This morning began with my customary TGIF mentality. Now that attitude has shifted slightly since my husband and I made our bed and breakfast home to us.
Now what used to be the end of my workweek in the many years I worked as a nurse is my whole house check in time. While the fabric of my work life has changed significantly, Friday still remain a gala time.
The first bit of news I heard today began with news that this brand shiny new 2011 will likely end in another 20% increase in the number of Americans that will face the loss of their homes. This daunting number to join the 6-7 million folks either behind in their payments, facing foreclosure or already being foreclosed on by their lending establishments. The broadcast revealing this information also discussed a "new trend" being demonstrated by individuals facing these crippling problems. Evidently in complete frustration, despair, anxiety, depression, hopelessness or overt anger.... they are dealing with their feelings by leaving their homes completely wrecked. The damage to some of these homes was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The types of damages seen are those that could only have been caused willfully be the occupants of these dwellings. Further, the anchor person stated that these homes the banks are forcing their owners to leave are, more often than not, left abandoned and not sold for long, long periods of time. It would seem that any economic solution that the lender and the purchaser could have come up with would have been more of a win-win than this specter of doom clouding the neighborhoods of our county. The family is left with no home, no place to go.... making their aleady difficult financial status worse as well as creating an entire host of social ills not the least of which is more difficulty in finding employment without an established address. The bank is left with a house (already a glut of them) that is demolished and virtually unsellable were the real estate market healthy and thriving which would certainly not be the description of the current real estate market.
I stand in awareness that some of these people simply overbought homes they could never hope to afford behaving with complete financial abandon but others did not. Job loss, illness,terms of a loan they clearly did not understand and a responsible financial institution would never have made to them to begin with combined with a real estate market even the experts did not expect to be this bad and all played a part in creating the perfect storm where this county and its citizens currently find themselves.
In listening to "the numbers" bright and early this a.m. I found myself both glad to have a home and prayerful that things don't worsen to the point that any more of our citizenry have to find themselves homeless. For both our people and our country's good, a more viable, less destructive, more financially solvent and creative solution must be out there and we'd better find it. If we fail, our real estate market and economic condition may not be the worst of our problems.
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers