Four years after housing prices peaked the number of foreclosures climbed over one million last year. Despite the federal government intervening with the HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program ) program and the foreclosure moratorium caused by the Robo-Signing scandal RealtyTrac reports that 2.9 million foreclosures were filed in 2010.
According to Case-Shiller Home Price Index home prices are diving again, spelling trouble for more homeowners given high unemployment and diminished job prospects.
Amherst Securities Laurie Goodman says that as many as 11 million mortgage borrowers may default. Rick Sharga at RealtyTrac predicts 4 million to 5 million defaults, less than half as many as Goodman but still disastrous.
Buying low-priced foreclosures may seem like a bargain but the Wall Street Journal reports that these homes contain bad vibes. And new carpet and a fresh coat of paint won’t solve the problem. A handyman can’t fix bad vibes, witchcraft is required.
A recent foreclosure buyer in Salem, Massachusetts engaged the services of practicing witch Lori Bruno and warlock Christian Day to cleanse the house of the lingering spiritual funk. “Lord of fire, lord flame, blessed be thy holy name….All negativity must be gone!” Ms. Bruno shouted.
The tools of this trade are bells, kosher salt, candles, iron swords and of course being blessed with a gift for dealing with the supernatural. Buyers of bank-owned homes “are turning to witches, psychics, priests and feng shui consultants, among others, to bless or exorcise dwellings,” writes the WSJ’s S. Mitra Kalita.
For those who scoff that this reported exorcism was a one-off event, Ms. Bruno happens to busy these days having cleansed more than 100 houses. And don’t confuse her talents with those of your friendly neighborhood psychic. “Unlike psychics, witches know you can change the future,” she tells Kalita.
Out west, real estate agents are teaming up with feng shui consultants to help move houses. “Most homes have at least one or two prosperity flaws,” explains Sacramento realtor Tamara Dorris. “Foreclosed homes have five or six.”
Dorris reports she spurred sales activity for one house by placing a jade plant in a “prosperity corner” of the house.
However, feng shui guru Simona Mainini advised one client to just steer clear of foreclosures, explaining, “they all have an energy that is weak for money.”
Yes, and the facts would back her up.