Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homing In

If you haven't picked up your copy of the Flyer yet this week, John Branston, Bianca Phillips, Bruce VanWyngarden, and I did a package on local foreclosures and how they're affecting the housing market, the tax base, and the overall community.

I know, I know. You're thinking, "Foreclosures? Ugh. Boring."

And maybe you don't know anyone who has been foreclosed on and you're not in any danger of being foreclosed on, so why do you care?

But I would say it's a pretty important story.

When tax revenue relies on local property values, a widespread decline in those values could be very detrimental.

And you never know what might happen.

Bianca Phillips' piece is a first-person account of her recent brush with foreclosure when her apartment building was suddenly foreclosed on. It wasn't anything she was expecting — how could she? Just one day, out of the blue, there was a realtor at the building, telling the tenants they had two weeks to get out or they'd be evicted.

The tenants eventually got more time — you should read the piece if you get a chance — but as she learned, in these situations, tenants basically have no rights at all.

Bruce VanWyngarden wrote about his recent experience buying and selling a home. I don't think his experience is necessarily typical, but it is interesting to read a first-hand account of what's going on in the market.

And if that doesn't interest you, well, there's always News of the Weird (page 60).

UPDATE: You can read the stories from the foreclosure package here, here, here and here.

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