No More Dead Grassroots Movement

According to Wikipedia, a grassroots movement... is one driven by the constituents of a community.

Walking out to my car on a warm Saturday morning, I am thankful to my neighbor who had started a grassroots movement of his own... what I'm going to call the "No More Dead Grassroots Movement". For almost 6 months, my awesome neighbor, Frank Veloz, has mowed, watered, and tended to the garden and the front lawn of the house abandoned next to his.

Finally, just last week, the bank has taken possession, and thankfully, has turned the water on and started landscaping service. I say thankfully, because as you can clearly see driving through your neighborhood, sometimes the banks/realtors will go this extra mile, and sometimes they won't.

Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Recently, Joseph Ascenzi with reported

"One in every 38 houses in the Inland region received a foreclosure notice of some kind during the first quarter of this year, the second-highest foreclosure rate per household of any metro market nationwide during that time."

Mr. Ascenzi goes on to report, "In all, 37,239 foreclosure notices - default notices, auction sale notices or bank repossessions -- were issued on properties in Riverside and San Bernardino counties during the first three months of this year, a 230.8% increase compared with the first quarter of 2007, according to RealtyTrac in Irvine, which charts foreclosure rates throughout the United States. The activity represented a 39.1% jump in foreclosures compared with the fourth quarter of 2007, RealtyTrac found."

"Unfortunately, I think we're looking at the tip of the iceberg," said Steve Johnson, director with the Riverside office of Metrostudy, a housing information and consulting firm based in Houston. "Because of the jobs we've lost and the other economic problems we're having, I think we're going to see a lot of foreclosures for at least nine more months. I believe this has become an economic issue, not just a subprime issue."

The "tip of the iceberg"? 9 more months? And although the article is saying 1 in 38, I don't know about you, but the ratio is much higher in my neighborhood. Yikes!

To minimize the damage to the asthetics of our neighborhoods join me, and caring neighbors like Frank, in supporting a "No More Dead Grassroots Movement" here in Menifee. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you are losing your home, stay in it and take care of it until the house goes to bank sale. (The banks really do want you to stay until they take it. By doing so, the property has less chance of being vandalized, the landscape stays green, and you can take advantage of the bank's "Cash For Keys" program. If you don't know how long before the bank sale, your friendly neighborhood Realtor can usually get this info from the MLS Realist website.) Note: this also applies to Renters in foreclosure homes.

2. When you do move-out, keep the eletricity and the water on for at least a couple of weeks. That will give the Realtor time to switch over service.

3. If your neighbors move out unexpectedly, do what you can to help maintain the front yard of the property. Do not assume that the bank will immediately take over the maintenance of the property. Get together with your other neighbors and take turns mowing and watering.

Although we, as a community have no control over the number of foreclosures each neighborhood will see, we DO have control over the way our neighborhoods look.

I know there are other Frank Veloz' out there, and if you have one of these in your neighborhood, PLEASE show your appreciation to him or her and POST A COMMENT on this blog.

Just Say NO... to Dead Grass!


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