Remember that old, abandoned, haunted-looking house featured in your favorite film or tv show? The one with the creaky doors and broken windows, cobwebs EVERYWHERE, and an overall layer of grime and dust? Well, if you own a vacant property – whether it’s an inherited home, rental gone wrong, or simply a place you left behind for better opportunities – then it might be starting to resemble that.
If you let your house fall into disrepair, it can become an asset that is impossible to recover. In this post, we’ll discuss the risks associated with letting this happen.
The worst possible outcome? A haunted house!
Did you know that one out of every sixty-five residential properties in the United States is vacant? These “haunted looking houses” are frequently abandoned and neglected, causing an array of issues. In recent years, the problem of vacancy has risen in St. Louis.
If the homeowner is unable or unwilling to financially fix all of the damage, but still wants to keep the home, this is a common strategy. This is also common if the homeowner plans to make improvements to reveal the home’s potential value but has yet to “get around” to it.
We often get busy and push aside the idea of maintaining our property, but it’s not worth procrastinating! Although some might think it’s something that can wait, putting off repair work will end up costing you more money in the long run.
If you don’t use your vacant property as an asset, it’s like leaving your retirement savings on the street for anyone to take.
The following are all indicators that your home is vacant. If you don’t take action, you could end up in debt, lose your property, or even go to prison.
Likely Problems Caused By Vacant Houses
Houses that sit vacant for more than a couple months are likely to experience some issues. Though one may think unattended homes can’t develop problems, that’s not always the situation. If you own an uninhabited property, pay attention to these potential concerns.
A vacant home is like the Wild West to potential thieves — anything goes and there’s a lot of opportunity. If your home does not appear vacant, it may deter criminals. However, once word gets out that your home has been abandoned, it will only be a matter of time before someone enters without permission.
Oftentimes, robbers will target copper wiring or other expensive home parts, like the HVAC system or kitchen appliances. Not only is it costly to lose these objects individually, but thieves also break walls and take out fixtures to get to them. This makes the situation much worse because now the home needs extensive repairs due to all of the demolition.
If someone breaks into your home, they may not only steal your belongings, but they could also vandalize or destroy property for fun. Unfortunately, this leaves the impression that no one cares about the house, which will make it more likely to be targeted again in the future.
Someone Could Start Living There
Although St. Louis is regarded as a safe place to live, the city is experiencing a homelessness crisis. This poses a problem for the hundreds of abandoned or vacant properties in and around the city.
If you don’t take action, squatters may live in your vacant house for an indefinite amount of time. Unfortunately, this could lead to major damage to your home because they likely won’t maintain it well. Consequently, your property will probably start experiencing deterioration.
If squatters have moved into your home, it can be tough to get them to leave. If they’re unwilling to budge, the law may even be on their side. And if they’ve been there for a long time they could make a legal case for owning the property themselves.
The House May Get Damaged Costing Thousands of Dollars In Repairs
Maintaining your home is key to keeping it livable. If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance, small problems will turn into bigger ones at an ever-increasing rate.
This can include:
One of the most common and costly ways your home can be damaged is through water. This could include anything from a broken pipe or water heater to a hole in the roof or gutter, which lets water inside and causes expensive damage to both the structure and interior of your home.
Not regularly maintaining your heating system can cause various problems, the most concerning being fires. However, arson is an even greater possibility with vacant properties, as squatters may start a fire in order to keep warm.
One of the most common problems with vacant homes is animals invading and wreaking havoc. A left-open door, shattered window, or even an eager animal can cause a deluge of damage. Termites are also a major problem in St. Louis that need to be treated regularly, especially on older houses built out of wood. You can get a free termite inspection here for your vacant home in St. Louis.
Even if you’re not living in or managing your property, you’re still responsible for what happens there.
For example, if someone is injured on your property, you may be held liable for resulting damages. Additionally, an unmaintained home that causes a fire or explosion injuring someone else or damaging another person’s property makes you legally accountable.
Though your home may sit vacant, you will still be charged government fees. In fact, you’ll likely have the same expenses as if someone were living in your property – which include:
Taxes: You will owe property taxes regardless of whether your home is occupied or not.
Fines: You could be charged a fine if your vacant home does not meet city codes or guidelines.
If your home falls into disrepair, the bank still won’t lower your mortgage payments. You’ll be just as responsible for them even if you don’t live there anymore.
If you don’t pay your bills on time or in full, you might have to pay penalties, go to jail, or lose your property.
How To Make Money Quickly On A Vacant House in St. Louis
Not only are there other issues to take into consideration, but a vacant home is also a wasted investment and missed opportunity for income. You may see your house as valueless and unsellable, but you could actually turn it into cash very quickly.
At Fast Lane Real Estate, we specialize in helping you get quick cash for your vacant house in or around St. Louis. We buy houses that need major repairs, cleaning, and much more. If you have a vacant house in the St. Louis area that you’d like to sell for cash quickly and easily, click here to learn more about our process! There are no fees, no closing costs, no commissions. Just cash for your vacant home. We typically can provide an all cash offer on your property within 24 hours of your inquiry. If you accept our offer, we can close within 7 days. Call today and chat with one of our friendly professionals. You can read some of our reviews at this link to learn more about our reputation for professionalism and fairness. Can’t wait to hear from you! Call us today at 314-310-8338.