This week I photographed a house that had Been foreclosed on.
Foreclosure can happen to anyone of us in any location, whether a beach house of just a one bedroom family home.
The neighbors told me that the owner had taken out a reverse mortgage on the house and then had some health issues before they had lost the house to foreclosure. I shoot a lot of these foreclosed homes some of them can be real intimidating to go into to photograph.
The house can be boarded up and have no electricity on at all, Windows can be smashed in or even a floor just half missing. With all this the house still needs to be photographed and given some life so that it can be rebuilt, relived and evolved into a new existence.
My approach is to think of the community around the house as I shoot, I don’t think of the look and smell of the house as it is at that moment, I want to bring the neighborhood new neighbors.
The house that I shot this week was originally listed for over a million dollars, then down to 600,000 and now probably less.
It looks really rough on the outside not like the surrounding neighborhood houses that look like total beach houses or even retirement homes on the water. I was told by several neighbors the the upper deck had six inches of water on it during this year’s rainy season. As you drive up to the house it’s kinda hard not to see the rough shape the house is in, the front yard is not as well kept as its neighbors. When you step on to the front deck you start to check your footing so not to fall through the decking boards. The front screen door opens as you drag it weirdly to the left, poof enter the code and in to where the fun begins.
From in side I walk the entire house to see if anyone is home or living in this beautiful place, unlike most of the foreclosed houses this house feels like someone’s home.
I felt completely comfortable, not that I couldn’t see that no one had lived here for several years. The loft level rug had started to deteriorate so that its bottom material was falling through the ceiling onto the floor below. The sinks and toilet had the signs on them saying the water had been turned off almost a year ago. Somehow the electricity was still on.After spending several hours, seveal more than normal on some of these forclosed house I an done in thirty minutes but not here, I just couldn’t stop taking photographs. It became a playground in a way, but I needed to leave. After all it wasn’t my home.
It had such grab on me, this home this location, the nieghbors. One neighbor who lives down the street kayaked right up to the steps by the water
the neighbor was wondering if I was the new owner, “no” I said “I am just photographing the house, so hopefully it can be sold” she was like okay. She wanted to let the new owners know she had the keys to the sliding doors in the back of the house. I was thankful for her stopping by, it only added to my safe feeling. I even thought wow glad the nieghbors are keeping an eye on the place. (its been empty for over three years)
After that I finished up and headed back top the ferry, after we ate diner of course.
It had such grab on me, this home this location, the nieghbors. I had to return and take more photographs. so luckily the Monday after I had a job just about thirty minutes down the sound, so I returned to take these photographs.
Of course I was lucky enough to get to talk with another neighbor who explained a lot about what had happend to the house and how it ended up the way it is. I wonder if I will ever go back, even just to shoot from the water up to the house. Who knows maybe!