The External Costs of Vacant Homes
"That foreclosed house on your street with the chipped paint and boarded-up windows — it’s ugly, sure, but how much does it cost?"
That's the question posed by a new report written by Aaron Klein and covered by Rachel Dovey in an article for Next City. According to Dovey's summary, the report estimates that each vacant property "costs roughly $155,000 in its first year."
Those boarded-up windows are something of an “X marks the spot” for certain types of crimes, particularly the theft of appliances and copper pipes. The report estimates that, within 250 feet of a foreclosed home, the foreclosure process actually leads to a 10 percent increase in the number of reported crimes per year. And the impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays unoccupied, leveling out between a year and 18 months. Then, in a vicious cycle, that increase in crime can cause neighboring property values to decline.
The report, "Understanding the True Costs of Abandoned Properties: How Maintenance Can Make a Difference," was published by Community Blight Solutions.