'Birthday Houses' Celebrate Unwanted Anniversary

birthday houses
birthday houses

So many unwanted homes are sitting on the market for so many days that maudlin sellers have come up with a name for them: birthday houses. As in, this is the first, second, third or fifth year that my house has been in limbo: up for sale, but not selling.

Gabrielle Rudin, a marketing executive in Manhattan, bought her 3-bedroom house in Catskill to get away from the stress of the city (photos below). When the recession hit, she found it unaffordable. Now the house, which has been on and off the market since 2008, is a cause of stress. "I resent it,'' says Rudin. "I compare it to other houses that have sold in the area and I think, it has a porch, it has a deck and a two-car garage. ... Why me?'' She even cut the price from $235,000 to $195,000, but still no takers.

Realtors tell Rudin it's not her fault; it's the market's. But the birthdays are becoming more like wakes.