Sunday, April 12, 2009

This subdivision is toast...

Nice sunny Spring day in Pabst Farms...

...a place that advertised itself early on with the arrogantly dismissive boast:
Everything else is just a subdivision

Something new: two houses, side-by-side, sporting "for sale" signs. And there are at least six others among the few that have been built and occupied, in the past three years that are being offered for sale. One of them is a F.S.B.O.

This one is "For Sale"...
...Or, you could rent it, if you like.
Agents always tell those who come to look at a vacant property that the previous owner was transferred suddenly to a new job in Charleston or some other unlikely place.
But this is a story I heard first-hand last fall. A guy in a white pickup came to install my new DSL service, here in Waukesha. He said that he was losing his P.F. house to foreclosure, that he and his wife had moved to Pabst Farms in 2006, thinking that they could make out pretty well--as flippers--in the hot market. He went on that his business had gone flat, and that his wife's income had been likewise halved.

They were in default, trying to sell, looking at the inevitability of foreclosure. Now, it is probably bank-owned and "for rent"--that's what it says on the little white part of the sign.
(click tho photo to enlarge)

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Anonymous said...

First of all get your facts correct please. The house shown in the picture is actually for rent, the homeowners are abroad and have every intention of moving back with their family. The "cable guy" you spoke with indeed lost his house to foreclosure. Did he mention that he went through a divorce?

Anonymous said...

Cable Guy

Jim Bouman said...

Thanks, Anony. I stand corrected with regard to the house that's for rent, not for sale, in PF. By the way, was the foreclosure auction you mentioned a short-sale? Did the bank take it over?

I still think the badly-planned, badly-executed, badly-timed (in the sense that the time for this kind of place to live is long past) subdivision at PF is a goner. I'm not unsympathetic to people in over their heads because of flipper mania and mortgage insanity. But, I think it is worth telling this story--as a cautionary tale. Pabst Farms is the kind of place Tony Soprano lived; The people from Friends lived in River-West and Brewer's Hill.

Things are not looking up in other parts of P.F. A recent notice of a foreclosure and Sheriff's sale was posted in the courthouse: one-time high-flyer Scott Fergus--who is in receivership over a 3rd Ward extravaganza that is belly-up--is going to have to make up the difference between the $623K he owes on a Pabst Farms tract mansion and what it will fetch at auction. If you find out the auction result, would you post it here.

It looks like the vast majority of the PF acreage planned for single family development is again going to be planted in corn and soybeans again this year.

I think a much bigger disaster waiting to happen is likely to be the not-exactly-selling-like-hotcakes lots in Bright Water, just across the road from Pabst Farms. Twenty two lots, with those at the high-end priced over $600K.

I think the the best thing that could happen at Pabst Farms would be a complete return of that land to farming.

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.