Abandoned houses are problematic for any neighborhood. Whether you live next door and are concerned about the effect of that home on your property value, or you’re worried the abandoned property could attract crime into your neighborhood, it’s true that abandoned houses don’t do anyone much good. Here are a few steps you can take to solve your concerns regarding the abandoned home next door.
If You’re Not Sure the House is Abandoned
If you’re not quite certain what’s going on with that home next door, it’s better to figure out what’s going on before you jump into action. Attempt to get in touch with the owner by mailing them a note (even if they’re not living on the premises, they might have a forwarding address), talking to your local postal worker, or even just knocking on the door.
If none of these attempts works, you can dig a little deeper by checking out the public records.
Look Into Public Records
You can make a trip to your local county clerk’s office. There, you’ll be able to see who owns the property and get the owners’ address. If the owner’s address is the same as the abandoned home, this is where your search could end. It’s still worth it to attempt to mail a letter or note to the owner because as we mentioned, the owner could have set up a forwarding address.
If there isn’t an owner of the home, public records will tell you if there’s a bank on file that owns the mortgage to the home. If this is the case, you can contact that bank for more information about the home, and to discuss methods for keeping the property, and your neighborhood safe.
If You Know the House is Abandoned
If you were friends with your next-door neighbors, and know they’ve moved on from the property, or if you know no one has been in the home for some time, there are a few steps you can take to protect your home, the value of your property, and to help keep your neighborhood safe.
Try to Help Old Owners Find a Buyer
If you know the old owners, you can communicate with them to help them find a buyer. If they no longer live in the area, they may be having trouble getting the word out that their home is on the market. You might be able to help them get the word out. If they’re not having any luck selling that home, you can also let them know that they might be able to sell the home for cash to a real estate investor like Renewed Homes.
For homeowners who have moved away, and are just looking to get rid of their house, this is a great option. This is also a good move for your property value and for the neighborhood because real estate investors will put money into cleaning up and renovating the home before they look for a buyer.
Alert Local Officials If You See a Problem
While there’s not too much you can do about an abandoned house if you don’t know the owners or if you haven’t spoken to the bank that owns the home, you can report problems to local officials when you see them.
Every city and town has a variety of building codes, and if a property violates these, by having broken windows or doors, visible trash in the lawn, or a severely overgrown yard, you have a right to talk to the authorities. If the home has been vandalized or is in serious disrepair, the authorities can take action. This is one way to get the cleanup process started and help turn that abandoned home around.
Talk to the Bank that Owns the Home
If you know that the home is bank-owned and has no one living in it, you can talk to the bank that owns the home about working to get the home sold. It’s possible that the home is still in the foreclosure process, which is why it’s been sitting for so long. The bank may be able to give you options to help preserve the value of your property and others nearby.
If the house is out of the foreclosure process, you can speak to the bank that owns the home to let them know what concerns you have or problems you’ve witnessed. If the property has been vandalized or is attracting crime, the bank will work to take proactive steps to minimize those damages and get the home on the market quickly.
Though you might be working to do something helpful, like mow the lawn, trim the bushes or install floodlights to deter vandals, it’s best to just stay off the property unless you have permission from the owner or the bank to enter.
If you enter the property without permission, you will be liable for anything that goes wrong. If you hit a utility line or cause any accidental damage while mowing or landscaping, you’ll be responsible for any of those damages. Most homeowners and banks will be appreciative of your help, so just make sure you talk to them and get their permission to enter the property first.
Talk To A Real Estate Investor
If the home next door has been abandoned for some time, and you can’t seem to get anyone to commit to keeping it up or getting it on the market, it might be in your best interest to speak with a real estate investor. If you’ve done the homework of identifying who owns the home, and how long it’s been abandoned, a real estate investor is likely to be interested in helping purchase and fix up that home.
An abandoned home next door can be frustrating. You might be worried about your property value, or even just the safety of your neighborhood. With a little sleuthing and talking to some of the involved parties, you should be able to come to a conclusion that works for everyone. If you have an abandoned home next door that you just can’t stand, give Renewed Homes a call. We’re dedicated to improving our neighborhoods and communities by fixing up old and abandoned homes, and we’d love to see how we can help.