I’ve posted before about how we moved into our neighborhood at the height of the housing bubble. At the time, it truly was a seller’s market, and if you’re in the market for a house in the US right now, you’ll know that the crash has hit Delaware hard. In fact, we’re the #1 state in the union for home foreclosures, with almost three times as many foreclosures than any other state. It’s nice to be first, but not for that.
We weren’t the last “suckers” to move in, mind you. No, that glorious distinction belongs to the people who moved in across the street about a year after we did. The house they bought was, even by bubble standards, ridiculously overpriced. We were shocked when it was sold, given the number of beds and baths was the same as ours, yet was priced nearly $30k more than our home.
Once the new neighbors moved in, I began to understand why they bought the house. The couple, a man and woman in their twenties, had more money than brains. They lived on credit, openly admitting they always wanted to biggest, most expensive things they could find. They filled their home with their purchases, and it was obvious they had no qualms about spending outside of their means.
I had to admit I marvelled at the new cars, expensive handbags, fancy furniture, and what not they’d been enjoying while we struggled with job loss and the prospect of not being able to make it work in our Delaware experiment. It was hard not to feel a little jealous. Still, my husband assured me that we were doing what was best for us, and their finances were none of our concern. We remained pleasant enough with them, but limited our discussion of money as it always lead to incredulous statements about whatever it was they dropped cash on that week.
One year, we were invited to their home for a halloween party, and were surprised to see that the man of the house had the absolute gall to host in blackface as Mr. T. The lady went as Britney Spears’ meltdown, complete with bald cap, gray hoodie and umbrella. Their bravado was less than appealing. Not long after that, they married, and he lost his job due to layoffs. He found work in another state, and so began their long distance phase of their relationship.
Until recently, we barely saw them. Once the wife came home to find the front door unlocked and was certain that someone had broken into the house. She asked us to let her tiny purse dog stay inside while she called and met the police. The horrid animal shat on our floor, and as it turns out, she just forgot to lock the door when she left that day.
The neighbors next to us moved out, and put her house up for sale. When these folks learned that the new guys were from India, they said so in hushed tones, as if we should be somehow concerned that more “brown” people are moving into the neighborhood. Having literally no problem at all with Indian people, regardless of their shade, I was appalled that they’d say such a thing. (And for the record, except for a few times when they were a little behind getting their lawn mowed – they use a service, which gets busy – they’re absolutely perfect.)
We learned that they were underwater on their mortgage, and planned on renting the home out while the relocated to another state. I began to worry about the kind of folks they’d rent to, and why they thought they’d be good landlords when they wouldn’t be living close by. Then, the wife found a job in the same state as her husband and they let us know they’d be putting the house on the market soon.
One weekend, I caught the husband dumping his yard waste (giant tree branches from his backyard) in the common area. I asked him not to, citing that his pickup truck was more than capable of driving the waste to the free facility down the street for proper disposal. Later that afternoon, he came over to yell at me for scolding him in front of his parents for saying something. I was shocked that of all the things he felt the need to do, giving me a hard time for asking him not to be dumping his garbage was not one I expected.
A few weeks later, they got a moving truck to get their amassed possessions from the home. It took a giant semi to house it all, but on our street, parking such a thing was a feat in and of itself. They had one neighbor’s car towed because they needed the space in front of their home and he had inadvertently parked too close to the grass. They insisted we move our legally parked vehicles as well, promising they’d only need it for a day (which turned into four). They blocked the street with boxes and parked another of their vehicles in the common area as well. Everyone was silently (or in the case of the towed car, not so silently) brooding at their unfathomable inconsideration and rudeness toward their neighbors.
Soon, though, the truck was gone, and so were they. I assume in the coming weeks a for sale sign will be up in front of the house, or the bank will seize the property, or a new set of unruly renters will materialize. I have no idea. But I honestly can’t wait for them to go. And, hopefully whomever shows up to replace them has some sense of how to behave like human beings and these racists asshats can find themselves someplace else to be.