An Important Comment from a Friend and Neighbor in Atlanta

Steve is a friend and neighbor.  He has had an eye out on the real issues that have plagued our city and neighborhood.  I am moving his comment to my last blog entry up front because he zones in to the most pertinent issues on all of this.

The future of our neighborhoods in Atlanta are no different than in many places.  I hope these entries spark some thought and conversations in different ways.

Lady Nyo

Steve wrote:

Thanks Lady Nyo for the candid and stark realities of living in intown Atlanta, home to some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the country as you noted. I too reside in Capitol View going on just 10-years so my perspective is similar but also different compared to your nealry 40 years. To see what a charming neighborhood this is from a historic and architecture standpoint, it pains me to see the abuse it endures. These people have no respect. But then again they have none for themselves. It is a culture in chaos.

To add insult to serve injuries, we have a crisis in our local (neighborhood) housing market. As Lady Nyo pointed out we have welcomed an onslaught of new residents via gentrification. They are mostly white, some black, but interestingly most middle class blacks don’t want to live here as they do not want to live “among these people.” My hardworking, law abiding black neighbors moved out recently to a more stable area.

This area, most notably zip code 30310, is one of the most hardest hit areas for mortgage fraud and foreclosures. These foreclosures are selling (bought by investors) under $50K with most going for $30K or less. These are the only houses selling. The house across the street from me had an offer of $68K but appraised at $29K. Appraisers use the most recent sales to arrive at their values but these are skewed due to the large investor purchases of foreclosures. Now actual home buyers cannot get appraisals to make purchases due to this disparity as they would need to come up with the cash to make up the difference. Renovated homes in this area have sold for between $130K-$200K just a year ago. We have got to get the appraisal process modified here or we face the prospect of returning to being an unstable, low-income, subsided housing neighborhood if owner occupied homes are not allowed to be bought. And what about those who have large mortgages relative to these low appraisals ? How long if at all will it take for market values to equal what is owed on them? If that doesn’t happen, we will see more foreclosures occur in the years ahead.

I am going to confer with our legislators and local realtors to brainstorm for idea on how to combat this.


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2 Responses to “An Important Comment from a Friend and Neighbor in Atlanta”

  1. Z Says:

    M’Lady

    I will share with you some of the UK response to similar issues which may be of interest.

    In the UK there are organisations called Housing Associations that are part charity, part semi public organisations, they are landlords in the main. However, they have been charged by the UK Government to provide Mortgage Rescue packages.
    These are designed to keep owners living in the homes they purchased, even when they would have been forclosed. This results in the Association buying the debt and then renting the home back to the occupiers at an affordable rental. There is built in a process of buy back when the residents circumstances change allowing them to repurchase the home they once owned.

    Of course it would be far simpler to subsidise the Owners directly but few Governments wish to be so direct!
    This does not deal with the fallout of the NINJA loans and outright fraud.

    Here in the UK we are beginning to see a small up turn in the property market, but that is because we have a net shortage of homes overall whereas in the US you have a gross surplus. If any of your readers wish more detail you know how to contact me.

    My regards

    Z

    Like

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Z.

    My friend and neighbor Steven will be best for me to past this by, and as he reads this blog, he will get your information anyway.

    I believe we have some sort of similar associations, and IF we don’t….we should have.

    One of the complaints I hear a lot is this: That 700 billion package that US taxpayers are footing were supposed through banks to help homeowners maintain their homes…foreclosed homes. But it’s not happening….and there is little that people can do except complain. It’s a terrible situation when the very people who are paying for these programs don’t get any benefit.

    There is a terrible disconnect between lots of things in the US. Perhaps because government is so big and there is so much of red tape, I don’t know, but something has to break. Steve pointed to the issues of appraisal…where the system presently in place (and we were feeling the full effects of that) only benefits the investors. I wanted to throw out this very hefty female appraiser from my house a few months ago because her attitude was amazing: She was top-heavy with power as to her place in the scheme of things, and it certainly effected the housing market. To the bad.

    We need a revolution on a number of fronts…and mortgage fraud, housing and banking are just a few issues.

    Thank you for reading and writing with a comment. Always appreciated.

    Lady Nyo

    Like

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