So there’s this house across the cul-du-sac from me. Beautiful, great location, etc. etc. (We still can’t believe we’re able to afford this neighborhood.)

Thing about this house is that it’s a foreclosure. Rather, it’s an REO. The bank kicked out the owner and is now the proud owner of a great house that it’s letting go to pot. Which is too bad, because I’m told the owner put a ton of work into it, inside and out.

Essentially it’s an abandoned house. The bank owner ignores it. Every now and again someone in the neighborhood will call the county to complain, and someone will come out and do a quick lawn-mow. The bank gets (and apparently pays) the bill. But that’s it.

So what’s to do?

It's a great house in a great neighborhood. It’s the opposite of sweat equity at work — the house is losing value every day as weeds grow, wood rots (I’m told it’s getting bad in the back), and entropy takes its toll.

Attempts to get the bank to do something, e.g., pay for some basic repairs and upkeep, have fallen on deaf ears.

From what I’ve read, short sales don’t affect property values much, but a foreclosure sale — especially as the house’s condition deteriorates — will have an impact. Naturally the neighbors are upset.

What’s to be done? A bunch of ideas have been floated, from helping someone become a squatter — the adult son of one neighbor would be a fine candidate — to doing repairs and upkeep and sending the bills to the bank. After all, if the county is getting paid for mowing, someone is writing checks. And of course whoever did it would charge reasonable fees. (I assume the squatter idea was made in jest, but I can see the temptation. The right family would certainly take better care of it.)

So… any ideas?