Buying a Foreclosure Could Cause Bad Neighbors
Wow, my friends just bought a four bedroom, 2 bathroom house at one-third the price it would have cost them just two years ago. We are all happy for them . . . and they are so cute because they are so proud of themselves for their great financial find. They bucked the system. When everyone was saying, "Buy now or you'll be priced out forever!" They quietly saved their money and waited for the prices of real estate to fall. And now they can't wait to tell everyone they meet about buying their foreclosure . . . until they moved into their new home and told their story to the neighbors.
It seems my friends have quickly found that a bargain house does not include good neighbors. In fact, they found that neighbors hardly appreciate your financial gain. Wanna-be home buyers in this economy should be aware that when they buy a "foreclosed home," or a "short sale home," that they will most likely encounter three types of neighbors.
1. The Scared Smiths -- these neighbors are afraid that foreclosure may very well happen to them. Seriously, you would think the same thing too, when the previous owners of the foreclosed house looked like you, had jobs like yours, had cars like yours . . . was the spittin' image of your household . . . and boom! . . . foreclosure. These guys are shaking in their boots, wondering when the other shoe's gonna drop . . . this time for them. In the scared neighbor's mind, foreclosure is like a contiguous disease -- you don't know you have it until the symptoms show up, and then it's too late.
2. The Resentful Rodriguezes -- These neighbors hate you just for financial reasons, specifically lower property values. In their minds, because of you they are less wealthy than they thought they were. Because of you - bargain real estate buyer - Mr. Rogers can't get that equity line of credit to pay for his kid's private school tuition. And to top it off, they are paying a monthly mortgage payment that is two times more than yours. And get this, they're living in the same (or similar) model home as yours. Face it, when you buy a foreclosure, your good fortune is your neighbor's bad news.
3. The Unforgiving Upsons -- these neighbors loved the former owners of your house. They had developed a close relationship with the previous owners. They borrowed lawn mowers and tools. Their kids had pizza and ran through the sprinklers at their backyard birthday parties. They babysat each other's kids. Your purchase of that foreclosed home was the death of a wonderful relationship. A relationship that they are still mourning. How dare you be happy and fortunate at the expense of their wonderful friends!
Oh but don't fret bargain home buyer. The good news is after a few years of this real estate decline, after months and months of abandoned houses on the market with nary a buyer . . . you may come across the Grateful Griffins.
Grateful Griffins are neighbors that are happy that someone finally moved into that vacant house. Relieved that the market is moving and maybe they can sell their house too. Ecstatic that finally the building is occupied so the broken "for sale" sign flapping in the wind comes down. Delirious because finally, finally the front lawn is getting mowed and the house now looks maintained.
But don't be surprised if it takes a while before you find grateful neighbors living next to foreclosed houses any time soon.
Rosalind Mays successfully works-from-home as a virtual assistant, a freelance writer and a stressed out mom. She's currently chronicling her trials and tribulations on her tongue-in-cheek blog Telecommuting Millionaire?
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