|Home buyers are experiencing a seller’s market at the moment, but homeowners could see big gains in their home values, especially if they’ve undergone any upgrades.
Yet this isn’t the case in the poorest parts of the United States, especially for homeowners who may be unable to afford home improvements.
This is the situation for one couple in Victoria, VA, who need all the home improvements they can get.
To say that Eugene and Suzanne Giles live in a rundown house is an understatement. Everything needs replacing or repairing, from the roof, windows and walls to the plumbing and the foundation.
The cracking and rotting foundation causes ants to get in. The plumbing is backed up because of mud that seeps into the pipes, rendering the couple’s sink unusable and the well water undrinkable.
As for the windows, they leak air, which means what little heat they do have doesn’t stay in. Where newer, Energy Star windows, including thermally broken steel windows, could save them between $126 and $465 per year on energy bills, the house itself has holes big enough to see through, which would make the upgrades useless.
When it rains, Eugene and Suzanne have to place buckets all over the house to catch the rain falling through the roof.
To add to the frustration, both of them are deaf, so they have to rely on their pastor as their sign language interpreter. This makes getting the help they need more difficult.
But their problems go beyond their disability: their home needs just about all the repairs they can get, but they have no way of paying for them.
The land their house is situated on is zoned for a double-wide trailer, so the couple (along with a local news station) is looking for a trailer that someone can donate.
If that’s not possible, they’re looking to the community to help donate items to fix up their home — at the very least to make it safer.