April 14, 2005

Oh My....

Ok...My Mom's neighborhood is sketchy at best. In our area, it feeds into the worst high school as far as drugs, fighting, gun violence, etc. It's at least 50 years old, was mostly 900 sq. foot single level dwellings. When we moved in (1977) it was nice. Now it's a bit dilapidated...a lot of the homes are rentals or owned by people that don't give a crap about their home or how it looks.

Because there is no HOA, there are a lot of homes that have one or more of the following characteristics:
  • never cut grass
  • broken down cars in streen in front of house or in yard
  • excessive lawn ornaments
  • animals that run free
  • excessive number of cars that they park in the street
  • need paint
  • need paint that matches
  • have teal (TEAL I tell you!) trim

    Ugh. So anyway, in the past couple of years, with the housing boom, an un-renovated, original house in this neighborhood is going for about $500,000. I kid you not. AND what a lot of people are doing is tearing out the hold house and building a two story w/garage home on the 1/4 to 1/2 acre lot they bought. I have not seen a new home where the people did not keep their yard and property BEAUTIFUL.

    My Mom's is an exception...in 1991 my father, choosing to stay where he had land in such a super-desirable location, was one of the first people to tear down and rebuild. He built my mother a georgeous colonial w/3 car garage before he died.

    Monday, while looking thru the neighborhood website to find someone to cut her grass, I noticed some debate going on about people building these huge houses...Uh oh. Seems some people are building 3 and 4 story homes. Now, I don't care...No, I take that back. I actually LIKE all the rebuilding...they LOOK SO NICE compared to what was there. BUT I noticed the "covenants" of the neighborhood. Covenants? I, and my father, had always been under the impression that there were not any. WRONG!

    No dwellling more than 2 stories and no more than a 2 car garage. FUCK! Now there is a move afoot by some residents to have people tear down things that are outside the guidelines. Double FUCK. My mother doesn't have the money to do this. Yes, she has a big house, because it was already paid for. No, my father didn't leave her a huge amount of money. Just enough to retire at age 65 (in ten more years) without him. AND the yearly increase in property tax is eating away at that small sum nicely. She works 45 hours a week at her job (hair stylist) AND 30 hrs a week watching my son AND cuts hair out of her home to make ends meet.

    Now, remember, the homes in the neighborhood DON'T MATCH. Some homes look TERRIBLE. Some homes have been re-faced in Spanish style (nothing wrong w/that, just doesn't match). Some homes have had numerous, small additions put on so they look a little odd. Some of the original homes were build sideways (meaning the side of the house faces the street). Lots of chain link fence. Lots of RUSTY chain link fence.

    I sort of think the people against all this new development are jealous maybe? The new homes make the neighborhood look BETTER...and families with more money will demand the local elementary school do better (it's currently ranked last)...


    Sara said...

    I can almost picture the neighborhood based on your description!

    We are dealing with our own housing issues here with rising property taxes. We have made a significant amount of money on the home, but don't know whether to sell now or later.

    It should be easier than this!

    girl from florida said...

    I CANNOT believe that!!! You would think the larger homes would only HELP the price range/worth of the surrounding homes, so why form a convenant against them?

    Do you think she can be grandfathered in? That really really sucks.