Have you ever come across a movie or TV show featuring an old, eerie, and vacant haunted house? Can you recall how it was portrayed? Creaky doors, shattered windows, cobwebs, layers of dust, and more, all contributing to the eerie atmosphere. Have you ever found yourself in possession of such a vacant house? Sometimes, these properties are inherited, or they may be rental units that prove difficult to lease. Alternatively, it could be a place you’ve moved on from, leaving it behind as life led you to a better place.
In this post, we will talk about the risks associated with allowing a house to deteriorate to the point of becoming an irreparable burden.
Did you know that in the United States, one out of every sixty-five residential properties is vacant? These “haunted looking houses” are often abandoned and neglected, resulting in a range of issues. In recent years, Richmond has experienced a rise in the problem of vacancy. It is a common strategy when the cost of repairing the damages outweighs the economic viability, but the homeowner still wants to retain ownership of the property. This approach is also prevalent when homeowners plan to make improvements to unlock the home’s full potential but are waiting for the right time to do so.
Neglecting property repairs and management may seem convenient in the midst of a busy life, but it’s a costly mistake. Don’t underestimate the value of utilizing your vacant property as a valuable asset. It’s like leaving your retirement savings unattended on the sidewalk, vulnerable to anyone passing by.
If your home is vacant, be vigilant for any of the following indicators. Failing to take action could lead to financial debt, property loss, or even legal consequences. It’s crucial to prioritize and address these matters promptly.
Likely Problems Caused By Vacant Houses
Houses left vacant for more than a few months, without regular attention, can encounter a range of common issues. It may seem like nothing can go wrong when a house is unoccupied, but that assumption is far from the truth. If you own a vacant property, be mindful of these potential problems and stay prepared.
An empty home is a potential goldmine for thieves. To deter intruders, it’s important to make your home look occupied. However, once it becomes known that a home has been abandoned, it’s only a matter of time before it’s targeted.
Thieves often target valuable components like copper wiring, HVAC systems, or kitchen appliances. Not only is the loss of these items costly, but thieves may also damage walls and fixtures in their pursuit. This can leave the home in a dire state, requiring extensive structural repairs.
Even if nothing is stolen, troublesome individuals may enter the home and cause vandalism or destruction for their own amusement. When they see that the home is not respected, they may wonder why they should respect it either.
Someone Could Start Living There
While Richmond is generally considered a safe place to live, it is currently facing a homelessness crisis. This presents a challenge, especially considering the approximately 450 abandoned or vacant properties in the city.
If left unaddressed, these properties may become occupied by squatters, who can stay there indefinitely. This poses a significant risk to the integrity and condition of the homes, as squatters are unlikely to take proper care of the properties, leading to deterioration.
Evicting squatters once they have settled in is a complex and arduous process. If they refuse to leave, they might even be allowed to remain. What’s worse, if squatters have resided in a property for an extended period, they may even have a legal claim to it.
The House May Get Damaged Costing Thousands of Dollars In Repairs
Maintaining and caring for homes is crucial to ensure habitability. Neglecting this fundamental requirement can result in escalating damage over time.
This consists of:
Water can be a major cause of costly damage. Whether it’s a broken pipe, a faulty water heater, or damage to the roof or gutter, any entry point for water can lead to structural and interior harm in your home.
Unmaintained heating systems pose serious problems, including the risk of fires. However, the concern of arson becomes even more significant when dealing with vacant properties. Moreover, the possibility of squatters starting a fire cannot be overlooked.
Another common issue associated with vacant homes is the invasion of animals that wreak havoc. A door left open, a shattered window, or even an eager animal can result in a deluge of damage.
Regardless of whether you reside in or actively oversee your property, you bear responsibility for any incidents that take place there. Should someone sustain an injury on your premises, you may be held accountable for the resulting damages. Likewise, if an unmaintained home on your property triggers a fire or explosion that causes harm to individuals or damages other properties, you will be deemed liable.
Although your home may be unoccupied, government fees are still applicable. The expenses you incur for this property remain the same as any other property you own. These expenses include:
Taxes: Regardless of occupancy, property taxes are an obligation that you will incur for your home.
Fines: Failure to comply with city codes may result in the imposition of a fine for vacant homes that fall short of the required standards.
The bank will not reduce your mortgage payment if you allow your home to deteriorate. Regardless of occupancy, you will still be responsible for the same mortgage amount. Failure to pay bills promptly and in full may lead to penalties or even imprisonment. Furthermore, it could result in the forfeiture of your property to the bank or government.
How To Make Money Quickly On A Vacant House in Richmond
In addition to the aforementioned issues, a vacant home represents a missed opportunity for a valuable investment and potential income source. While you may perceive your vacant house as worthless and unsellable, the reality is that you have the potential to convert that property into cash within a remarkably short period of time.
Even if you are unable to afford the necessary repairs to make your home habitable or rentable, selling it to a reputable real estate investor could result in a substantial cash infusion and a return on your investment.
At Forrest Buys Houses, we specialize in assisting homeowners like you in transforming their vacant properties into quick cash. We are interested in purchasing houses in need of major repairs, as well as those requiring extensive cleaning and other improvements. If you own a vacant house in the Richmond area and are interested in converting it into cash, we invite you to learn more about our process by clicking here.
We don’t charge any fees, closing costs, or commissions. Typically, we can provide an offer on your property within 24 hours. If accepted, we can close the deal in about a week. Give us a call today and speak with one of our friendly professionals.To learn more about our reputation for professionalism and fairness, you can read some of our reviews here. We look forward to hearing from you. Call us today at 804-409-2910.
About Forrest McGhee
Forrest McGhee, the driving force behind Forrest Buys Houses, is a dedicated local entrepreneur, who founded the family-business to assist homeowners in navigating the complexities of real estate challenges. Forrest is dedicated to guiding individuals to transform their mindset, fostering personal growth, success, and happiness in their lives.