Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Foreclosures following the Quake and Aftershocks of Virginia

This is not the house we looked at with our son today, but whomever built the house we looked at was clearly very inspired by Frank Lloyrd Wright architecture and design.  There were raised steps and platforms, shaded gardens and many mature oaks.  Unfortunately, there is a structural defect so significant in the home we looked at, that I don't think we can even consider it for even a day longer.

        With our daughter safely loading things into her house, and awaiting her new security system, my husband and I began the process of looking for houses with our eldest son.   Our eldest son is one year younger than his sister, but as a professional sculptor, he does not have the good job or regular income that she does. Normally getting a house would have to wait, but with so many foreclosures and home going for much less than they normally would, we feel that now is the time to either pick up a relatively new home in need of refurbishment he could do, or to pick up a nice piece of land on which to build.   And so, the process begins.  The first house we looked at was a four bedroom fairly new home which turned out to be a doublewide on three acres.  We were attempting to assess the neighborhood and do a drive by when the tenant screamed at us and chased us.  Apparently, he is not too thrilled with the concept of the owners selling and his apparent impending eviction and he made that pretty clear.   He really should simply have let us look so we could rule it out.   Still, although the price was right, a doublewide is not our son's heart's desire.  Like most artists, he likes architecture, basements and lots of masonry.   The next house is fairly near his sister's new home, and has an exquisite lot with landscaping. The house itself is quite lovely.  However, it is at the beginning of its process of repossession, and does have pretty serious structural defects which were caused by the 5.7 earthquake which occurred in the region almost a year ago. There is now black mold in the house from leakage from damage.  We notified the bank of this, and could not believe they did not know.
                  The third house we looked at this week is priced at more than the doublewide, but less than the small estate with the leaking chimney.   This particular house is completely ready to be under contract as soon as the correct buyer emerges.   We made a trip up to the house this afternoon.  The house is in a very expensive rural area, and some of the homes in the region are in the million dollar range.  It's a great place to pick up something in the starter range. It would have to be pretty bad for us not to want it, in this neighborhood, we thought. We pulled up to the end of the cul-de-sac to a home with a canopy of lovely mature oaks.  We drove around the circular driveway before decided where to park the car.  There was a gorgeous shade garden with steps to the home, which kind of whispered, "a sculptor-gardener should live here !"    Then we neared the house.  The house was built in the nineteen sixties of brick and is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I loved it !  I could simply imagine garden and other sculptures by my son gracing the meandering walkways.   Then, we dodged poison ivy around the house in order to do a better assessment of the structure itself.  We were devastated, and I wanted to cry when I saw it.  The home has been seriously damaged by the earthquake.  There is very significant damage to it's foundation, despite attempts to patch it, most likely by the bank who has repossessed it.  Inside, where earthquake damage ruptured part of this homes central chimney, there has been water leakage through the chimney into the home.  The sheetrock ceiling has collapsed and there is black mold within the home. This home has more damage than our son should take on.  We must pass on what I will call the "Frank Lloyd Wright" house.

This is a picture of "Taliesin", Frank Lloyd Wright's actual home.   The home we looked at today reminded me of Taliesin, damaged in a quake.  (Photo: Wisconsin Historical Society)
               We will simply have to continue to have faith in God.   Our son will find the right thing, with, or without us, when the time is right.


russell1200 said...

FLW ignored the structural engineers who warned hime that many of his designs were structurally unsound. Many of them have had to undergo extensive structural rework to keep them standing. Of course since they are a FLW-designed house, there is value in the home to make it worthwhile. A faux-FLW would be another story altogether.

JaneofVirginia said...

So far as I know this would be a faux Frank Lloyd Wright house. I hope someone chooses to save this beautiful home. My son on the other hand, for the same money could simply build something with a basement !