Whitesburg KY

Family discord leads to abandoned houses

Awhile back I had an article in The Mountain Eagle about abandoned houses. It always has bothered me when I see something like that. It got to bothering me to the point where I decided to do a little investigating.

I was partly right in my first article regarding abandoned houses. A small percentage were actually foreclosures, but the one thing I didn’t mention is discord among family members.

In some instances there are so many heirs that if the home was sold, each heir would get only a fraction of what they feel they should get. So, rather than take a smaller amount, they just let it sit there and rot down and nobody gets anything.

Sometimes one and maybe two will want to sell because they get too high up in society and are ashamed for people to know where they were raised, the place their parent or parents were so proud of. They let it rot down rather than asking if some of the others would like to live in it and keep it in livable condition, so as to have a safe haven so to speak, where family members can gather for reunions and such, a place where they would feel welcome.

Sometimes we may see an old homestead off in the distance and think it to be deserted because we never see anyone there. But upon closer inspection we find it to be well kept, right down to the original furnishings, because it is used as a safe haven for family and friends.

The one thing I should have thought of is greed. It is only natural for people to greedy. It isn’t pleasing to God, but it happens just the same. Like the greedy one the Bible speaks of who had more than he needed and instead of sharing, he decided to build bigger buildings to put things in. But the Lord said, “Tonight your soul will be required,” and it was. I suppose if he even thought about dying he figured he could take it with him.

People are like that today, too. Many people never let the thought cross their mind that they are born to die. We may miss a lot of appointments while living, but that’s one we will not miss, and then comes judgment.

Now back to the abandoned houses. We may go for miles and not see one, and sometimes we may find half a dozen within five miles. Sometimes there will be two side by side, and that really kicks my imagination into high gear. A house left alone is a target for thieves and vandals.

There is one aspect of taxation I never could understand, and that is the fact that a mobile home decreases in value yearly while a house will increase in value, even if both of them cost the same originally. To tell the truth, I haven’t seen a mobile home that was worth the asking price, because they seem to be built more for show than for service, and I live in one, too. Many years ago they built them sturdily, but not anymore. Maybe that is why I see as many, if not more, deserted mobile homes than houses.

Some deserted homesteads have very little property, while quite a few have enough property for a good-sized yard and garden. A garden can be quite valuable if anyone is able and ambitious enough to grow some of the food a family needs. And if you doubt my wisdom, just try to get it all from the supermarket.

Well, that’s all from the funny farm until next time.

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