I live in a middle-class neighborhood where 90 percent of the people take good care of their homes, or as the Realtors say, the home has curb appeal.
A home near us is probably the worst mess in the area. I believe the owner needs family help but nobody visits there. A few houses down is an abandoned house with knee-high weeds. I recall an older couple working in the front and in the garage. Then suddenly they disappeared. I can tell which houses are abandoned. They are an invitation for the homeless who sometimes walk this street.
Some people call those who took mortgages that they couldn't handle irresponsible and dishonest. I call them financially naive. Is it a sin for people with lower incomes to want a middle-class home? As usual, the kids suffer when the parents lose their home.
These houses were worth $300,000 during the boom, and now sell at a little over $200,000. I call these units houses, not homes. A home is a house where proud responsible homeowners or renters reside.