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Magnolia’s messiest man evicted

August 31st, 2008 · 58 Comments

If you have ever driven down 34th Ave West, you have seen the house flying a Confederate flag, with a classic red pickup in front and piles of junk all over the yard.  The house has always been a mess in this neighborhoold of nicely kept homes, with beat up cars everywhere and trash around the propery.  Now the man who has lived in the home since the 1950′s has been evicted.

The man was legally removed from the home because he owed back taxes and the bank took the home back.  He has reportedly lived there all his life and the home was given to him by his mother. 

The home was sold in a public auction and the buyer bought it sight unseen for around $300,000.  The new owner is now responsible for cleaning it up.  When we visited the house today neighbors told us that the new owners are beginning the process but its unclear how long it will take to make it liveable.  Some wonder if the house will have to be torn down.  There are  reports of human waste in the house and when we looked in the windows you could see it was filled with garbage.  The back yard is also severely overgrown.  It looks like a huge amount of work.

Neighbors are relieved to have the man gone.  They say the place has been an eyesore for years and he has refused to clean it.  The home has not had running water for over two years and he actually tried to tap into the neighbor’s water line at one point.  The place is filled with debris.  The man was known to visit neighborhood garage sales and purchase more stuff to add to his piles of junk.

No word on where the former owner is now.

Tags: Uncategorized

  • Ecstatic Neighbor

    Hallelujiah!! I’ve lived in the area for more than 10 years and just down the site form this eye sore for the past four. I was alwasy afraid for kids that had to go by this house on the way to school.

    I hope the new owners will be able to refurbish the house and restore decency to this location. They’ve got a big job ahead.

  • two sides to the issue

    I totally understand your glee at having this eyesore cleaned up, but clearly this man was mentally unbalanced (sounds like compulsive hoarding at the least) and it’s too bad there isn’t a system in place to help people like this (thereby preventing the eyesore) rather than just booting them out onto the street.

  • http://www.charlesredell.com/blog Charlie

    I wonder if anyone tried to get this person help or if the neighbors just gathered and complained until they got him removed. I understand the “eyesore” issue and wanting a good looking neighborhood, but I wonder if the neighbors tried to do something helpful instead of expecting others to “do the dirty work.”

  • http://www.magnoliavoice.com Gladys

    Charlie,
    We wanted to clarify the situation for you.

    The neighbors did not have the man evicted. He was removed from the home because he did not pay his taxes and the bank took over. It was the bank that put the home in foreclosure.

    We are told that the man is now living with relative so he was not put out on the street.

  • Ivan Agerton

    Dear Ecstatic Neighbor & Gladys,

    Blame the bank all you want but I would bet that not one person went to him or his family to find out what he needed. If someone did, they didn’t do a good enough job. It’s obvious that there is a mental issue and any thoughtful person could safely assume that there are probably some financial and health (O2 sign on door) issues as well. Is it so hard to make a call? If you don’t know who to call, do a little research. Folks, we need to take better care of each other.

    Shame on you Magnolia, shame – on – you

  • Give me a break

    Cry me a river Ivan. I would love to see what you would have done if he was next door to you- serve him chicken soup every afternoon perhaps? Clean up the mess for him? I guess you’re just SO above the rest of us.

    In my eyes,
    Obvious mental issue + big Confederate flag flying in front yard = do not get involved

  • two sides to the issue

    So who DO you call in a case like this? Dept of health might come & fine him if he doesn’t clean up the visible mess, but would they actually try to help?

  • Suthii

    “Obvious mental issue + big Confederate flag flying in front yard = do not get involved”

    Hell, here in Ballard these folks are celebrated and given their own parade.

  • Anonymous

    As I live in close proximity to this house, and I have talked to a variety of the neighbors etc, I am positive that the man living here had mental issues. And yes, I agree that we need to offer help when we see it is needed.

    HOWEVER, it is my understanding that not only did the neighbors continued to offer help in many ways including helping him to clean and offering him food, but his kids offered to help and he didn’t want any of it. You can only help those who are willing to accept it.

    As far as I am concerned, we need to cut the neighbors a break and be thankful that a good family bought it that will begin to take care of it.

  • dorian gray

    Get real Ivan. I’d like to see you follow up your almighty tone with some actions. There are houses throughout fremont and ballard. Go ahead and swing by and help out these poor poor people.

