It is nearing the end of our "forever and a day" wait for the lender's final approval letter outlining the terms of what they need to complete the short sale closing. During a recent visit to the long anticipated vacant home of their dreams the buyer realizes that the water heater is missing! The air conditioner's condenser unit is missing from the outside too! Vandalism is running rampant throughout Southern California's neighborhoods hardest hit by declining values leaving communities dotted with one vacant home after another. Some areas are so hard hit that they have become a breeding ground for vandals and thieves to rob these vacant homes of just about anything that is not anchored or bolted down well into their foundations.
As foreclosures continue across the nation in record numbers this type of behavior will continue to run rampant increasing the loss associated with the meltdown of the mortgage market by millions of additional dollars. However, these losses are rarely absorbed by the lending institutions. These losses come directly out of the pockets of individuals who have put it all out on the line to proudly take ownership and begin rebuilding desolate neighborhoods into the glorious communities they were built to be.
So why has this rebuilding process come to rest on the shoulders of the homeowners, real estate agents and hard working citizens of our nation who are barely able to keep their own families fed much less shovel more revenue into the mouths of these predatory lenders? Where is the humanity in that?
A few thousand dollars of necessary repairs is a pittance compared the enormous losses these lenders are taking by dragging their feet for colossal amounts of time before coming to a final conclusion as to whether they will approve or disapprove of a short sale offer. In retrospect, a few thousand dollars is an enormous amount of money to an already strapped buyer or real estate agent who has been on the phone nearly every day for six to nine months begging for an answer or any information they may be able to pass on to their increasingly frustrated client.
These lenders need to step up and take responsibility for the maintenance and condition of their properties and stop placing the burden on the individuals who have taken on the pain and risk necessary to cultivate these tarnished communities into the thriving, safe and beautiful residential landscapes we once admired.
Diane Wheatley, Broker