ELMHURST – Calling themselves humanitarians who only want what is best for Elmhurst, self-appointed representatives of citizens who are “worried sick” about the number of teardowns occurring throughout town told reporters on Monday that they are generously donating their time and astute wisdom to homebuyers who intend to knock down an existing house and build a new one in its place.
Blessed with the ability to tell others what to do with their purchased property and intent on preserving “historic” homes despite their need for updated wiring, plumbing, roofing, drainage and insulation, these do-gooders are stepping forward to advise property owners on the virtues of restoring the existing home.
“Our history is being erased with all these teardowns,” said emissary and lifelong Elmhurst resident Dick Potter, who follows every local real estate transaction and contacts the buyers of older homes to find out what they intend to do with the property. “Everyone thinks they need multiple bathrooms and central air conditioning. Wouldn’t they rather forfeit some of those luxuries in favor of pleasing strangers who like to see the older homes?”
For resident and chief busybody Meredith Polly, intervening is a natural reaction when homebuyers pass up the opportunity to pour more money into an older house than what it is actually worth.
“I know firsthand what it’s like to invest a lot of money into an existing home,” said Polly, who last year spent $400,000 to have a moat built around her south Elmhurst home and then reclaimed an old drawbridge from northern Spain to maintain the symmetry to other properties in her neighborhood. “I think the problem begins with the seller. They should only sell their home to a buyer who plans on fixing it up.”