When our forclosure rate was number one in the state, there was no place to go, BUT up.  It is important that forclosed homes are purchased, as each vacant home will cost the taxpayers $30,000.  We can all hope that with the better press regarding the modification to the “probable cause” portion of the immigration resolution,  that times will begin to turn around.  There are still tough economic times ahead for the nation as a whole with the housing crisis, but we can hope that the incredibly cheap housing in PW, not exactly what I want to be known for, will at least soften the double forclosure rate we experienced.   I have this horrible feeling though, that we were more than happy to have all these immigrants here to help build the community and now we can offer cheap housing because so many felt the need to leave their dreams behind, not wanting to live in a community enveloped in fear and hate.  Now, before some people start yellin’ about how the resolution wasn’t to blame for this mess, I agree, we would be, like the rest of the nation, suffering through the housing crisis, but PW was hit especially hard and we do know first hand stories of people leaving, legal immigrants, not wanting to reside in PW County because of the anti-Hispanic climate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/03/AR2008050301095.html

114 thoughts on “PW Housing Market Has No Place To Go, BUT Up!

  1. park'd

    Believe me Moon-Howler if it were as easy as packing up and moving then I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s all but impossible to sell a house in this city for anything resembling what you paid for it, unless you have lived here for a decade or more and even then prices are getting closer to that level every day. MP has erased almost 7 years worth of home value gains in the past year alone. I wish I could move from here but I am stuck and will have to ride it out with absurdly overvalued tax appraisals and extreme losses in home value for the next 3-5 years at least. We still have another good solid round of ARM resets to go in this area in the next year too folks, mine included. These wild kids in this neighborhood are going to drive me crazy long before then. They run in packs with nary a parent to be found anywhere. They have no respect for authority and are constant nuisances with trash and bouncing balls and for some reason they love to hang out in my area…

  2. inon

    “sort how the nighbors might feel if I moved in next door in Great Falls.” If you moved in, they would probably gossip a bit and they wouldn’t invite you to the cocktail party or golf outing, but I doubt they’d feel the need to call zoning on you.

    Now if you moved into with 20 fraternity brothers, whistled at teen girls on the block, urinated in their yards when you were drunk, didn’t mow the lawn, had a keg in the front yard and a giant Phi Delt banners across your front porch left over from rush, blared your music, had ‘working girls’ and pot dealers coming and going all weekend, and parked 20 cars in front of their home, I bet they would call. Now some would say they should come over and talk to you first, and explain that things aren’t done that way in Great Falls. But in actuality, if they did, you’d probably ignore them and say, tough #@#$, may parents worked hard to buy me this house and if I want to have 20 buddies move in, drink beer, entertain the ladies and forget to mow my lawn, that is my @#$ business. Thus the problem and that is exactly why your Great Falls neighbors would call zoning and the police. What happens then?

    Would you have fellow fraternity brothers from across the nation coming out to support your right to party in the fraternity culture that you’ve grown to love? You’re already far from home and your bros are like your family, so they have a right to stay. Would your bros cry ‘Nazi’, “frateraphobic”, etc at the neighbors? Would you send letters to the editor claiming that your neighbors hate all 20 something year old men and that the HOA president is a mean male hater who is out to get every young fraternity boy and if this isn’t stopped right now, what will happen to our country as we know it without stockbrokers, attornies, and doctors?

    And what would you do when the neighbors tried to get an ordinance passed that multiple unrelated people couldn’t live in the same home? Would you go to the press and say these people are ‘fratrists’, and young man haters? Would you say that the neighbors are just ignorant about how much you and the bros contribute to society? Would you say ‘we are the ones who handle your stock purchases, buy the beach homes in the outer banks that you like to rent…we are the ones who represent your son in court when he gets a DUI, and perform your triple bypass surgeries’? Would you say “They have no respect for us, I was in the grocery store with my Phi Delt cap on and I saw the look of disgust in their eyes….I’m just trying to get an education so I can be productive.”? Would you gather up all your bros and head to the county complex in the hundreds with Phi Delt tee shirts, prouding singing your fraternity songs?

    And if you did all that, do you think people would think you are being a little overly sensitive and extreme. Do you think the Washington Post would report that this community is a now divided place to live and all business, schools and neighborhoods will go downhill if all the fraternities move out because of the hate.

    And do you think the people of Great Falls would say that all they wanted was a peaceful neighborhood and fraternity boys are welcome to live there if you follow the zoning rules, mow the lawn, don’t play your music too loud, don’t scare teenage girls, don’t bring drugs or hookers into the neighborhood, and live with only 2 or 3 roommates.

    The above happens all the time in college towns where the townies have run into problems with frat houses. The only difference is that it doesn’t become such a dividing issue because the rhetoric is ramped up.

    That is why it all starts with overcrowding and loitering. You fix those two problems and Prince William will go back to being a diverse, peaceful, friendly place to live for all people. That is all most people care about, and they could care less what the color of their neighbors skin is or the language they speak as long as they’re good neighbors.

