The American Dream, Before and After

Here, from a Google Street View photo take just a few years ago, is a portrait of the American dream:


And here, after eight re-financings, a shiny SUV and a boat, followed by a bank failure then a Fannie Mae foreclosure, is the home for sale now:


The topiary and rose bushes are dead. The garden flamingos and the Virgin Mary statue have left for a better world. Inside the home looks abandoned, and the ceiling is supported by a bare 2×4.

What people don’t notice about falling home prices is that what’s falling isn’t just prices but, on a national and tragic scale,  the actual quality of where we live, too.

(First noticed by Nirad on Redfin’s Los Angeles forums)


  • Steve W

    No. What this represents is wealth transfer. Someone made tons of money, and is still living the American dream, it just happens to be at the expense of others.

    • GlennKelman

      I am not even aware of what politics this post implies? Who wouldn't say this is a tragedy for everyone involved?

    • The_Tim

      I'm a bit confused by that sentiment as well.  How is this post political at all, let alone “hyper-political”?

      • Herman

        It's hyper political because you can see an Elect Newt Gingrich sign in the reflection off the glass in the second photo.

        It's hyper political because the homeowner bought a bunch of toys with those refi's, and stuck that poor bank with the loss, which then failed, putting those poor bank employees out of work, and sticking the taxpayer with the bailout and recovery costs.

        It's hyper political because the bank CEO tricked that poor subprime borrower into taking eight refi's, then walked away from his failing bank with millions in bonuses.

        It's hyper political if you just imagine a few things that might have happened to that house and ascribe blame to some class of people that you don't like.

      • David Losh

        A point I made this week about Greece was that it is a politcal issue rather than economic. What the photo shows, and the two other comments by Steve, and Herman imply, is that you are showing what happens when the government gives the country over to the banking system.

        Banks gave money away in the form of mortgages to sell to the secondary market to create securities that were then sold by other banking interests. This was allowed by legislation.

        The banks, and securities markets made massive profits from people who believed, most honestly believed, we were in a period of economic prosperity. Many people made massive amounts of money by playing that system. Some, and I will say again some, lost everything.

        It was however politics. It was a George Bush continuation of the trickle down, voodoo economics.

        • GlennKelman

          I think the home's previous owner took an imprudent loan, and the bank itself made an imprudent loan. There are many politicians we could blame, but the problem begins with the two parties who struck the deal, both of whom are much worse off now than they were.

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