[caption id="attachment_626" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Paradise lost."][/caption] I've been posting a lot about the dilapidated, rotten side of the foreclosure crisis. More and more, however, we're seeing more expensive homes that have fallen into foreclosure. This is follows the national trend of three waves of foreclosures. According to The New York Times,
The initial spike involved speculators who gave up property because of plunging real estate prices, and the secondary shock centered on borrowers whose introductory interest rates expired and were reset higher. The third wave represents standard mortgages, known as prime, written to people who had decent credit ratings, but who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn and are facing the loss of homes they had considered safe.
This third wave is just beginning. Here are some shots of two homes I inspected last week. The first is pre-trashout, and the second has already been cleaned. [caption id="attachment_627" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The kitchen is bigger than my garage."][/caption] This home is your typical McMansion. It's an impressive-looking edifice, but feels hastily built. It overlooks a well-known golf course, and the streets in the neighborhood are named after the natural features that were plowed down in order to create this neighborhood. The home is large in the way that only an American home can be (we do have the largest average square footage per housing unit in the world), and embodies the excess that the first years of last decade brought to the building industry. [caption id="attachment_631" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="This is debatable."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_632" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Your typical foreclosed sink."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Anyone wanna bet what this place'll sell for?"]poker set[/caption] [caption id="attachment_636" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Down the hallway."][/caption] It's not my style. Still, it's easy to see the attraction: a lot of home for the price, on a large lot, in a desirable subdivision. Fireplaces, jacuzzis, three-car garages, vaulted ceilings, and ample storage space: the sirens of overconsumption.   [caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="A balcony to overlook your living room."][/caption] Later that day, I inspected another property a few towns over. This place is more my style, and was probably the McMansion of its day when it was built a century ago. Still, the details are revealing of who has lived there. [caption id="attachment_640" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="This Old House."][/caption] The inside showcases some excellent craftsmanship. Note the staircase and ceiling. [caption id="attachment_642" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Some nice digs to prepare your arugula-and-spinach salad."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_644" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="I love the artistry of this staircase."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_645" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Elegance."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_646" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="A grand place to receive post."][/caption] Up until this point, most of the work I've seen come in has been garbage houses, run-down dwellings and other distressed properties. These two, however, are beautiful homes in excellent neighborhoods. Now that we're in the thick of the third wave of foreclosures I suspect that we'll be seeing a lot more grand homes like these.    

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