    Hint: the flag is the rebel flag. Hence, he was WILLFULLY rebelling. No help offered would have been accepted.

  • http://www.charlesredell.com/blog Charlie

    Maybe the people who run this blog could do some journalism and get in touch with the neighbors and let us know if they did try to get any help for the man (by calling DSHS which is the department one would call in this situation, by the way).

    The bank may have evicted him, but the neighbors were surely happy about it and I am wondering if they tried to do anything helpful instead of waiting for the person there to hit rock bottom.

  • http://www.magnoliavoice.com Gladys

    Charlie,
    We did spend time this weekend with both the neighbors and the new owners.

    Both say the man did not want any help. He was happy with his lifestyle. In cases like this there is really nothing that DSHS or any other agency could have done for him.

    The neighbors say they were more than willing to help him clean up the property and make other changes but he was not interested. Keep in mind that this has gone on for many years.

    His grown children also live in Western Washington and they tried to help him to clean up the area but to no avail.

  • Wilson

    So I’m just wondering… to all the people who say, “Oh come on, we needed to help this guy.” Yeah, it’s good in theory or whatever land you’re living in. But what exactly are your ideas of helping him? What are you going to say if you went – chest out and righteous – gliding up to his front door and knocked? “Excuse me sir, would you like some help picking up your yard?” Or would it be, “Hi Sir, I was wondering if I could help you with your apparent mental problems?” If a dude has a yard full of trash and shit and a rebel flag on a pole, that’s not someone you gleefully go and help. Where I come from, that’s someone you strictly avoid… bc if approached, you’re likely to get a gun stuck in your mouth. I know a lot of people here live in Cloud Cuckoo Land and hae strong ideals… but sometimes you have to think of reality.

  • Gary

    So if the new home owner is ‘pleasant’, is there a chance that other nearby homeowners would pitch in for a day of trash removal and yard work? While there might be many weeks of interior remodeling left, perhaps the outside would be less of an eyesore in a much shorter timeframe… Seems like a great way to meet new neighbors!

  • http://www.charlesredell.com/blog Charlie

    Gladys,
    Thanks for the answers. I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some mental issue going on here that DSHS could have tried to address, but can believe that he didn’t accept help in the form of people offering to help clean.

    Either way, knowing that help was offered and that the neighbors actually did try to do something answers my questions. Thanks for that.

  • jm

    Did this fellow ride a bike to Magnolia yard sales? A stocky guy about 60 years old?

  • Ivan Agerton

    After re-reading my comments I realize that my “shame on you” comment was not appropriate.

    So I made a few phone calls. The Dept. of Social services directed me to an organization called Senior information and assistance (206 448 3110). They have trained personnel that will make contact with an individual and his family. The spokesperson informed me that they will exhaust all avenues of approach.
    Not everyone can be helped, I understand that but we should always try as hard as we can and if looking after one another marks me as a resident of the la la land population so be it.
    I have to ask a question though. Is it “Being above others” to look after a neighbor? Should a rebel flag keep someone from trying to make contact? What is everyone so afraid of? Could it be that this person was feeling alienated by all the growth in his neck of the woods? If neighbors reached out earlier could they have found that they had a pretty cool life story living right next door? What if it was you that needed help?

  • Interested

    So much interest and opinions. That’s a good thing. Realizing, of course, that this in not a perfect world and you can only “control” situations and other people – well, very little if at all.

    I say “here, here” to the suggestion that everyone – all the intereste and opinionated – give a helpful hand to the new owners, cleaning the outside property and support their well intended efforts.

    They seem to be the only ones that are taking any positive action.

  • A

    I agree – if you see this kind of mess, you have to assume that this person is not normal. The humane thing to do would have been to call some agency (and there are a lot of them).

    Of course, the Mexifornians with the expensive cars driving the rents up can’t wait to get this guy out of here so they can build a ‘kewl’ townhouse or condo on the property. You people are cold. Like BRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

  • Kelli

    I’m new here and catching up a bit. But truly, do we need to use phrases like “Mexifornians”?!?

    I’m a native Californian, of Mexican heritage, and drive a relatively nice car…and I cannot believe that I just read such a comment in this neighborhood that I adore so much.

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