With our current economic crisis, there are more and more houses falling to foreclosures. Unfortunately as more homes are owned by the bank, the less care goes into the maintenance of them and neighbourhoods begin a spiralling decent into disrepair and plunging property values.
Vacant homes that aren't kept up by the banks eventually show signs of their lack of residents; in many neighbourhoods it is easy to drive down the street and see at a glance which homes are bank owned: they have overgrown lawns and gardens, broken or boarded up windows, weeds, garbage in the yard, and usually a for sale sign out front.
Due to how visible these homes are, they are a quick and easy draw to anyone looking for a place to make trouble, engage in criminal activity, vandalise, or reside rent-free. Because the percentage of homes in the country with no residents is so high, many of these vacant homes are standing empty for extended periods of time, making them especially attractive to the criminal element.
Every week it seems that there are more headlines about teens partying in empty homes, people looking to make money by selling scrap metal pulling copper wires and pipes out of empty homes, and just senseless vandalism. Far too many of these vacant homes are also becoming crime scenes as prostitutes and drug addicts and dealers are using them to ply their trades.
The reason that vacant home fall into such a state is that no one is looking out for them and providing even a small amount of upkeep. In response to this growing problem, some areas are coming up with some solutions to keep the disrepair to a minimum. Some banks and some neighbourhood groups are taking it into their own hands to keep the vacant homes looking at least somewhat lived in. Solutions range from mowing lawns, litter clean up, and weeding to calling the police when trespassers are observed to using "artistic boarding". Artistic boarding is the use of plywood sheets to cover broken doors or windows and painted to look like doors or window frames so that from the street a house does not look boarded up and vacant.
To help your own neighbourhood resist becoming a victim to the falling property values that can plague areas with a great many foreclosed homes, consider starting a neighbourhood group that takes turns helping out to keep an eye on these homes and keep them from looking abandoned. A house that looks like no one cares for it probably doesn't, and that's what criminals are counting on.
Posted by Howard Trott. Posted In : Vacant Property Security