The Obama Administration says Wednesday it will unveil additional details about the plan to assist distressed homebuyers.
The details will be of particular interest in central Oregon.
In once-booming Deschutes County, ten homeowners default every single day.
That’s according to county records.
Every foreclosure holds one family’s story.
But Central Oregon correspondent Ethan Lindsey found that the foreclosure numbers are so high in Bend, that they are starting to affect entire neighborhoods.
The band and the drama club rehearse after school at Mountain View High in northeast Bend.
|There Goes The Neighborhood - Photos by Ethan Lindsey|
The school draws fourteen-hundred kids from many of Bend’s newest subdivisions.
This is one of the neighborhoods that grew fastest during the population boom of the past decade.
Patsy Dryden, and her husband, moved into a brand-new house here in 2001. It was perfect – less than a mile from the hospital, where she works.
Patsy Dryden: “It’s good for bicycling, and there’s a park not too far from here. And the high school is very close. We actually purchased it, because our son was in high school. And I like to run in this area, and past the high school, and I’ve always felt safe. It’s probably the nicest neighborhood in the east side of town.”
Many of these neighborhoods stand on what was abandoned farm land in the 1990s.
And, as the wind blows through unmowed lawns on the outskirts of the neighborhood now, its hard not to imagine it abandoned once again.
A disproportionate number of foreclosures are coming from this part of town.
The Mountain View High main office says the school’s enrollment is down this year.
Officials say they can’t know if that’s due to families forced to move away – or some other reason.
Homeowner Patsy Dryden says she can sees a more tangible impact.
Patsy Dryden: “What I’m noticing now, is a lot of for sale signs with auction dates, or bank owned homes. Far more of them, as I’m jogging down the neighborhood.”
Police departments say foreclosed and empty houses can lead to an increase in property theft.
Bend police wouldn’t speculate as to whether that’s happening here or not.
Dryden says she doesn’t necessarily feel like there’s more crime.
Patsy Dryden: “Not less safe, but probably more depressing. There’s a tragedy side to that. Obviously families have been impacted.”
Every few houses, the for-sale signs swing in the wind in Dryden’s neighborhood.
But drive three blocks east, you have reached the psychological and physical city limits.
The real estate tide rose just far enough to plant some empty homesites here.
Now the tide has receded. And left behind are bargain deals on huge, four-bedroom family homes.
That’s not a bad thing for everybody.
Take Trevor and Bethany Lawson.
Trevor’s eBay consignment sales company is growing right now.
He says he started the business because it was recession-proof.
Property records indicate there are three foreclosed properties within a two-block radius of the Lawson’s new home.
Trevor Lawson: “It was actually completed May of 2008. And we closed on it on February 19, 2009. So it had been on the market for a while. We literally doubled our living space. It’s a 2600-square foot home, we home school and so we have a 500-square foot bonus room that’s sort of just a perfect thing.”
Lawson says the seller even built a landscaped backyard, and threw in a 42-inch plasma television.
Trevor Lawson: "This was new construction, a custom home in that the builder builds one at a time. It wasn't in foreclosure, but he was kind of in a sticky spot, trying to get out from under it."
Real estate agents say bank-owned homes drive down the price of all other houses.
It puts more homes on the market -- and also makes a neighborhood less desirable.
Jim Birtola says foreclosures can change a neighborhood in other ways.
Birtola is a principal broker and co-owner of Prudential High Desert Realty.
Jim Birtola: "We're finding a lot of investors are purchasing these homes. So, where you had primarily a full-time resident neighborhood, you may see renters come into the neighborhoods."
In the living room of her home, hospital worker Patsy Dryden says she's seen banks foreclose on her friends and neighbors.
Plus, her home is worth hundreds-of-thousands of dollars less than just two years ago.
Patsy Dryden: "On one hand, I feel such relief that I have been that responsible person, but I get furious at the thought of the government bailing out people who didn't make those choices. And I have seen people with garages full of big toys and motor homes, and they're going to be the ones bailed out? That just makes me irate."
Dryden says, now, when she sees a foreclosed home she's sad -- but also, angry.