20 November, 2007

House Resolution

An end to the saga of our house in America. Briefly to recap: We abandoned it, after no help from the mortgage-holder, when we were unable to sell it; they tried to auction it, asking some thirty thousand dollars more than the remainder of the mortgage, but it did not sell at auction. Now, though, a resolution has been reached; like the rest of the story, though, it is not altogether straightforward.

The house has been sold, finally. Not at auction, not surprisingly, but as the result of foreclosure proceedings. One of the ironies is that it sold for between twentyfive and thirtyfive thousand, when we had a cash offer for fifty thousand that our bank wouldn't let us accept, and about sixty thousand was still owed on the property. Sadly, in the end, the bank probably didn't lose any money over it, despite their appalling behaviour, as i expect their mortgages are insured in some way to prevent loss. (Of course, just because they didn't lose money, it doesn't mean they aren't losers.)

There are a couple of rather curious features in the process; we have been able to find and access an inspector's report on the property, which has given rise to several questions. The report claims that there were no appliances in the house; we left a stove, refrigerator, washing machine, tumble drier, dishwasher, and garbage disposal unit. The same report also indicated holes in the walls; when we left the house, twenty months before the date of the report, there weren't holes. Not only that, but the report also says that there are no fixtures in the downstairs bathroom; again, when we left, the bathroom was complete.

It rather makes me wonder if, after we left, because it was empty for such a long time, somebody didn't break into the house and do some structural damage as well as removing the appliances. The only other alternative i see is that our good bankers themselves had the items removed, but i find that a little hard to imagine, as they could hardly have recovered much that way; everything was clearly used ~ well used, most of it!

Another curious finding is to be found in another report we located, this on referring to the lead paint inspection. Apparently the inspector “determined that there is deteriorated lead-based paint in the property and lead hazard reduction activities will be required”; that is, obviously, a concern, because we raised three young children there ~ indeed, our son lived there from the time he was born until he was almost nine. You'd think that the report before we purchased the house would have revealed that toxic paint. You'd have hoped so, anyway.

Anyway, the final resolution has been reached. The only interaction i can now foresee as possible is if, as some distant point in the future, one or other of our children returns and visits the house, as i have done to some of the ones i grew up in. I admit, i'm curious about what will happen to it; i had a number of happy years there, but it's gone now.

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