Home values across the country have been affected by our country’s current economic climate. Values in in most parts of Columbus are down an average 10-12%, taking the values back to 2005 levels. The President and Congress are fighting to stop foreclosures and keep more American’s in their home but what can we do as individuals?
If there is a vacant house in your community, notify the police and a local Realtor (we are here to help and encourage you to give us a call). The police can keep an eye on the home, and the Realtor can contact the lender and make them aware that the home has been abandoned so they can secure the property and begin maintaining it. The Realtor can also work with lender them to locate the homeowner and help them negotiate a pre-foreclosure or short sale, this will help to ensure the home sells more quickly and fetches a better price which in turn will help protect the local property values.
Talk to your neighobors! Too often, a family will move out in the middle of the night to avoid embarrassment and in many instances no one notices until the lawn goes uncut for a prolonged period of time, or the unmistakeable Orange Foreclosure Notice is posted on the door. If the homeowner doesn’t make an effort to work with the bank and negotiate a pre-foreclosure or short sale the home then sits vacate and neglected for as many as 12 months as this is the time it takes the bank to reacquire the home through foreclosure. Neglect and deferred maintenance become concerns at this point and additional problems arise when the electric company terminates the power and the basement floods, or when the gas company terminates service and the pipes freeze.
These abandoned and neglected (foreclosure) properties severely impact the value of the other homes in the community and in fact a recent study suggests that a single foreclosure within a community can negatively impact the values of surrounding homes within a quarter mile radius by as much as 1-3%! So it’s important that we work together to ensure these properties are cared for as the better the condition of the property, the more it will sell for! This serves to protect not just the lender’s investment, but also protect the value of your home and that of the entire neighborhood.
While the Realtor works to notify the bank and track down the homeowners, neighbors should chip in to mow the grass, water the lawn, spiff up the landscaping and pick up the piles of free papers that collect on the drive and walk ways. If at all possible the next door neighbor should run an extension cord to the house to power the sump pump. If you have a Homeowner’s Association, this should be the first item on the agenda each month. Our team has seen homes so infested with mold (from months of sitting with water in the basement) that the homes actually had to be torn down! Other homes with less mold sell for pennies on the dollar and severely impact the values of the surrounding homes!
So, until the government and the lenders figure out a way to deal with and protect these properties, it’s up to all of us to protect our home’s value as much as we can!
The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley Columbus Delaware Downtown Dublin Gahanna Grandview Heights Granville Grove City Groveport Hilliard Lewis Center New Albany Pickerington Polaris Powell Upper Arlington Westerville Worthington