  3. Censored bybvbl

    Lol, inon, pretty good analogy. In my experience though..and (from the dark Ages) most frat houses are near campus and the neighborhood usually knows what it’s in for. Buyer beware around college campuses…and affordable housing.

  4. Censored bybvbl

    oops. ” ..and”shouldn’t be there.

  5. Elena

    Rick,
    I have shared that my neighborhood in Centerville changed dramatically! It was mostly people from India and Paksistan. Neighbors on one side would leave car batteries out on the sidewalk for trash to pick up. Well, as we know already, regular trash DOES NOT pick up car batteries. Finally, after two weeks, my husband told them that trash trucks will not pick them up and let them know where THEY would need to take them. They also left a huge, unfolded, carboard box that a mega T.V. came in. I think finally my husband broke it down and took it to the dump. They almost NEVER mowed their grass, we would do it for them. Each house had a beautiful cherry tree in it, the kind that bloom in spring. They CUT it down, I couldn’t believe it! The wife was VERY nice, her mother or mother in law, never smiled, just sort of stared at you. The husband was a total jerk. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, clearly on chemo, and she would be out tending to her yard, even trying to mow once in awhile. I told her to please NOT mow or tend, we would take care of it. On the other side was at least two families, sometimes coming and going of cousins who would stay there. They even had a mattress out on their back deck at one point. Kinda yucky as it wasn’t covered, so I’m sure it must have gotten mildewy from rain. There were domestic issues in that house, one time I knocked on the door in fear that something violent could erupt. I volunteered for a domestic hot line so I felt capable of intervening. As it turns out, it was about to turn bad and later the wife thanked me, and said my coming to the door was very helpful. I guess what I’m saying Rick, is that there neighborhood issues cannot be reduced to illegal vs legal or any particular ethnicity.

  6. Moon-howler

    Inon,

    Very clever analogy. I can sure relate because I grew up in a university town. College students were a problem then but nothing compared to what they are nowadays because kids today aren’t as linked to their parents as they were back in the day.

    I would say people search out communities that measure up to their values. After making the biggest investment of their lives, when these values are destroyed by interlopers, regardless of who it is, they get angry. I think expecting otherwise is unrealistic.

  7. Rick Bentley

    Elena those experiences are different from the ones that are bringing many of us to the conclusion that illegal immigration is ruining communities. To start with, it sounds like they spoke English and therefore you could communicate with them.

    I assume they were here legally as well and you didn’t have to wonder whether they might be undocumented child molesters or other types of criminals who had slipped under the social safety net we supposedly built up in this country.

    Imagine the worst aspects of what you saw – the yuccy mattresses, the sullen mother-in-law – being systematically celebrated and encouraged, while more and more people who sometimes embodied the worst aspects of what you didn’t like slipped into the country illegally and more or less took over your neighborhood. That’s what we’ve lived through here. It’s not just culture clash. It’s culture clash + no respect for law + lack of concern on anyone’s part for American citizens + the sudden change of neighborhoods from suburban to urban (no parking, noise constantly, not knowing your neighbors, gangs, graffiti [this is not an urban legend, the streets I walk my grandson down were suddenly being tagged], not safe at night, etc.).

  8. Censored bybvbl

    Rick Bentley, when Manassas’s definition of family hit the news, I was a member of a large message board with a national base and the overwhelming majority of posters felt that Manassas was wrong, wrong, wrong. Because I had followed the situation, I had more info than most posters and offered up the City’s reasons for dealing with its problems as it did. Most posters were still outraged and offered up solutions that their towns and cities had used instead of redefining “family’ or attacking the legality of immigrants. Those posters who lived in beach towns in California or around college campuses were familiar with the parking problems that a sudden influx of people created and suggested:

    Parking on only one side of the street after a certain hour of night to make the roads more navigable when most people were home.

    Parking by permit only after a certain hour: two permit limit to a house , all other cars had to be parked in the drive-way. (I don’t know if this can be done on state roads.)

    On non-state roads, townhouse parking was reserved with numbers clearly stated on the parking spots.

    Overcrowding to be addressed through safety standards. Police to address public drunkenness, public urination, loud noise.

  9. Rick Bentley

    I live in a small community with limited parking. Those of us with more than 2 car families need to park on the street – and the streets are pretty jammed up. The area just wan’t built for so many cars. The influx made the situation worse than it is currently, it was like trying to find parking in DC.

    Parking is the least of my complaints, but it’s a very easily seen indicator of the difference between urban and suburban areas.

  10. Elena

    Rick,
    I cannot ascertain, simply by looking at someone, what their legal status in this country may be. Yes, the neighbors on one side spoke English fairly well, on the other, not so much.

    I am still confused about your situation maybe, you said that most of your neighbors were decent people, and only a few bad apples. Maybe I misunderstood you. I am not particulary worried that hispanic populaton poses any more of a criminal threat than any other ethnic or cultural group.

