Bad Habits » Karma Cleanser

Karma Cleanser


Dear Karma Cleanser:

About a year ago, I bought a condo in an "up and coming" part of town, although my neighbors and I later agreed that the realtor's description really meant "you might get your car broken into." We also had other problems around the building. A neighbor got harassed by a homeless guy in a nearby alley, and we used to have trash routinely stuffed into our mailboxes. Besides that, the building is a real find. I have no doubt that two years from now, the value of this property will probably double.

My problem is, I'm getting married and moving to another state. My condo is now on the market, and when people come to tour the unit, I've been honest with them about the neighborhood. This has made me the enemy of two of my neighbors, who say that telling buyers about our "dirty laundry" is bringing down home prices in the whole building. I refuse to lie about it, because I firmly believe that doing so would cause bad karma. Am I wrong?


You're selling before the two-year mark? Forget bad karma: What about the tax penalties? Since you're so sure this place is going to double in price once the 'hood settles down, maybe you should hold onto the property and rent. But don't look to us for real estate advice! As for the honesty issue, you're justified in the full disclosure. If that ends up hurting the value in the short run, so be it.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

(In response to "Beans & Haters"): I've just read your answer to the person in which you doubt (and actually accuse them of telling a lie) their story. While it sounds improbable to me as well, I must tell you: I have e-mail but do not have or desire a cell phone. I'm one of those old farts who values their privacy. I'm 54. Does this mean I'm not "with it" enough to read your newspaper?

Private Answerer

We're shocked by the volume of mail that letter has generated. Seems there's a vast reservoir of cellular revulsion out there, and our answer struck a nerve. And yes, we're glad you're reading the paper at 54 (but no one says "with it" anymore). Thanks.

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