Trailers go to Auction, Glenview Families Walking Away From Homes
Following months of struggle, residents brace themselves to move from Sunset Village. Overwhelmed with mounting lot costs and underwater mortgages, many families will leave behind their homes and belongings.
Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to live with boxes in your living room, waiting to pack up your car and leave your home at a moment's notice? How about being offered $500 to leave your home in two weeks?
These were just a few of the stories I heard at Sunset Village this week, from residents who, with sky-rocketing lot rents and thousands of dollars in mortgage payments for prefabricated and trailer homes that are now worth a fraction of what they originally paid, are in over their heads.
"We moved here because the price was right and we believed the promises we were told," said Michelle, Sunset Village resident and mother of two who asked her last name not be used for privacy concerns. "Then we started getting ripped off and no one is listening."
For more than a year, resident Chris Iosello has shared dispatches from the struggling community. On Tuesday, he invited Patch to the park while auctioneers sold off trailers to move off the property and others were demolished on site. Although nothing has been confirmed, many residents are convinced the valuable piece of land is being redeveloped.
"That's why we're being pushed out," Michelle shared.
Michelle and her husband were paying $2000 a month between their lot rent and mortgage, but with signs that the community was crumbling around them, and knowing their home held no value and would most likely need to be moved, they stopped paying five months ago, she explained.
"A man from the bank came and told me he would give me $500 to get out in two weeks," she said. "I said, 'no.'"
Michelle's family, like many in the park, are trying to save enough money to move out and find a rental property in the Village.
"We really just have to walk away," she said, sitting on the front steps of her home on North Branch waiting for her daughter's school bus to arrive.
Michelle, who has two children, 6 and 10, at Pleasant Ridge and Lyon schools in Glenview, says she appreciates the education her kids received and wants to find somewhere in town so they can stay at their current schools without disruption.
The Iosello family, with students at Glenbrook South and nearby community colleges, are still unsure of their plans after Sunset Village. Chris has tried to strike a deal with the bank that holds their title and mortgage, MB Financial, but has had no luck.
Discouraged and angered by the most recent turn of events, Chris posted the following update for readers on the site:
"In what was either a heartless business decision or a direct attempt at intimidation an auction company paraded around our park for five hours blaring a loudspeaker and leading dozens of bidders through the park with police escorts, selling homes for as little as $16,000 while holding mortgages on our homes for $120,000! I wonder what the reaction would be if this type of Pogrom was conducted in an affluent neighborhood? Seeing people ride around in a windowed "pope mobile" bidding on and adding to our fear and misery from air conditioned comfort? If it happened anywhere else, it would be a disturbance of the peace, but as it happens the police were here protecting the auctioneer and the vultures with more law enforcement presence in one day than we have seen here in three years."
To watch a video of the 'auction parade,' visit Chris' Facebook page.
To share messages with the families of Sunset Village, and to show your support, leave comments in the section below or sound off on Glenview Patch's Facebook Page.