Last Thursday, we did some follow up discussion on KNPR radio to Steve Friess’s USA TODAY story about “foreclosure guilt”. I remember it as an idea that I gave to Steve, but he swears he called to ask me for my opinion for the story. Steve asked me, Jack LeVine to be a guest along with Anya Sanko to discuss not only the story itself, but the reaction to it in the comments section of the online version of the story.
We were shocked at the responses in the USA TODAY comments. Most were pretty vitriolic towards people who lost their homes. I usually hear that kind of resentment spoken against the “greedy speculators” who started the bubble, but it’s a different story in the markets that I work. Most of the people who lost their homes in Vintage Vegas were regular working people. The greedy speculators were buying new or newer homes in the suburbs. That drove up prices everywhere else. It was an uphill snowball that was always destined to either melt, or get caught up in it’s own gravity. It had to come to an end.
Throw a major recession/depression into the mix, and almost all of the people who I meet nowadays who are losing there homes are doing it because of job layoffs, illness or family changes. We’re already a year or more past the “foreclosure” crises that began with the speculators walking away. Now it’s about real working people losing jobs.
Anya Sanko and Steve Friess dig deeper into her story. I tell the story about how the whole bubble came to be in the first place, and defend the majority of the people who lost or are losing their homes. I did manage to get in a plug for the whole concept of “50’s and 60’s historic neighborhoods” It’s followed up by Steven Kalas, everyone’s favorite therapist. There’s a very good conversation with a caller about the current behavior of a few people who are the only ones who still live in a neighborhood in N. Las Vegas.
Steven makes the case that it’s a shame that “community” is a lost virtue in America anymore. What’s missing makes the crisis all the worst. It’s one of the goals of VeryVintageVegas to help create a sense of “ownership” in the historic neighborhoods. Steven says that a “dynamic neighborhood” is not all that common any more. He defines that dynamic as a clear sense of interdependent connectedness to the people who live around us, and he sees a definite desire for community– in it’s old fashioned sense – to be found again. He thinks people are asking: “how do we be neighbors” and “how do we FORGE an authentic neighborhood”. The caller talked about suburban isolation. Steven says that’s exactly what happens when there’s no communal bond connecting people to the street or the subdivision or the section of town.
In Vintage Vegas, I think that a dynamic community is definitely growing out of convergence of a vibrant art and music scene, an awareness mid century modern architecture, neighborhood history, and a pride in being “urban”. That’s really what VeryVintageVegas is all about.
If you missed it, it’s a really good hour of conversation. Here’s the link to the story on KNPR. Click on the “listen” in the “Homebuyer’s Guilt” section.
And, in case you’re confused, my last name is Jack LeVine (Vine as in grape Vine, it even has a CAPITAL V). I don’t really care too much that it got pronounced wrong twice….as long as you call me Jack when you or someone you know needs to buy or sell real estate.