|Empty houses don't stay this nice for long. It's surprising how quickly a house which is not being checked or maintained deteriorates.|
We live deep in the country where barns are common, and large acreage and forests are the norm. I mentioned this trend some time ago, but it is a trend which is continuing. When I make my weekly trips to pharmacies, or the distant trip to Sam's Club every couple of weeks, I have been noticing that more and more people are moving and leaving their homes empty. Why does this happen ? Well in many places, people disappear when they choose not to rent somewhere anymore. However, in our area, there are very few rentals, and so the homes being abandoned are not generally the rentals. Sometimes people leave when they lose a job and find another one elsewhere, and could not sell their home. Homes are averaging a year on the market, and so sometimes people must simply move to another state, to a new job. They, in essence, abandon their home and their responsibility to pay its mortgage. Quite a few months later, the bank forecloses, and then makes attempts to sell the home. You might think that this is a great way to pick up a house at a low cost, but it really isn't. Our daughter spent a year visiting all the local foreclosures trying to buy a home here. What she found was that banks who often felt very stuck by having someone who owed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars on a home, were not at all likely to accept that the home they now own, has a roof leak and may now be worth about ninety-thousand dollars. Rather than cutting their losses, many of the banks see these sales as a chance to recoup losses. The result are homes and farms which stay vacant for a long time and fall into significant disrepair, even if they were constructed within the past five years or so. Our daughter finally found a home, but she did not purchase from a bank. It is disturbing to note more and more people moving away, as they cannot pay mortgages on a home they once loved. The result is a county who charges taxes to someone, likely a bank, and then who finds that a property that was at one time assessed at a high rate, is now worth much less. Our county has seen a consistent devaluation of many properties during this recession. Some of the luxury homes have been up for five years or more. The owners cannot take a huge amount less for them, because a large mortgage is owed. They simply cannot take less than the mortgage owed, because then the property cannot be conveyed to someone else, without the original mortgage being cleared. Locally, banks haven't been too willing to receive less than the mortgage amount, even by a couple of thousand dollars in order to convey the property to someone else, and get a loan which is in trouble off their own books.
|This trained horse which is registration eligible is for sale for $800. in a county nearby. She is only five years old.|
The other trend which is happening here, concerns the animals. In the past eighteen months, costs to feed our animals have doubled. Cornmeal has skyrocketed in costs, as has hay and other staples for animals. My husband believes that it costs us five hundred dollars a month to feed all of our animals. This trend has caused people who own horses to sell as many of them as they can. It has caused people with alpaca farms to liquidate completely. There are also many ads, where someone with farm livestock is selling their animals, pigs, calves, etc. for a particular price, but if you have a good home which meets their requirements, then they will make a gift of the animal to you. I cannot tell you how many Quarterhorses, Percherons, donkeys, or others have been offered to us free of charge recently. People simply can't pay feed costs, veterinary costs, farrier costs, etc. Although I would like to get a miniature horse at some point, I cannot take any animal for which I don't have pasture and housing specifically arranged, and arrangements for equine veterinary care and farrier care. I am thankfully not aware of trends indicating that animals are being abandoned here. Thus far, when people must leave, they have made arrangements for their animals.
I have no idea whether my area is unusual or whether this is occurring in other rural areas across the country. We are told that an improvement in construction trends is being seen. It hasn't reached here yet. I hope things are better where you are.