Foreclosures – The Truth

John P. Wells, on his blog, has an excellent short statement on foreclosures.     

As much as Newburyport is a desirable place, there are always a small collection of individuals who end up on hard-times.    The present economy has only enlarged this unfortunate ‘select’ group.       Included in this, are buildings that have been deteriorating for a long time.

Developers are always on the lookout for distressed properties.     Properties that to the average onlooker would hardly be noticed as we gaze on the more beautiful, well-maintained buildings and landscapes that surround it.     But to developers, they shine forth as beacons of profitable opportunity.

If the property is in great condition, the bank usually treats it as any other property and gets as close to market value as they can.  It is when the property is in poor condition – often the case – that deals can be done.  [my accenting] Not only do most buyers not want to deal with houses in need of major work, but unless they have very large cash down payments on these properties, they have a problem getting financing.”

                                                                                              -John P. Wells

This isn’t the realm of ordinary purchasers, you have to be ready to renovate and have the mechanism to obtain the financing.    

It is precisely this reason that Newburyport has lost so many historic homes as developers in the region have descended upon our City to ‘feed’ either to flip the house or to be so bold as to tear down the home.       I might add that there is a growing number of developers who are responsibly renovating and restoring.      The key is to keep an eye on your neighborhood.

Do you have a distressed building on your street?

It’s a joy when someone comes in seeking to improve the property.   It will help the general value for your own home.

It’s a nightmare if harm comes to your streetscape by inappropriate structures and a disruption of the neighborhood feel.  

Keep an eye out on who purchases that distressed wreck.     Attend meetings if the developer goes before the planning board or the ZBA and inquire with the building department.        Later, watch closely on the work being done and be ready to call the building inspector.     Don’t assume he has the time or the expense to monitor the conduct of the construction.

Apathy could cost you a lot of money.

-P. Preservationist




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