Great news for folks who have watched the value of their exurban McMansions circling the drain over the past few years: These fringe habitations can be returned to nature to find new life as wildlife habitats. It’s basically the real estate version of composting.

Okay, so there's not really an official effort to make subdivisions into sanctuaries, but apparently nobody told bears that. In Hopatcong, N.J., a cable TV repairman recently descended into 85-year-old Frank Annacone's basement and found a 500-pound black bear slumbering there. The folks at Gothamist dubbed it the "Reverse Goldilocks Bear," and in a true case of lopsided justice, it was quickly tranquilized and subjected to an "examination" (yikes) before being released back into the wild. (What did Goldilocks get, a good scare and a few hours of community service?)

It’s not the first time wild animals have done the "creative reuse" thing on the outer edges of civilization. BldgBlog has dredged up tales of bobcats lounging around foreclosed exurban mansions, bees that turned a California home into a honey factory, and a pack of coyotes that squatted in a burned-out house in Glendale, Calif. Someone needs to tell these guys that the long commute back to the forest will ruin their marriages.

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