Posts Tagged Keller Williams

The last word…

About six months ago, I posted the story of my friend, Alex, who was in danger of losing his home and car back to the bank because, as a self-employed small business owner in a slow-to-recover-from-Ike industry, he had been turned down for loan modification by both lenders.

Alex asked me to update you on his story, and says this is his last word on the subject.

Alex’s car was repossessed shortly after this story originally ran, and the mortgage company foreclosed in June. The car company sold the car at auction for $20,000 less than Alex owed on it, and the mortgage company is now marketing his former home at $100,000 less than Alex paid for it. Alex wants everyone to see how illogical the system is — when people struck by natural disaster who WANT to do the right thing and fulfill their financial obligations are met with immutable bureaucracies that refuse compromise only to make a significantly better deal, and take a bath, with the next guy. Alex would have been happy to work with both lenders at FULL VALUE if only they had agreed to restructure the debts.

Finally, Alex says he has moved on. It has been almost a year and he feels like he’s finally getting his daily life back under control — even if it is in a borrowed house and borrowed car. He’s grateful for everything he’s learned and can see the light ahead.

In March, he fell in love. That was the best gift of all.


Copyright © 2009 Alice Melott

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Face it, Galveston’s been raped

It’s taken me a while to figure out how to talk about this. I didn’t want to distract from the impact of the actual event…but now that the storm is pretty much behind us, we all need to face a really big problem that it uncovered. There are as many stories as there are people on the island, but I’ve picked one to serve as metaphor for all of us. Once you hear it, I trust you’ll share your own here. If we put in a little effort, maybe we can make some changes for the next victims.

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A visit to Smith Point

Windchimes peel at Smith Point

Windchimes peel at Smith Point

Gail Nash wrote me tonight, saying:

“You asked in your blog about Bolivar, “where did everything go?” Well, for starters, I think a whole lot of it went to Smith Point, including one of the 2 people who escaped Bolivar at the last minute. My brother-in-law and the sheriff found him alive and took care of him! The Nashes have 2 family homes in Smith Point. My sisters-in-law had a permanent home, and the other one is more a fishing place. There were roofs from at least 3 houses in the yard. And Shannon, my brother in law, is using wood that floated on to the property to try to rebuild the house. It was a one story house on blocks that has been there since the 1930’s!


Here are the rest of Gail’s pictures. They are an unembellished reminder of that which we believed we would not, could not forget… It ain’t over.


Copyright © 2009 Alice Melott

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Coming of age, embracing change

Last night I had dinner with a group of friends that included a 77-year old and her 25-year old grandson. The conversation turned to the relative merits of Facebook versus MySpace, and listening to the two generations talk in terms of acronyms and modern heiroglyphics (like smiley face icons), I found myself time-traveling back thirty years to a series of unforeseeable events — those that would notably shape the first half of my adult life.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR from Galveston – Anybody got a hat?

I haven’t told this story before.

On Wednesday, September 10, 2008, I decided to cash in my birthday massage coupon – it being six months old already and all – and since we thought the third storm in a month was headed south of Galveston, I thought what the heck? And if it decided to come closer to us, we still had ‘til Friday to get out. We’re well rehearsed at this stuff, and I deserved an afternoon off.

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Why do you stay?

Sometimes I think people confuse optimism with exaggeration, denial, or even downright deceit. I read blog comments (somewhere else) this morning accusing realtors who reported sales statistics since the storm of being liars. Of course, statistics are statistics, so the accusation reveals the blogger’s bias against real estate agents far more than it says anything useful about the market or the realtor.

But that’s not my point. My point is that you can be optimistic and still be realistic. Every spiritual discipline since God was a boy has some version of the fundamental duality we see graphically on display in Galveston today — yin & yang, cause & effect, light & dark, devil & god, high & low — where the most beautiful days at the beach are punctuated by tent cities, mounds of debris, and still incongruous boat wreckage.

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