Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Story Too Sad Not to Tell . . .

. . . even though I usually resist feeding off other bloggers' topics, because this one relates to both houses and to restoration, I think this story on The Eastsider LA is worth sharing.

If you haven't the energy to click on the story, it's about a woman who loses her home to foreclosure - her home of 30 years - an 1887 Victorian in an historic preservation zone of Angelino Heights. The story describes the woman as a passionate preservationist and an asset to the neighborhood.

Foreclosure stories aren't just about McMansions.

The neighborhood is within (longish) walking distance from my home. I was walking through there just this past weekend, thinking about how much it takes to fully restore and maintain those old Victorians. To do it well takes a lot of money and a lot of vision and either a lot of time or even more money. In some cases, it could be a lifelong project. While there are some spectacularly restored treasures in Angelino Heights, there are also plenty of houses whose challenges appear to overwhelm their owners.

I can't image what financial sins she must have committed to lose a home of 30 years. Doesn't matter. None of our business. Whatever it was, this must be colossally painful.

We've only been in our house for 6 1/2 years. We're not doing a faithful restoration. Even when we're done, there will still be plenty to complain about. But I empathize with her. To have all that work, all that vision, all that commitment taken away to be auctioned off to a stranger must be devastating.

I wish her well. I wish the new homeowners well. Oddly, most of all, I wish the house well.


NV said...

OMG. That makes my heart bleed. When I was younger, I always dreamed of restoring an old home like that. All it took was taking on this crazy tiny place to convince me that I must've been outta my mind!

I have a deep and abiding respect for anyone up to that challenge so it makes it even sadder to hear about a case like this.

Why S? said...

NV, you weren't out of your mind. You just didn't know any better. Even now, after all we've been through with our fixer, I still see old houses and think "we could really do something with that."