The F-Word Nobody Wants to Hear- By: Jamie Mathwig
The grim specter of foreclosure looms large over America. The popular media continues to report on the number of homes being lost, and the volume of empty properties now littering our suburbs and city streets. The economic effects are terrifying. Foreclosure is one 'F-word', that nobody wants to hear.
But what about the thousands of once-proud home owners? The human cost too, is unimaginable and, largely, being swept under the carpet. Of course, there may be the occasional, ratings-grabbing, heart-rending tale of a decent, middle class family losing their prized home in a popular subdivision, through no fault of their own. Then, on the flip side, there is a fair amount of coverage given to those abandoned properties that have had their fixtures and fittings ripped out, and thousands of dollars worth of damage inflicted upon them by the vindictive, departing residents. And, many column inches and editorial leads have highlighted the distressing plight of deserted pets, left behind by callous owners fleeing their responsibilities. But rarely is there mention of the human cost. What of the anguish being suffered by the vast majority of people, who are struggling to keep their heads above the floodwater of debt and despair? No jobs, families torn apart, few prospects. What kind of effect will this have on the children of these families who have lost their homes? Communities are being dissolved and the long-term social impact is potentially catastrophic.
Perhaps it is time to focus more on attempts to keep people in their homes, rather than to continually highlight the devastating increase in the number of discarded properties. There is a multitude of reasons as to why people are having to abandon their homes, and there are a number of ways to allow them to stay, in order to preserve the social fabric and retain economic balance. After all, a glut of empty houses in any one neighborhood, will almost certainly result in depressed local property values. This, in turn, causes something of a domino effect, which impacts severely on everyone's hard earned equity.
For many it is too late, and their dream home now stands empty; a testament to these testing times. It is essential that we find a way of quickly repopulating these deserted houses, and rebuilding communities. Unfortunately, buying a foreclosed property can be something of a headache, and can take considerable time, but there are experienced professionals who can help steer purchasers through the process. The quicker we get people back into these houses, whether as long-term tenants or owners, the better it will be for the nation and, more importantly, its people.
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