Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't Lose your Temper, Call Kemper

Eddie Cortez's old home at Alvarado and Gibbs was boarded up last week. For those who don't know, Cortez was the mayor of Pomona from the early 1900's until he died in 2006 (I think). The home had fallen into foreclosure, which was made obvious to all passers-by with the trademark "no trespassing signs" being placed in the window. In case you missed the signs, someone went out of their way to make sure the home look as unlived in as possible: overgrown yard, removing the window furnishings on the bottom floor so you could see right in, etc. Of late, the City has even been parking their construction equipment for the alley work there at night.

So now, after announcing to the world that the property is vacant, the powers-that-be have decided it is necessary to board up all the windows. Rather than find responsible people to live there and caretake, or keep it looking lived-in in the first place (which also might have gotten the property sold), the solution is to make the house - and the neighborhood - look as blighted as possible. Oh, and by the way, there are three households of Cal Poly students living nearby who I bet would have jumped at the opportunity to be responsible caretakers of the house, and would have left a beautiful garden there when they left.

Look closely at the For Sale sign out front as you drive by, it says: "Don't lose your temper, call Kemper." I think I will, even though my temper is already MIA.

A boarded-up house is sad enough, combined with the symbolic value of this being Eddie's old house, well, it makes this goddess very bummed out.

Here's a blurb on NPR about how some cities have been enacting laws to make banks more accountable for maintaining property, so the vacant properties don't blight the community. THE END


sherlock said...

I think city code may require vacant homes to be boarded up. Ont the bright side, I was under the impression that Pomona was looking into a buyer's assistance program to facilitate the repurchase of foreclosed homes.

After walking through the home you profiled, the price would need to be pretty low for it to be a great deal. The home had a series of modifications (possibly while Mayor Cortez lived there) that make it less than appealing to purchase. I'll admit the outside lacks curb appeal and brings down the neighborhood, but it's the inside that would turn away most buyers.

Maybe the solution to the plywood over windows problem is to faux paint the plywood.

K said...

Bummer to hear about the interior looking so bad. I've always admired that house when walking around the neighborhood, and kinda hoped that somebody would buy it and enjoy it. I find it amazing that the bank would let the lawn get so ridiculous without doing anything about it...

calwatch said...

One of the problems is that these foreclosure outfits don't put the property out on the MLS. I have a foreclosure across the street that's the same way... it doesn't report on MLS. Neither does the Cortez house. If they're not on MLS, they basically don't exist.

John Clifford said...

Thanks GofP for a morning laugh (sorry didn't get on until just now).

While Eddie was beloved and our longest-serving Mayor, he wasn't mayor since the "early 1900s." While I'm sure that there are many who would have like him to have been there that long, he didn't actually get elected mayor until 1993 and served until 2005.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not kind to speak Ill of the dead BUT Eddie Cortez is the one that painted a great looking house white & electric blue.
It's always bothered me.

Ed said...

That explains why I couldn't find it on the MLS.

Since we're talking houses, any bets when the house on the corner of Lincoln and Gibbs will sell? Or the newly built ones on Pasadena?

Garrett Sawyer said...

I know the lawn is bad, but what gets me is the tree blocking the front view of the house and those lopsided hedges! lol. I suppose the tree is a good thing for now as long as the trimming is going to stay electric blue as anonymous pointed out. Now I've seen some pretty good looking older homes painted festive colors (, but that house isn't looking very festive.
Question: Sherlock wrote that city code requires vacant homes to be boarded up, why? What purpose does that serve? Is it so people can't toss flamming bottles of liquor through the windows? Or is it so you can't see the squatters living in them? lol. I'd really love to know because my experience in seeing boarded up buildings is that they attract gang members and the homeless while the boards often turn into grafitti canvases. Not saying that would happen in LP but it does happen elsewhere. A house over here in my neighborhood on Prospect Dr. by the Palm Lake Golf Course suffered in a similar situation as such a while back. Not sure if the situation has been delt with yet though.

me said...

The early 1900's thing was supposed to be a joke. For those of us who haven't lived here as long, it does seem that the only mayor pre-Torres was Eddie. Plus, I didn't know when Eddie became mayor. Glad it gave you a chuckle, John.

G of P

SmartMoneyHelp said...

wow sorry to hear about this house and neighborhood going through such an ordeal.

Alot has changed in the way real estate and the way foreclosures are being handled.

I hope they get this right soon