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Student letters: Banks should have to keep up foreclosed homes
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Today's letters are provided by students in Ernest Davis' social studies class at Chestatee High School. More student letters from the class will appear on Monday's Opinion page. Letters may be send by e-mail to letters@gainesvilletimes.com (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses) or or click HERE for a form

One day while eating breakfast, my mother and I happened to notice something interesting in The Times. While there were three columns of help-wanted ads, the following 16 pages were filled with home foreclosures. Our neighborhood alone has three foreclosed properties, and as time goes by, I expect more to come. During this time, these homes are going into state of disrepair.

What does this mean to my home? Property value. A person's home's property value is determined by the home surrounding the area. Nobody wants to buy a home surrounded by foreclosed properties.

Also, people like gang members maybe decided to take this foreclosed home their new crack house and bring crime into the neighborhood. Or maybe punk kids decide it would be funny to go in and spray the walls with graffiti or break windows.

I know if I was homeless, a nice home would be perfect for me and my buds to live in. Also the yards are overgrown and obviously not being kept up. And this can definitely lower a home owner's property value.

My solution is that banks should be held accountable for these homes. For example, I know of one elderly lady that always up kept her home. Nice yard and everything, but since she couldn't afford her house payments, the bank foreclosed. It has been months since the grass has been cut and the home is falling into ruins.

While banks are covering their bottom lines, they are influencing our property values. Banks make tons of money. I think they should be required to maintain the upkeep of all the foreclosed properties. After all, it is their properties.

Homeowners associations frown on people who don't keep their homes and yards nice. Why should banks get away with it? They shouldn't. Maybe they should get their act together and do something about this. I hope my article will draw attention to this issue.

Dillan Stapler
Chestatee High School

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