What to do about a vacant home next door….

These days vacant homes can be found in almost every neighborhood. A nuisance to their neighbors, vacant homes lower property value and attract unwanted squatters, vermin, and crime. One south side neighborhood has dealt with an increase of crime that resulted in three vacant houses suspiciously being set on fire.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, a study released in 2008 shows there are 5,000 vacant houses in the city. Twenty percent of those are in the Linden area mostly due to the subprime-mortgage meltdown and the resulting foreclosures.

So what do you do if there’s a vacant home near your home? I discussed this topic with Shawn Wollenberg, founder of MyNextRehab.com, a site that connects real estate investors with houses to rehab. He says that neighbors can help out by pitching in to keep the yard cleaned up so it’s not obvious that it’s vacant and report any criminal activity that these empty homes seem to attract. “Help maintain your neighborhood pride,” he says.

What a vacant home needs is a buyer. Thankfully home sales seem to be on the rise. Mortgage applications were up 32% just last month. Interest rates are still falling. Maybe more first time homebuyers will take advantage of the $8,000 credit they are eligible to receive and vacant houses won’t be so vacant.

Are you tired of the vacant house next to you? Email Shawn Wollenberg the address and he might be able to find a buyer for the vacant house. You can contact Shawn at Shawn@mynextrehab.com or check out his website mynextrehab.com.

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