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Our family was driving through a parking lot after leaving the grocery store when my wife randomly spotted my old neighbor entering a drugstore in the same plaza.  She works somewhat close to where we live, so this made sense.  We stopped the car and went in, as she's a great lady and we hadn't seen her in quite some time.

She caught me up on the fact that the person that bought my condo has given it up and turned it back to the bank.

This didn't surprise me but it still left me sad.  I loved the condo, it was the first place I owned, but the signs were there that her purchase might not work out:

  • She financed the entire purchase – She purchased at the tail end of the ‘easy credit' phase and was able to finance the full purchase.
  • She used Countrywide as her mortgage company – They ended up being the epitome of bad loans with awful rates.  Again, she was probably one of the last people to get a loan from that company before the bottom fell out.
  • She ended up moving out a few months later – She was a single lady, but I heard that she reconciled with an ex and moved out of the state, leaving the condo as a rental to try to stay afloat
  • The condo market just sucks – Condo sales around the metro Detroit area have been harder hit than any other element of residential real estate.  Quite honestly, I bet the purchase price on most condos in that complex would be less than that of what I originally paid in 1999.

It pains me to see that happen to a place that will always hold great memories for me.  I lived there for eight years, I proposed to my wife in the living room, I learned how to paint, and went through a lot.  I always hate seeing someone walk away from their mortgage as well, and I'm not at all advocating what the owner has done, but at the same time, it doesn't surprise me in the least.

The positive is that, according to my old neighbor, the owner didn't go the route that so many people do before they leave a house, where they trash it and rip out anything of value.  That actually happened to a unit behind me shortly before I moved out, and it's no fun to see.  In any case, once it gets sorted out with the bank, hopefully it will sell quick and make someone happy.  It's an end unit, it sounds like it's been kept up and would be in good selling condition assuming nothing happens to it in the mean time.  And, I can certainly vouch that it's a great place where a lot of great memories are possible!