The Neighborhood and New Neighbors

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The Westview neighborhood has been through a rough patch…but I truly believe that it is experiencing a renaissance. Patrick and I have noticed simply in the two months we’ve lived here/six month’s we’ve owned the house. A lot of houses remain on the market, but there’s change nonetheless. We’ll drive through the streets every so often to see what has changed, and there are still tons of houses for sale. This is such a beautiful neighborhood – it makes my heart cry ever time I drive by one of these 90-year old bungalows that has been so neglected. This neighborhood is such a gem, it just needs the right bungalow lovers to move in and provide the love and care that these historic houses need. Unfortunately the area has been ravaged by mortgage fraud and is leaving many houses empty. Our street has approximately 30 houses on it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 10 of them are empty. Or at least were. Diagonally across the street from us people moved in about a month ago. Then they started renovating the house next to them (and still are). Hopefully that means someone will move in soon. The last thing we need is more mortgage fraud. Then further up the street they’re doing extensive renovations to a house as well. And just a couple of days ago we’ve had neighbors move in next door to us!

The house has been empty for as long as we know. On one hand it’s been depressing having an empty house next to us, on the other hand we’ve enjoyed the privacy it provided. A contractor started some work on it about a month and a half ago, telling us a widow and 6 (!) kids were to start renting March 1st (a little to our shock). March 1st came and went and no one moved in. The contractor informed us that they were having problems getting the power hooked back up. He told us some crazy story about the previous homeowner owing some $3,500.00 electric bill and the electric company came out and cut off the wires to the house. Supposedly they need to pay the bill before the power will get hooked back up. Why a new homeowner would have to pay a previous homeowners electric bill I don’t know, but then again I didn’t talk to the power people. In any case, the power was supposed to be turned on any day – and that was the response we received for the next month and a half. So a few days ago the neighbors moved in (to our joy a husband, wife, 88-year old g’pa and 22-year old son – not a widow with 6 kids!)…no power, no gas, no water. It’s been 4 days now, and we’ve helped them out by letting them plug an extension cord into an outlet on our porch, and by letting them fill big buckets of water from our garden faucet. I know what trouble we had getting some things hooked up here and there and how we were sweating things on moving day (like the gas), but I can at least say we had everything hooked up by the end of the night! I hope they get things sorted out soon. I’m not even quite sure how the landlord can legally let them live there under these conditions.

So it’s good to see all this action on simply our street. Interestingly enough an acquaintance recently told us his friend has been looking at buying a house in our neighborhood. Apparently he has made offers on several houses and has been out-bid each time. In a couple of instances he even offered more than the asking price. I hope he will eventually get a deal somewhere because I think it’s the kind of people we need in the neighborhood…young, ambitious individuals.

And last but not least they have also been working on some of the spaces in the little village center at the end of our street. That was very refreshing because it is such a cool, old looking building that needed a face lift. No one seems to be moving in yet, but at least they renovated it to a point where it’s not just a pathetic looking building anymore. I would absolutely love a cool little eatery to go in there, because that’s one thing we’re missing around here – places to eat.

So here’s to more improvements in our cute little gem of a neighborhood – may it continue to prosper and become the treasure that I know it is!

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