Yes, the Mortgage Meltdown IS your Problem
Sure it’s fun to sit there all smug and superior and think “why didn’t that stupid shit read the fine print?” or “I’m not gonna bail out some greedy irresponsible $#!%&*$#& who bought a house he couldn’t afford.”
The foreclosure tsunami has been wrecking neighborhoods all across the country. And it isn’t just happening in “bad” neighborhoods. Mass foreclosures are having a domino effect in middle class and upscale neighborhoods as well.
Abandoned houses are a target for vandalism. In some cases thieves are stealing all the copper wiring, copper plumbing fixtures and aluminum siding from empty houses.
These empty buildings are also a magnet for prostitution, drug dealing and gang activities. Even without these new additions to the neighborhood, your own property values will go into freefall if there are too many foreclosures nearby. You weren’t thinking of selling were you?
According to one calculation, every 1% increase in foreclosures will produce a 2.23% increase in violent crime. (The linked article has a .pdf link giving the details.)
According to this report, about three percent of all homeowners will enter the foreclosure process by the end of 2009. And forty-three percent of all homeowners will feel the ripple effect of these foreclosures.
A favorite conservative mantra is “a rising tide lifts all boats.” And now we’re seeing the flip side of this.
It comes down to a matter of priorities. If you’re gung ho about property values AND you go ballistic at the thought of somebody getting “something for nothing,” you have a choice to make. You could let the foreclosure crisis ruin your own life, just so you can keep thinking “Yeah, that serves those lazy bastards right. That’ll fix ‘em!” Or you could have that rising tide lift (or at least maintain) your own property values, even if it means fuming and pulling your hair out because somewhere, some lazy worthless parasite is getting a handout.
There’ve been a lot of anecdotes about neighbors ganging up on one homeowner who doesn’t mow his lawn or has a disabled vehicle parked out front. “He’s bringing down property values!” With cognitive dissonance being such a popular affliction, there are probably millions of homeowners who are simultaneously 1) going apeshit because somebody down the street has a car up on blocks; and 2) thinking to themselves “Mortgage crisis? Not my problem.”
cross-posted at Bring It On!