Dear Editor:

NIMBY! That is what I always thought about foreclosed and abandoned houses. My family moved from an older Tempe neighborhood to Ahwatukee in the hope that, with a neighborhood association, coupled with folks who truly cared about their homes, we would find solace in our little cul-de-sac.

All that changed several months ago. The house on one side of us became a rental property, but thank goodness, the two different families who have lived there maintain it well. The house on the other side of us is a different story. It changed ownership three times, with the third owner being a young man in his late 20's, along with a similarly aged roommate. The young man bought the house at the height of the housing bubble and paid way more than it was worth. At first, he was a great neighbor. He had a landscaper and pool maintenance work done frequently on the house. He and his roommate were friendly and never noisy. Then, his circumstances changed and his property started showing neglect. Ultimately, it was foreclosed and when he finally moved out, he put super glue in the locks. The pool is green and ruined. The landscaping is in shambles and the house is in dire need of painting.

It breaks my heart to see this eyesore day in and day out. I understand lots of folks get into financial trouble with those troubles culminating in the loss of their homes. I cannot begin to fathom how devastating that would be to a family, let alone trying to pick up the pieces once it happens. There is, however, no justification in trashing the house that has been foreclosed. I understand that anger and despair can make folks do strange, out-of-character things, but innocent neighbors should not be part of that fallout.

Beth Lyon

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