standing where the hammers fall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose it's somewhere in between our two thoughts.

I can't disagree w/what you're saying; I say it all the time. OTOH, living in the city, and seeing what I see on a daily basis, it's a hard fact that there's folks that just plain hit the wall even though they had good tires and were driving safely. I'm not saying the wall jumped in front of them, but sometimes bad things happen to good people doing the right things.

I also see the folks in the north shore 'burbs that typify the lifestyle you just described; I can't feel much for them.

Hard fact. I have a lot of friends in Michigan that are suffering in the former group. They didn't do anything wrong other than live & work in the auto industry, and now they are hurting. Hurting bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Chad Fabry

It's a commentary on society.

I'm a little fed up carrying folks who knowingly make poor choices. I have to pay high health premiums to take care of smokers and the morbidly obese. I have to pay uninsured motorists premiums for the losers that drive without.

Chad;

I understand and agree with your statements. However I have to pay $50 a month extra for health insurance because I smoke and I am not complaining I understand the assessment is for being foolish.

Paul B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Chad Fabry

As a society we live beyond our means. It will catch up up to us. 300 bucks a month for cell phone, internet and cable goes a long way to paying a mortgage.

600 bucks for two lease payments on gas guzzling SUVs does too.

Nobody deserves a 3,500 square foot home with a jacuzzi. It's about planning, prudence and conservatism. Smart folks have a plan for when things go wrong.

Bad things do happen to good people, but I think this describes the vast majority of cases. I couldn't agree more about the 3500 ft. home with a jacuzzi. Too many of us have lost touch with reality. It's way more about how you spend the money you make, than about how much money you make to start with.

Brian G.

The Poor Can't Afford to Act Rich [:-tophat]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Habitat people have to work, learn to care for a home, and show their tires are facing the right direction before they are handed the keys.

Several weeks ago, my habitat buds were robbed during their lunch break. The entire neighborhood donated money and brought food, cakes and pies. They said, "Please know that we love you and appreciate your help." The 'many' more than compensated for the 'couple'.

There are the 'entitlement' idiots, and there are the hard-working humble people. There always will be, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, Gary. My "local economy" is likely very similar to Les', just on the other side of the border. I find that there are two types of people in that situation: some feel that the world has done them wrong and now owes them, others truly are better than their situation and working at fixing it. I'm always happy to help the latter.

-Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your Canadian pals are leaving their clothes behind!

Ever since the US dollar became equal to the Canadian dollar, the Canadians have been buying clothes here in Buffalo.

So as not to pay anything at the border, they are wearing the new clothes home and leaving their old stuff in bathroom stalls and other places.

I think it's funny. I'm sure we would do the same thing if matters were reversed. Besides, we still owe you for all those draft-dodgers.

But the Bills playing a couple of games each year in Canada? That might be going to far. Kidding, of course. That will help our 'small market' problems.

Peace, eh!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Gary, you get to see all manner of odd behaviour living at a border (though I always bring my clothes home). Here in Windsor we attract a different type of behaviour. The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19, as opposed to Michigan's 21. The downtown nightclubs (kiddy bars) can be quite interesting....

-Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

Somber stuff, my friend.

Blessed are those that extend compassion to those less fortunate.

Les, I'm profoundly moved, and I'm not (for once, anyway), making jokes.

I don't consider myself a Christian, but I'm saying a prayer right now.

Kurt I understand the point of your post and I do sympathize with those who have and are losing their homes do to foreclosure. Whether they lost their home because of lost jobs or overextending themselves in an ARM it's sad, especially at the scale at which it is happening today.

I do have a problem with your pictures though, I can understand that people are upset when they are forced to move out due to foreclosure, but your pictures show that the people who lived there have absolutely no respect or regard for what is essentially someone else's property. Why would anyone trash a home or leave it in such a condition as these people did. They signed the mortgage, maybe they lost their job, and the house through no great fault of their own, but why would they trash someone else's property. Did the mortgage company cause them not to make the agreed payments? I doubt it, so why did they leave this home in such condition?

Sh@t happens, why take it out on someone else, because of what you have shown in your pictures I have very little sympathy or regard for the people involved, and if I were the Mortgage company, those people's problems would not yet be over, read the fine print in most mortgage contracts, it's a lot like language found in rental agreements when it comes to the condition in which the property will be left in the case of eviction.

What's sad in this case is that people have such a lack of respect for both themselves and others. I own a few rental properties, I see this all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I enter a home that has or is a repo, a divorce with children, or an estate it is at this time that my emotions and thoughts start to wonder. I can't help to think about the children that were impacted with what went on. You enter the attic or look on a top shelf and you find their treasures. The artwork from school the "A" on a spelling test, and it goes on and on. All left behind and forgotten.

Yes, this is one of the hardest parts of my job as a home inspector. Fortunately the good inspections outweigh the bad ones in my neck of the woods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read the responses and really can not disagree with most. But, I have a few years on some of you and can tell you it is really easy to be critical. For me, it really does not make any difference why these folks lost their home. It only matters that they lost their home. I am about as far right as you can get in the economic sphere. Never had a car payment, credit card, a Lexus or a cornfield palace. I have home mortgage now, but that is it.

I know I could tell nearly all the repo folks that I told you so and find fault with their life style. I have been poor most of my life, yet I am THANKFUL for the few treasures I have and the life I live. I never even dreamed I would have this life. When I was 18, I just knew I was going to be shot and killed and if that did not happen, then some irate husband would slit my throat well before I reached 22yrs!

