With 5,000 people moving here each month, somebody had to spill the beans!

November 30, 2008

Having recently been told by a cop who lives a few doors down to have a critical eye about any suspicious vehicle in the area, I saw a van+trailer in our neighborhood today that was out of place and decided to see what they were up to.

I was surprised by what I learned.

After a few questions, and while the woman I spoke to rifled through a large quantity of paperwork, I learned that this husband and wife team were “cleaners”. Fanny Mae had hired them to go to a foreclosed home that had been abandoned and to, well, clean it. . .inside and out. Their job is to remove any items left behind (tables, sofas, pots, pans, etc.) and to clean the place up. And besides getting the inside straighten up, they focus their efforts on the outside of the home and do some light yard maintenance as well.

Why was this a surprise?

Because we’ve seen several homes in the area that were in foreclosure and clearly being neglected as a result. This, of course, further increases the difficulty of selling one of these homes. Come to find out, the hiring of “cleaners” is a common practice of Fannie Mae. Who knew? This is good to know. Our Home Owners Association is currently dealing with the fact that the few foreclosures in our neighborhood are looking bad as a result of no yard maintenance. And getting the banks to respond to requests to clean a house, even if it includes fines, has proven largely unsuccessful.

Although this foreclosure business is bad news, and there is no question that Fannie Mae contributed mightily to this problem, I am happy that they are smart enough to recognize that a clean house, inside and OUT, is a more sellable house.

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