October 18, 2004

Rising Property Values Or Not

It is a good thing my husband and I haven't been counting on the rising property values around us as a nest egg. When I went out this morning for groceries, I noticed that the slummy, long-empty house across the street was having stuff done to it. Now I've been aware for a long time that the slum lord was trying to off-load the property and rumor has it that he was offered $125,000 and turned it down, much to all the neighbors sorrow. No word had gone around that the property had been sold, but today the fence was gone, a backhoe and a dump truck were in the back yard and the back yard was now filled with gravel from one end to another.

Yep, the house sold -- and for a hefty sum according to the county maps. Unfortunately it sold to the church behind it, whose building has been "under construction" with nothing being done to it for a year now. My husband called and they have plans to add on to the exisiting house and turn the backyard into a parking lot. How lovely. No doubt they will take care of this place as well as the other two houses they own in the neighborhood -- which is to say, not well.

And this all comes from the aforementioned slum lord, who at a recent zoning hearing complained that a developer who wanted to convert a drug house into a light commercial office space and renovate it was "ruining the residential character of the neighborhood."

Hmph. When I'm emperor, people will only get to freely exercise their property rights when it doesn't impinge upon mine and I won't have to look across the street at a parking lot.


We have a church across the street. Thy are definitely our loudest neighbors, but usually it's good noise. We've also been using the parking lot as overflow parking. Not, of course, on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, or Wednesday evenings, since they have regular activities at those times. It would seem, though, that we're always conflicting with a funeral or a lawnmowing or somesuch, and they asked us (with less than extreme cordiality) not to use the lot without calling first. Of course, as he was laying down the law, the congregational representative (I assume it was the pastor, who lives about 50 yards away) was parked in our driveway. I suppose he thinks he was making a point, but it seems to me there's a difference between parking in somebody's driveway and parking in a parking lot. Anyway, he made me feel bad, which makes me defensive, I guess, since I got a little bit mad (though I was on my best behavior and apologized several times, with no apparent softening of the guy's attitude). You'd think he would at least congratulate us on our baby.

Posted by: Lenise at October 18, 2004 04:38 PM