Looking Ahead

By: Patti Bankson

A couple of weeks ago, while on our way “to frozen custard”, my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and my husband and I, stopped to look at a couple of empty houses. One of them was such a mess… trashed, and full of trash. As the saying goes, “If walls could talk”. Looking at these abandoned houses is like visiting a ghost town, only more… I don’t know… maybe pitiful is the word I‘m looking for.

We’ve bought a few foreclosures and I remember that going through them the first time can be quite an emotional thing. You walk through rooms where clothes are still hanging in bedroom closets… family photos are scattered on the floor, and stepped on… children’s toys are in the yard… dishes left in kitchen cabinets. You can’t help but wonder about the people who used to live there; what kind of life they had before some set of circumstances led them to close the door for the last time… leaving behind bits of their family’s life strewn about, just part of the debris. Just part of the multiple bags of trash that will have to be carried away in order to make it a home for another family. It’s very sad.

Although foreclosures have grown in number, I do believe things will get better. After all, this is America… Americans know how to survive; thrive, even, when given the opportunity. Of course, every “expert” has an opinion on how long it will be before that happens… before the empty windows will be lit up, the peeling paint scraped off and new paint put on, the weeds replaced with newly mown grass, and colorful flowers blooming in the beds again, with new families inside sharing love, laughter and hopes for their futures. However long it takes, I don’t know that we’ll see another housing “bubble” like we’ve had. Frankly, I don’t believe that we should see another one. A normal increase in equity… a reasonable return on our investment, sure. But another bubble? I don‘t think so.

When we first came to Florida from Southern California, I kept saying that Florida was going to become the California of the East Coast. I saw what was happening in the real estate market and it always reminded me of one of my husband’s relatives. In 1960 he and his wife bought a small house in the Los Angeles area for $14,000! That house, and others like it, ended up being bought and sold until it was a $100,000 house, then a $350,000 house, then a $500,000 house. Hel-lo! A $14,000 house is a $14,000 house, is a $14,000 house. Not only did “the bubble” not have to burst, it might have been avoided entirely if people in California, Florida, or any other state, had not lost track of that fact. Chalk it up to supply and demand, greed, or whatever… the end result is the same: a bubble burst, money lost, lives and homes in shambles.

Comments are welcome at pbankson@cfl.rr.com

About The Author Patti Bankson:
Send comments to pbankson@cfl.rr.com © 2011 Patti Bankson The Way I See It / The Apopka Chief / www.thelandofthefree.net

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