A vacant home is a lost opportunity. Even if a home is in disrepair, there are still revenue opportunities that can and should be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, every minute a home sits vacant, the more at risk it is of becoming irreparably damaged and a financial liability.

In this month’s post, we’ll outline the dangers of not selling your home and letting it turn into an unrecoverable asset.

The worst case scenario? A zombie home

Did you know that 1 out of every 65 properties in the United States is sitting vacant? These “zombie” homes are often left abandoned and uncared for, leading to a myriad of problems.

Homeowners will often do this if they feel there’s too much damage to economically fix the issues, but don’t want to lose the home. This also often happens if the homeowner intends to fix up the home to realize its potential, but is waiting “to get to it.”

While it can be easy to get caught up in life and put the idea of fixing or managing the property on the backburner, don’t do this! While it may seem like something that can be left for another time, not dealing with it now can lead to you losing money.

Not taking advantage of your vacant property as a valuable asset would be like leaving your retirement plan on the sidewalk for anyone to take.

Don’t have the time or energy to fix up your vacant property? Contact Columbia Redevelopment! We buy homes in any condition. You could have a cash offer within 24 hours!

Contact us online or call (503) 200-8730

Be on the lookout for any of the following signs if you’re home is vacant. Taking no action could mean money owed, loss of property, or even jail time.

Someone could start living there

While Portland is considered an extremely safe place to live, the city does suffer from a homeless crisis. This poses a problem to the city’s almost 450 abandoned or vacant properties.

If unimpeded, squatters can live in your abandoned home for as long as they want. This means potential serious damage to your home. They will likely not take ideal care of the property, which can turn your property from vacant to decrepit.

Once squatters have established themselves in your home, they are difficult to remove. If they refuse to leave, they may have rights to stay. Even worse? If they’ve been living there for an extended period of time they could hold a legal right to the property.

How could squatters cost you cash?

  • Legal fees
  • Damaged property
  • Potential loss of home value

Vandalism

A vacant home is similar to California in the 1800’s to potential thieves — a potential goldmine. If your home does not look vacant, it may delay vandals from breaking in. But once it is known your home is abandoned, it will only be a matter of time.

Often the target will be copper wiring or valuable units in your home such as the HVAC system or kitchen appliances. While the loss of these things is expensive in and of itself, often walls will be broken open and fixtures ripped out to get to the good stuff. This turns the situation into a dire one, as it will mean a completely torn up home that needs significant structural work.

Even if nothing is stolen, troublesome individuals could enter your home and cause mischief, including graffiti or simply breaking things for fun. They will see that no one is respecting the home and figure “why should I?”

How could thieves and vandals cost you cash?

  • Damaged property
  • New appliances and systems
  • Cleaning fees

The home could become irreparably damaged

Homes need love to keep going and remain “livable.” If this basic necessity is not kept up, significant damage develops at ever increasing rates.

This includes :

  • Water damage: Water damage develops in a number of ways. Everything from a burst pipe or burst hot water heater, to a damaged roof or gutter can cause water to get into the home an cause structural and interior damage to your home.
  • Fires: Unmaintained heating systems can cause serious issues. Even more important though is the possibility of arson, a major concern with vacant properties. Potential squatters could also start a blaze.
  • Animal infiltration: One of the most common issues with vacant properties is animals getting into a home and wreaking havoc. A left open door, broken window, or simply an eager critter can cause a waterfall of damage.

How a damaged home will cost you cash

  • Loss of asset
  • A “totaling” of your home
  • Major repairs and headaches

Liability

Just because you are not living in or actively managing your property, it doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for what happens on it.

If anybody is injured on your property, you could be held liable for any damages. Similarly, if there’s a fire or explosion on your property due to an unmaintained home that injures someone or damages another property, it will be your responsibility.

How liability could cost you cash

  • Legal fees
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Out-of-pocket payment of claims

Property costs

Similar to the liability issue, just because you put the house in the back of your mind does not mean that government and lending agencies have forgotten about it.

You will still owe all the same costs that you would on any other property you own. This includes:

  • Taxes: You will owe property taxes whether your home is being actively used or not.
  • Fines: If your vacant home is not up to code, you may be responsible for paying fines or any other penalties for having your home in decrepit condition.
  • Mortgage payments: The bank is not going to charge you less just because you let your home fall into disrepair. You will have to pay the same mortgage whether you use the home or not.

Not paying bills on time and in full could lead to mounting fees or even jail time. It could also mean forfeiture of your property to the bank or government.

How property costs can cost you cash

  • Penalty fees
  • Jail time
  • Loss of asset

You could miss out on cash

Most of all, letting your home go vacant is a waste of a perfectly good investment and revenue source. Homes are one of the most valuable assets you can own as an individual or business, and not taking full advantage of this asset is a waste of money.

While you may not be able to afford to fix up your home to make it usable or rentable, selling it to a reputable real estate investor could mean an infusion of cash and a realization of your investment.

Don’t sit on a goldmine and lose out on a life-altering amount of money

Call Columbia Redevelopment to realize your investment before it’s too late

If you’re dealing with a vacant property that’s quickly deteriorating, Columbia Redevelopment can help. We’re a locally-based Portland real estate company that’s been buying homes and redeveloping communities in Portland for years.

When you work with Columbia Redevelopment we’ll…

  • Make you a cash offer within 24 hours of visiting your property
  • Deposit $10,000 earnest money into your account
  • Close the transaction within 2-3 days
  • Never charge any fees

Contact us today to learn how you can sell your vacant property today for cash!