We have finally figured out the mystery of the previous owners. Based on the physical evidence in the house, the observations of our growing network of neighbors, and the selling realtor (who now that the deal is done can speak freely), we believe that the house was owned and operated by coyotes. For those unfamiliar with the term it is Mexican slang for human smugglers.
They bought the property in 2006 for its large size and, at the time, low cost. They put in a second bathroom without bothering with the legalities because their whole operation was illegal. They made erratic mortgage payments, and when it became clear that there were now cheaper properties to exploit, stopped paying all together. Nonetheless they fought eviction until just before law enforcement got involved because they were still making money from house until the last minute.
During their ownership they housed a huge rotating population of undocumented immigrants, who they had smuggled into the U.S. for extortionist rates. They slept in every room of the house, the garage and in storage sheds and cars in the yard. Coyotes are notorious for blackmailing their clients/victims families, raping the women in their charge, or forcing them into prostitution. They are vermin. I had some qualms about buying a foreclosure but not anymore. I’m glad they were evicted it was the least they deserved. Our fine but abused house will now be used for a much nobler purposes.
In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was a radical change in lifestyle that would allow DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed. The ideas that lead them to take this plunge came from the steampunk movement as it was during a brief shining period when art and philosophy seemed at least as important as brass, and great essays, speeches, and letters were written. These days they don't worry so much about what people call "steampunk." They call what they're doing the Greyshade Estate.
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