QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. – Out on Phoenix’s suburban fringes, where cement mixers are fast colonizing what’s left of the hay and cotton fields, the day is winding to a close. The home hour has arrived. But sundown gives away a troubling secret: Behind dark windows and many unanswered doors, it’s clear nobody is coming home
The ranch home on Via del Palo where the newspaper in the driveway has been sitting unclaimed since April. The house at the corner of 223rd Court with faded fliers stuck in the door. The two-story on Via del Rancho with the phone book on the step.
They’re all empty, left behind by a rising tide of foreclosures.
This neighborhood has a still-unfolding story to tell, and it is not always a comfortable one to hear.
Not long ago, builders were raising home prices here thousands of dollars week after week. Families pitched tents in front of sales offices and waited for Saturday morning lotteries to win the right to buy. Buyers — including more than a few speculators — gambled with loans whose risks were obscured by euphoria.
This is the tale of how America’s real estate
I’ve got to figure out how to buy my own home back,” Giniel says. “If God doesn’t pull me out of this one, I don’t know where else I’m going to go.” ……