I have a house in Ferguson that I’ve owned for about 12 years.
About two months ago, I started the process of giving it back to the bank.
I owed about $25,000 more than it was worth, at its appraised value of $15,000.
Prices have plummeted in the last few months. No one wants to live there now and I’ve had terrible renters for the last five years.
But in my mind, I will always love that house and the neighborhood. It was my first house after college. A little yellow bungalow. One bedroom upstairs with another in the half-finished basement.
I got it as a foreclosure. $15 grand and two weeks worth of labor with my dad, my cousin Jeremiah, and Mike, my dad’s right hand man.
My wife Tejal and I lived there for 6 or 7 years before she got pregnant. I re- financed it to pay for her ring and our honeymoon to the Rivera Maya.
It was perfect for us. A living room, a small kitchen, a tiny bathroom, with a even more tiny hallway that was only 4’x4′ square. But our bedroom had a big walk-in closet that made both of us happy.
It had a giant back yard that was 176′ by 75′ from the back door to the back fence that took me 2 hours to cut.
My half-Rottweiler, half-Catahoula hound dog named Baby, who was absolutely crazy, loved her yard and was a Houdini of an escape artist.
Baby tried to bite everyone I know except me and Tejal. And she’s weighing heavily on my mind tonight.
After her, we had our brindle Italian Mastiff named Harley, there for a year or so before we moved out to west county. We rescued him from a shelter in Springfield and had him for 10 years before he passed.
And tonight I’m watching all those memories of that neighborhood burn away.