Tuesday, August 26, 2008

While We're At It...

Hello if you've linked here from a housing-type blog (Housing-Kaboom, etc.)!

Regular readers and friends, I hope you can stand one more post about the old Cliffrose house. We took a closer look at the photos in the new listing, and we noticed a few more things, so I figured we would write one post to tie everything together.

Those of you who know us probably know the story: we were renting this house in Sycamore Creek, which was a nice neighborhood when we moved in, but had turned into a desolate ghost-town by the time we left in 2008, due to the insane number of foreclosures and abandoned houses. We had been after our landlords since the day we moved in about repairs, but they never did anything. Later, we found out that they had stopped paying their mortgage and were skimming our rent payments. We then stopped paying them, and ended up dragging each other into court. We eventually settled with them for about six months of free rent. We got some great advice on how to handle the situation from a lawyer named Ken Carlson at CalTenantLaw.com.

Anyway, after we moved out, we found the "for sale" listing for the house and noticed that it said the house needed air conditioning, kitchen appliances, and cosmetic repair. We thought that was weird, since it certainly had all of that when we left. Just to see, I drove by the house a couple of weeks ago, and saw that the two air conditioning compressors in the backyard had been removed! So, obviously, our previous landlords were trying to get anything of value out of the house before the bank took it back.

Well, as of a couple of days ago, the house has gone back to the bank and is listed as an REO. The new photos are incredible! THEY TOOK EVERYTHING!! I have some photos to show you what I mean:

The most obvious example is the den, or whatever you would call the area off the kitchen. Here it is a few days after we moved in:

... and here it is now:

Notice anything (other than the furniture) gone? Drapes? Ceiling fan?? Plantation shutters??? They stripped it good!

A similar theme goes throughout the other rooms. There are actually very few meaningful pictures in the listing -- any prospective buyers are going to get a shock! The 'Great Room' had the same kind of curtains and shutters, but it's gone now. This is what it looked like when we moved in (I don't have a picture from this angle now, but it's obvious looking at the rest that it's all gone):

And, the kitchen actually had appliances in it, unlike now (old pic):

Of course, while we were there, we were fighting with the landlord's over the condition of the place, which they had promised to fix in 2006 -- things like broken wood flooring, floors that don't meet walls, shattered door jambs, and stuff like this, which is undoubtedly still there:

I guess the bottom line here is that these home-debtors really raped this house. Not that I have too much sympathy for banks right now, but if they have loaned money based on holding security, and before they take the security the debtor ruins, or takes, a good portion of the value of it for themselves, how is that not grand theft? It's more than $400 of theft, right? It seems like that would be illegal...

Well, it's their karma. They can deal with their own lives. We have moved on, and made ourselves happy, but it was just incredible to see this pop-up last night on HousingKaboom!

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