Sunday, November 8, 2009

Support International Squatting Rights!!!!

Around here, almost any road you drive down, you will see at least a few abandoned homes along the way. Some are probably for sale, but others have been unoccupied for years and years. It's so frustrating that houses are so expensive to own and so difficult to get loans for, and rentals are so overpriced and shabby, and all along the roads of rural New England are safe, comfortable homes with no one living in them.
( Now I realize that many folks will be all up in arms at my next statements. I must say to them: think what you want, but unless you have something truly thoughtful and constructive to say, please refrain from commenting. I am not interested in the thoughts of people who are too cowardly to publicly stand by their opinions. You are a waste of space, a dismembered idea floating through cyberlives, you're iceberg lettuce - as in what's the point? So please....spare me.)

I support the rights of squatters. I think that if someone is not going to care for a home, and spends so little time in a place that they don't even notice people living there for years and years, then maybe they don't deserve to own it. Some squatter activists like to say that we are all descended from squatters, and in one way or another that's probably true. In the 1800's there were significant laws passed in the US for homesteaders. Homesteaders were basically squatters. They simply had to make it out west, stake out some land, and build a 12x14 ft home and then manage to stay alive for five years. At that point they could petition for legal ownership of the land. I just read about it on, seriously. I wonder what's up with those laws today?

From the little bit that I've read about squatting movements so far, it seems like it's pretty prevalent throughout the entire world. Especially in really poor countries, obviously, people build huge communities of hand built shacks without the permission of the owner on which such communities are built. There are famous squatting communities all over the world, it's actually pretty amazing. I'm really hungry right now, so I'm doing a sort of half-assed post but count on hearing a lot more about squatting in the future. Because it's my new favorite idea.

They have their own symbol which I, unfortunately, cannot put online right now due to more Internet-at-work difficulties. But count on seeing that soon, too.

Anyway, I'm all about squatting as a political statement and simply to fulfill a housing need. Maybe if more people were willing to risk the certainty of comfort and predictability in order to fight for the basic ability to have a fair access to safe, affordable housing, our nations would not get away with charging such high prices for something all people should have - a realistically affordable housing option. The fact is that it is becoming really difficult for people in low income brackets to own homes, and rental prices are soaring. If these people could obtain a mortgage, the costs could conceivably be much lower than renting.....

But, I need a break from thinking of the housing issues of the world. I'm so lucky to have such a yummy dinner tonight. It must suck not to be me right now....especially if you are model-thin and deprive yourself daily of anything delicious and fattening. In that case, you probably really wish you could eat my fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, squash, and my second attempt at pecan pie which came out much better than the first. But I'll probably never weigh under a hundred pounds ever again and you will probably never stuff your face with solidified corn syrup mixed with nuts. Oh, well....


Jeannie said...

I think squatters' rights are probably valid in some cases. To some extent. On the other hand, if the owner has been paying taxes on the land - the fact that they are not physically there for any amount of time doesn't mean they have given up the right to develop it as they want later. But squatting on land no longer gives squatters the right to ownership. Living rent/mortgage/tax free is benefit enough I think. You take your chances on how long the good times will last.

However, many jurisdictions have tax sales where you can pick up property for very little - back taxes alone in many cases. If the owners don't pay taxes, the government eventually has the right to begin proceedings to take over the land and sell it for the taxes owing. The owner has quite a long time to pay his arrears before this is done. You might want to look at this possibility for yourself if there are that many abandoned-looking places around you. Often it will be an auction with a number of listings rather than a single sale.

My husband found a site with listings in Detroit that were a steal. Nice homes for $3500 and such.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I've got no problem with squatters' rights.

Your dinner sounds so yummy. I can't cook for shit.



Nellie said...

I figured you guys would be pretty opened minded about such things....I'm not saying necessarily that I am planning on becoming a squatter, but it's an interesting concept, eh?

Jeannie - You're right about the tax issues and I would like to learn more about it. I think maybe that would be the way to go. There really are SO many abandoned properties up here. A lot are probably already govt. owned and maybe even given up on since it's not really worth developing because there's not enough business and the properties are in such a state of disrepair. It would at least be worth looking into.

SB - I can only cook a very limited menu. All of my specialties include some form of high calorie comfort type food because that's my favorite. I know for sure I can make shepherd's pie, pasta dishes, stew, roasted meats like ham and chicken, eggs and bacon....but anything more complicated is a gamble for sure. I used to be way more into learning new recipes - and I'm beginning to get back into it - but I'm mostly too lazy to try anything super fancy these days.

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