There are many homeowners, across the spectrum of urban and rural America, who cannot repair a roof, fix dripping pipes or replace things like decayed surfaces. Although they some how qualified for a home loan, no one gave them a memo on the expense of up keeping a non-landlord property and the expected cost of maintaining owned real estate.
Photo: A family that gained a brand new home through a partnered project between Redemption Song and Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat is an organization that helps low income families gain home ownership through a process that affirms they readiness and ability to be a home owner.
IMPOVERISHED HOME OWNERSHIP – “FAKE” ESTATE
All they are seeing in the moment of property acquisition is…the dream. It is at the core of the American Dream. Buy a home. Become a homeowner. Own some real estate with a home loan, which can be attained through various loan types; some of which are designed to help low income people achieve home ownership, such as governmental FHA loans. However, the financial stressor of home maintenance, for people living in marginalized circumstances, can turn their real estate ambitions into a real nightmare.
This happens when homeowners can almost never afford repairs and their real estate turns into “fake” estate. The homes are often tarped when roofing needs repaired; pipes taped up with home made anti-dripping mechanisms and a variety of other improvised, self help, home repair inventions, where possible. The problem is that eventually the patched area, or untreated things like termite infestation, gets worst with time, escalating into an erosion process that eventually renders the home worthless.
There is simply no equity in such a property. Although home maintenance is an overall financial demand for all homeowners, for those who CANNOT afford any type of maintenance, there is no future of sweated equity that can be used to upgrade to maybe a better piece of real estate or create some other fiscal fruit that can come from long term real estate ownership.
Instead, there is just a depreciation of property value for a home usually positioned in a neighborhood of other properties with the same situation and devaluation. Disenfranchised home owner communities are folks that are likely to never reap the benefits of owning real estate; even if they can somehow maintain ownership of the property.
It was a lose, lose situation for them on the day of closing as the only winner would be the mortgage provider.