By Kay Wilson-Bolton
November 22, 2006
For the most part, REALTORS® are deeply passionate about what we do. There is a deep sense of pride, pleasure and satisfaction that comes with seeing the transaction through to the end. Some are easier than others. Few are easy at all. Most are of them have hints of battlegrounds when it comes to coordinating the 35 entities that come into alignment, somehow, at the end.
Praises are due to the escrow officers who ride the roller coaster of challenges and attitudes with dignity. Praises are due to those lenders who put their client first and find the best deal for the long and short term. Shame continues to apply to those lenders who see the bucks and not the pain of selfish motives and behavior. They are out there in all cultures and speak every language. Predators have become very bold and think little of the consequences of bad behavior. They will be exposed sooner or later.
For those who are spending thanksgiving in a home, please stop for a moment of gratitude. Homes are safety nets, havens, security for old age and stability for the present and the future.
I have one client who is spending Thanksgiving in his motor home because of a nasty divorce. It is better than in a shelter, some say, or on the street. He has no heat, no cooking facilities, and no hope in the near-term.
There is a REALTOR® in Santa Paula named Judy Ohaco who has spent one year trying to get a buyer qualified for a $400,00 house. She has explored every grant, every City and County housing assistance program and she has finally done it. She has bargained for services and, yes, trimmed the commissions. Now she has to find the house. If you know of one, she has a family ready to buy. You can reach Judy at Cal-West Real Estate 805.525.5523. There are dozens of REALTORS® about the same business.
Homelessness is a year round problem in America—even in Ventura County. Next to homelessness is overcrowding or waiting lines for affordable rental units.
The question is often asked about to who is privileged to live in a home as opposed to living under a bridge, a box, or in a garage with no water or bathroom facilities?
You see, in some cases, these circumstances are better than living on the streets or in another country where food and future are limited or obscure. It is also critical to parents who long for their children to have life better than they have known it.
Garages are an interesting aspect of life in Ventura County. They are attached to houses, so the familial connection is possible. They have electricity for heat, refrigeration, cook tops for home cooked meals.
They often lack sanitation facilities, but bootlegged bathrooms are not the worst of additions, if done by trained trades people, although illegal. And so, they get through the day. The children can study. The parents watch over them.
These living conditions are probably safe, although not ideal, as long as the load on the electrical system does not compromise the structure. They can even be clean.
Most REALTORS® long for people to own their own home, and at the least, live in clean and safe housing. Until everyone in the community works towards that end, the American dream is compromised.
Not everyone can afford to purchase a home. Most agree that “affordable” clean and safe housing is appropriate as long as that element is “not in my back yard.”
The answers are not simple and the search for options is dividing communities. We must work towards improving the lot of those who equal under the law, deserve justice, kindness, mercy, and clean and safe housing.
At this season of generosity and goodwill, my wish for everyone is that they have a clean and safe place to lay their head.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 340.5025. Her website is http://www.readysetkay.com