Here in Syracuse and in other gently decaying remnants of the Rust Belt, we bemoan the slow decline of our cities and neighborhoods. However, looking at what’s happening in the Sun Belt, where wild growth in the housing market has been fueled by easy credit, gives one a different perspective. Click on for the gory details. (Warning: Not Safe for Lunch.)
City code enforcers and county mosquito patrols across the Valley say they’re seeing a spate of weeds and green pools in places they never used to: newer neighborhoods with higher-priced homes. Increasing numbers of these properties are being abandoned by cash-strapped owners, leaving messes and headaches for neighbors and municipal officials…
Chandler real-estate agent Liz Morganroth said she dons a disposable face mask before she inspects new foreclosure listings but can’t always escape the stench. “Many of them are disgusting: trash and animal feces everywhere, rotting food in a refrigerator crawling with maggots. We even find pets left in the house,” said Morganroth, who sells foreclosed homes in Chandler and Gilbert for Realty Executives. Her inventory, she said, is skyrocketing…
One abandoned home in Chandler’s Brooks Ranch subdivision has a $499,000 assessed value for tax purposes, tall weeds and a green pool. Carr said he hasn’t been able to contact the owners and has asked Maricopa County to treat the pool so mosquitoes won’t breed in it. In that same neighborhood a home that sold for $701,000 in March is on the market for $689,000.
Here’s a similar story from California. If we’re the Rust Belt, maybe they’re turning into the Slime Bowl?
Updated: Central New York, according to this morning’s PS real estate column, has dodged prevailing trends in housing prices. New York City remains oblivious (although I suspect, for different reasons).
Passing along this quote (from an article on the state of homeowners’ associations):
When the home, which is the central pillar of any society, becomes a pawn in the greedy grasp of lawyers and other vendors… a society is teetering on the brink of collapse. When this is allied with other developments in a society, the future becomes positively frightening… For too long, those who have possessed the power in our society have looked at homes as commodities – as devices to amass fabulous wealth. Until a society sees a home for what it most importantly is, the place where human beings are uniquely themselves and where they raise their families in love and understanding, we will stagger from crisis to crisis.