Climbing off the real estate grid
By Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Online Journal Guest Writer

Aug 7, 2007, 00:27

There was a time when a home was a place to live, a place where you raised your family, a place to grow your garden, plant your flowers and watch your fruit trees grow to full maturity so you could eat the fruit they would bear during their lifetime.

Sunday dinner called families home to a table with meals cooked with food grown in their own garden or nearby. Home was where you grew old with your life partner; it was a place to die, remembered, by those you loved and who loved you.

Today your home is a speculators bet, a henchman's noose.

Your home has become a tool of a political fraud scheme so massive that it touches the lives of every American, man, woman and child. There was a time when families worked to pay off their mortgage so that they knew they owned their home free and clear. The mortgage burning was a cause for celebration. No more. Now people determine what the maximum payment is that they can afford, and speculate on internal rates of return, tax deductions, and how fast they can flip their 'home' moving on to a larger home, a new neighborhood, different friends.

What has happened to America?

Several times a week you receive phone calls, either from a machine voice that oozes cordiality or from an eager human being who wants desperately to arrange a new mortgage for you. Easy. Quick. Acceptance guaranteed; words that flood into your ears along with the avaricious longing they cannot hide. Do you think it is smart to borrow 125 percent percent of your home? Ask yourself, "Why would anyone, even a loan-shark lend someone 25 percent more than it is worth?

You watch the supply of new homes on the market grow ever larger. For awhile you saw those shiny new houses on tiny lots going up in price as they sold like hot cakes. Then you noticed that they were lingering on the market; in many areas, specials began appearing. In a few areas, offers of assistance from local government appeared. No down payment signs went up.

If you paid attention, you noticed that the developments were new 'planned communities,' on small lots coming complete with Homeowners Associations with "Restrictive Covenants" whose rules, restrictions and bylaws make the contract you signed to buy the house look like a parole agreement instead of a general warranty deed. If you perused those restrictions, you might have discovered that your 'ownership' includes big fines if you try to do things like change the color of the paint, grow vegetables, put up an antenna, or alter the appearance of your home in any way. If you are like most new homeowners you did not bother to check before signing on the dotted line. They are planned all right, behind the closed door of the FED.

Those new homes look good � but they are covered with petroleum based vinyl siding that will literally be falling off the building after the Polyvinylchloride is decayed from ultraviolet exposure in 10 to 20 years. Then consider that owners will not be able to afford to re-side their homes, and most importantly the warranty will just have run out. And what about restrictive covenants that are so intense that you can't have your family over on Sunday because you can't park more than two cars in the driveway at any given time without having your homeowners association fining you and trying to take away your home for the lien they placed on it for your breach of the restrictive covenants? As for growing a garden to feed your family in an economic crisis, well you can kiss that goodbye, because it violates the covenants as well.

Ask yourself, is this how we should be living? What else is wrong with this picture?

Welcome to the non-ownership homeowner club. In this world, the New World Order, so carefully planned for you, we call it the New Serfdom. Serfs were entitled to the use of their land; they were also tied down by their land, tightly restricted.

Serfs could escape by fleeing to a free town, remaining there for a year and a day. No such luck now; No escape for you.

If you were really renting, the owner would be responsible when the place, built unbeknownst to you with shoddy materials and workmanship to cut the real cost, started to fall apart. This way you are the one who pays all costs.

Recent changes in the bankruptcy laws are intended to viciously slander, defame and entrap you into lifelong slavery to your debts. This is not physical incarceration, it's financial imprisonment, and it's available, anywhere to anyone over the Internet. Today you can't even rent an apartment without a credit check.

The house you bought comes complete with built-in 120/240 VAC infrastructure that ties you to buying electricity from your local electric company. Those costs will continue to rise as long as you live. The house itself is built according to construction code, which sets standards (or the lack thereof) that derive from the 'balloon' houses built in the immediate aftermath of WWII. These were cheaply built, row houses, with no personality, no differentiation, thrown up to solve an immediate problem and never intended to last and they didn't. But the construction technology remains with us today.

These houses look good -- for awhile.

Housing that lasts does not cost more; in fact, it can cost less. For the same money you could have had a home with better insulation, more square footage, and using materials that are far more enduring. You could have had a home that produces it's own electricity, captures storm water in a cistern, is cleaner and less subject to biological contamination and mass pestilence. But that would not create a continuous source for income and the building industry and government would not be nearly as profitable. There would be nothing to tax.

Third world countries have far more options that provide better housing for less.

The present mortgages being pushed out there that are intended to leave you destitute, they are intended to effectively make you a tenant, renting forever, stapled to a place that makes sure you never get out of debt.

In this New World Order, your life has been carefully planned out, so carefully planned in fact it isn't far from actual slavery.

Your local government is now looking for ways to bring in more income, and recent laws that have been passed allow local developers to steal your property if they can prove a higher tax use for the property.

Local governments are becoming very inventive about fines for things like not cutting your lawn, putting in condo's where a single home rests, or converting historical districts into commercial zoning locations to drive up tax revenues.

Variable interest rates in a real estate market that has imploded will eventually bring you up against the reality that you couldn't sell the place for what you owe on it. So what happens when you can't make the payments?

There has been a lot of talk lately about "Mortgage Fraud." Recent media attention has been focused on one or two bad real estate agents who act in a civil conspiracy with an appraiser, a lender where they loan money on houses that don't exist. Yet little or nothing is done to prosecute those sneaky bastards in Washington who have crafted the perfect enslavement scheme, designed to perpetuate their tax revenues by manipulating the housing market in a corruption enterprise that makes all the organized crime families on the planet look like 4-year-olds.

There are exits from this grid and other grids; think about Sunday dinner with those you love. Think about the values that made life worth living for generations of Americans. Think about what home actually represents. Think community, neighborly cooperation, sharing foods we grow, or other goods, thereby reducing consumption that stops the theft of your hard-earned money.

America still has lots of communities and small towns in places where getting off the grids can do much more than cut your costs. You can have a life, a place for family and social bonding. You can build relationships with neighbors; be part of a community that stands on its own through tragedy, want, and celebration, meeting the needs of those who live there using innovation and a capital of trust founded on tolerance and caring. You can stop the outflow of local capital to big corporations who put nothing back in the community, and export hard earned capital to remote locations. You can stop their destruction of the America your mother and father knew.

Communities, places where enduring values that once made America great are still possible because most Americans still want just that. Sometimes the problems that confront us are also opportunities. Remember that in the coming months. No matter how you feel when you look at that pile of bills you are not alone. Together we can rebuild America and make homes for those we love.

Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the granddaughter of Arthur C. Pillsbury. AC invented the first circuit panorama camera as his senior project at Stanford in 1896 while majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She has been studying the market and economics through the filter of politics and anthropology for twenty years. Her political blog is How the NeoCons Stole Freedom. She is presently working on a book titled, �Off the Grids to Freedom in One Easy Lesson.�

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