    This is not a complete list. I’ve begun adding characteristics and red flags that I can think of that I watch for in protecting my grandchildren. Please send us any that you are aware of. Most of these will be relating to men, or the male gender, but please be aware that women also abuse children. Please keep in mind, too, that having some of these traits does not mean the person is a molester.

    Remember, you can’t pick an abuser out of a crowd. There are no social or economic barriers. An abuser can be the president of a company, your brother, friend, father, grandfather, uncle, neighbor, teacher, babysitter, delivery person, straight, gay, married, single, male or female, adolescent to elderly, rich or poor, can be in a position of power or some nameless homeless person in your community.

    Abusers may:
    Have been abused as children themselves
    Be Sexually attracted to children (most can’t or won’t resist these urges)
    Find positions where children are available (leader of children’s clubs, ministries, etc., coaches, camp counselors & chaperones, daycare centers, school positions, offers to babysit for friends & family, etc.)
    Seem to love children, children seem drawn to person
    Seek out women with children (or friends with children)
    Spend a lot of time with a child (not their own)
    Seem rigid, moral, a pillar of the community (too often accusations of abuse have not been believed because the person seemed to be too good, too outstanding to do such a thing
    Groom a child–create a special bond (this may involve giving child gifts, money, or even alcohol, or other ‘forbidden’ things that make it appear he is a special friend and creates atmosphere for secret keeping. Could also include playfully touching, tickling, etc., but moves toward inappropriate touch)
    Be an authoritarian or timid and unassertive
    Frequent places like video arcades
    Be addicted to child pornography
    Be uncomfortable in adult relationships (i.e., doesn’t relate well, insecure)
    Have symptoms and after-effects of a survivor
    Deny or rationalize their behavior
    Be Manipulative
    Befriend single mothers in order to get to the children. They prey on the desperation of the woman who has no support system. They often sleep with the mother
    “Roughhouse” with children–tickling, slapping buttocks, etc.–and use this playful guise when they are in fact touching inappropriately
    Calling young teenage girls “sexy” or making other sexually suggestive comments

  11. Elena

    http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pages/tell_others_the_facts.html

    Which Ethnic Groups Molest Children?

    Are there ethnic groups in which child molestation does not occur? Probably not. Results from the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study suggest that each ethnic group studied has child molesters among them. Once again, the percentages bear a resemblance to the U.S. Census. (See “The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study” for further details about ethnic groups).

    TABLE 3

    Ethnic Groups: Admitted Molesters vs. All American Men

    Admitted Child Molesters
    American Men

    Caucasian
    79%
    72%

    Hispanic/Latin-American
    9%
    11%

    African-American
    6%
    12%

    Asian
    1%
    4%

    Native American
    3%
    1%

    Sources: The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study and the 1999 U.S. Census Statistical Abstract

    Note: 3,952 men who admitted to molesting children were compared to American men of various ethnic groups. Asians were under-represented in the complete sample of 15,508 men. They were 1.2 percent. Native Americans were over-represented in the complete sample. They were 3 percent. Both groups had child molesters in proportions equal to their percentages of representation in the complete sample.

    Which Children Are Molested?

    Children are most at risk from the adults in their own family, and from the adults who are in their parents’ social circle. In fact, 90 percent of abusers target children in their own families and children who they know well. Furthermore, research suggests that the risk is across the board: Child molesters come from every part of our society, and so children from every part of our society are at risk.

    TABLE 4

  12. elvis

    when I lived in my rental home (townhouse) my next door neighbor was hispanic. He didnt speak much english so it was difficult to communicate with him. I dont think we said more than 10 words between us over a 3-4 year period. then one day he decided to cut down a large tree in his front yard, at 6 am in the morning on a sunday totally blowing off the fact that about half of that tree extended over into my front yard, in front of my bedroom window. I spoke more words to him that morning, about 2 of them nice the rest not so. It’s all about culture, both sides have to learn it. I’ve felt to this day the guy was illegal and the house is now empty with a big fat foreclosure sign in front but other than that one time he had been pretty quiet and respectful (even helpful in some instances). Odd. I do have a child molester in the neighborhood as well, he’s hispanic for what that’s worth. I dont think race really matters, you hear about hispanic child molesters in areas with heavy immigrant populations because it makes good news. I’m not if statistics can be accurate as those above are only admitted molesters. I’m sure there are far more who are still in the shadows.

  13. Moon-howler

    I believe that families generally make better neighbors than bunches of single men, whether they are college boys or Latino yard workers. When young men get away from home, out from under the eyes of their parents, grandparents, etc, they tend to do things they wouldn’t do if they knew their mothers were watching them. I don’t care what culture you are talking about…that is one of those JUST IS situations.

  14. elvis

    Moon,

    I actually agree with you here, I would much rather live next to a family rather than a party house or boarding house. rewind a few years to college, it may have been easier to handle as I was a night owl then and things that bother me now didnt bother me then 🙂

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