My real point is about Thanksgiving Day and regardless of your circumstance, find and recognize how much you have and how you got here. Call your Mother or Dad (hopefully both), kiss your wife/partner, tell your kids some whoppers and smile at every service person you see.

Some of you know me personally and I am thankful for that! Some only know the stuff comparing me to Denny Crane or Ichabod Crane, and I am thankful for that!

Ya ya, repos all have a story, but I am not one to gloat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Lewis Capaul

Kurt I understand the point of your post and I do sympathize with those who have and are losing their homes do to foreclosure. Whether they lost their home because of lost jobs or overextending themselves in an ARM it's sad, especially at the scale at which it is happening today.

I do have a problem with your pictures though, I can understand that people are upset when they are forced to move out due to foreclosure, but your pictures show that the people who lived there have absolutely no respect or regard for what is essentially someone else's property. Why would anyone trash a home or leave it in such a condition as these people did. They signed the mortgage, maybe they lost their job, and the house through no great fault of their own, but why would they trash someone else's property. Did the mortgage company cause them not to make the agreed payments? I doubt it, so why did they leave this home in such condition?

Sh@t happens, why take it out on someone else, because of what you have shown in your pictures I have very little sympathy or regard for the people involved, and if I were the Mortgage company, those people's problems would not yet be over, read the fine print in most mortgage contracts, it's a lot like language found in rental agreements when it comes to the condition in which the property will be left in the case of eviction.

What's sad in this case is that people have such a lack of respect for both themselves and others. I own a few rental properties, I see this all the time.

Ummm, they weren't my pictures, nor my post. I was just feelin' kinda empty, and felt bad for the folks, so I said so.

I tend not to judge unless I have all sides of the story. Since I don't, the pictures of kids toys left behind cut me up pretty good.

That's all.

So, Lewis, go back to your rental property management, enjoy reading your fine print, and get off my ass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Les.

I've checked in on this thread a few times today, and looked at the photos several times. You'd have to be a tough mutt not to be affected by them. Assigning blame is pointless, just like you said. We've all made bad decisions, and we've all taken ass whups from Lady Luck. Sometimes, life just stinks and trying to figure out who or what's at fault ceases to matter because simply dealing with the fallout seems so profoundly overwhelming.

No matter who you are, what you do, or how much you make, there are days when you think it's not enough. Looking at those photos today reminded me that I'm pretty damn fortunate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by kurt

Originally posted by Lewis Capaul

Kurt I understand the point of your post and I do sympathize with those who have and are losing their homes do to foreclosure. Whether they lost their home because of lost jobs or overextending themselves in an ARM it's sad, especially at the scale at which it is happening today.

I do have a problem with your pictures though, I can understand that people are upset when they are forced to move out due to foreclosure, but your pictures show that the people who lived there have absolutely no respect or regard for what is essentially someone else's property. Why would anyone trash a home or leave it in such a condition as these people did. They signed the mortgage, maybe they lost their job, and the house through no great fault of their own, but why would they trash someone else's property. Did the mortgage company cause them not to make the agreed payments? I doubt it, so why did they leave this home in such condition?

Sh@t happens, why take it out on someone else, because of what you have shown in your pictures I have very little sympathy or regard for the people involved, and if I were the Mortgage company, those people's problems would not yet be over, read the fine print in most mortgage contracts, it's a lot like language found in rental agreements when it comes to the condition in which the property will be left in the case of eviction.

What's sad in this case is that people have such a lack of respect for both themselves and others. I own a few rental properties, I see this all the time.

Ummm, they weren't my pictures, nor my post. I was just feelin' kinda empty, and felt bad for the folks, so I said so.

I tend not to judge unless I have all sides of the story. Since I don't, the pictures of kids toys left behind cut me up pretty good.

That's all.

So, Lewis, go back to your rental property management, enjoy reading your fine print, and get off my ass.

Sorry Kurt, I once again clicked the button at the bottom of the post instead of the one at the top, my reply was not meant for you, and I wasn't on your ass.

That doesn't change my opinion of people who trash a house or leave it in that condition when they are evicted, whether by a mortgage company or a landlord. As some one else said, there are two types of people, these people appear to be the ones who believe the world has done them wrong and owes them something. Looking at the pictures a little closer though it appears that in some of them at least the home may not have been trashed, it was just left the way they lived.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd care a lot more about the people who lost those houses if I thought they cared about it. The photos plainly show the opposite. Who the hell moves out and leaves clothes, new shoes, toys, a backpack, and has a party to say "screw it"? Nobody I can relate to. Sorry.

I've never been anything but poor, never been very far back from the edge and still ain't, but if I lost my house I would try to keep my dignity on the way out. Pity the children; they'll probably grow up thinking that attitude is normal, and okay.

Bless you Les, for caring more than they do.

Brian G.

"You Can't Help Being Poor, But You Ain't Gotta Be Trashy." Grandma Goodman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is an extremely instructive commentary, painfully reflective of our society as a whole.

When parents fail to adequately plan & act for the well being of their families, the folks that suffer are the children. Society is quick to ignore children, shunt them off, and not consider them as part of anything.

I love you guys, but you're society. "The parents are jerks/shoulda coulda done something/they shouldn't expect/didn't read the fine print/etc., etc........" When a bunch of guys I think are the greatest in the world look @ a single aspect of the whole, there's not a lot of hope for kids.

I'm not trying to go all holy on some of you (currently ice cold) individuals, but yeeesh......

I mean, it is the holidays and all that. Warm up, fellas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...