What to Do About an Abandoned House in Your Neighborhood

You might not realize it, but the effects of an abandoned house aren’t just limited to the property itself. It also impacts the neighboring properties and, in some cases, the entire neighborhood. But is there anything you can do if you’re living near one? 

Keep reading to find out exactly how an abandoned house impacts your property and what you can do about it. 

What is an abandoned house?

An abandoned house is an unoccupied property lost due to financial or legal reasons. There are a few reasons it might be vacant, including foreclosure and bankruptcy that affected homeownership

At first, this might not seem like much of an issue, other than it being an eyesore. But the longer the house goes unattended, the more problems it creates for the surrounding homes. 

What problems do abandoned houses create?

Abandoned homes aren’t attractive, but they don’t just damage your neighborhood’s curb appeal. More severe consequences can lead, which only increase over time. 

Lower property values

Home appraisers don’t just look at the condition and appearance of the homes they’re assessing. They also look at the other houses in a neighborhood to find comparable selling prices. If a foreclosed home has been sitting vacant, the value of that property goes down, which in turn affects the value of your property. 

Increased crime rates

Abandoned properties are linked to higher crime rates, which has been shown through a variety of studies over several decades. Not only does this put you, your family, and your neighbors at risk of theft and violence, it lowers your property values even further. 

Costly to taxpayers

If an abandoned house has been vacant so long that it’s condemned, the city will need to step in. The property will likely be demolished, and the entire process costs the city, which essentially costs the taxpayers. So even if it seems like you’re a bystander, you could wind up paying. 

What to do if you live next to an abandoned house

Living near an abandoned house might seem like a helpless situation, but you have a couple of options. One option to consider is taking over ownership. Why is this a good idea? 

For one, there isn’t a lot of competition from other buyers to purchase abandoned houses. Secondly, buying an abandoned home is a lot lower than a property owned by the seller. Getting an investment property to buy, flip, and sell might be within reach with these two factors. 

How to buy an abandoned house

Purchasing an abandoned house is a reasonably straightforward process, but it looks different from going through the usual process. More than anything, it requires research, and your financing options are limited. 

Here are the basic steps for buying vacant property. 

Find the owner

If the owners missed too many mortgage payments, their home might have been repossessed by the lender, or the house could be in foreclosure. If that’s the case, get clear about who owns the property. Once you find that out, you can ask about possibly purchasing it. 

Assess the condition of the property

It only takes a few months for an unattended house to accumulate damage. The longer a home is vacant, the more damage it will accrue, and it’s not just aesthetic things like the yard getting out of hand. Plumbing, paint, and structural damage can happen while a property goes unoccupied. 

These issues stem from wildlife, vandalism, weather, and the simple lack of upkeep. And while abandoned houses come with a more affordable price tag, the number of repairs needed can quickly make this figure skyrocket. 

Get your finances in order

Purchasing an abandoned house usually happens through a cash sale because mortgage lenders won’t give out loans on damaged properties. Traditional house sales require appraisals, and homes with defects won’t pass this stage. 

In rare cases, you may be able to get a loan through a local bank by using the property as collateral. However, if you choose to go this route, you will need to make a larger than average down payment. Either way, you’ll need to have a lot of cash saved up to make this sale happen. 

What else you can do

If buying a house isn’t an option, there are a couple of other things you can do.

Report the property to your city

If buying an abandoned house isn’t a realistic option, you have a couple more options. 

One option would be to contact your local officials, so they’re aware of the property. Each city has building codes that houses must meet to be considered livable. 

If you notice a house has been vacant and is damaged, contact the city right away. This is especially important if you see signs of vandalism, squatters, or other illegal activity. You can make your case even stronger by enlisting others in your neighborhood to file a complaint. 

Contact a property investor

Buying an abandoned house in your neighborhood can be a worthwhile investment, but it does require time and money. And while you can report the home to your city, it might not have much visible damage. That’s why another good option to consider is contacting a property investor.

Property investors can do the legwork required for purchasing an abandoned house for cash. Once the sale is complete, they’ll flip it and help bring back the value and curb appeal of your home. 

Simply is here to help

If you’re wondering what to do about an abandoned house in your neighborhood, you don’t have to go far to find a reliable, experienced property investment company. Just call Simply instead. No matter the condition, we buy houses as-is for a fair price based on market value. 

We’ve helped countless homeowners and neighbors of abandoned houses, and we’re here to help you. Contact us today to get started.


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