Selling Tips

Why A Vacant House Cost More

Jason & Jacee

Day in and day out, we look at vacant houses. Houses are meant to be lived in, so behind each vacant house, there is a unique story.

Just a couple weeks ago, we met with a homeowner with a vacant house. It had been a lovely home lived in by the man’s family since the 80’s. Along the way, the kids got older and everyone moved out and moved on. So, the house became a rental house.

A good solution went south when the homeowner put tenant’s in the house that destroyed it! Everything that could’ve went wrong did. Leaks in the roof, holes in the walls, missing doors, disgusting floors, plumbing leaks, and more had gone unreported to the homeowner.

The homeowner decided that it wasn’t worth it to try fixing it up and renting it again. Instead, he decided to list the house for sale and hold out for the highest price possible. The problem is, the house continued to sit vacant for months and months. The expenses compounded until ultimately, the offers he once turned down became lower and lower as the house deteriorated and his expenses added up.

Let us explain some common expenses homeowners like him forget to think about when their houses go vacant:

  • Insurance goes up drastically for vacant houses… It may even double! Many people have no idea that if they don’t report a house being vacant to their insurance company, their house is no longer covered!
  • Mortgage payments add up with no rental income to offset. Month by month, this can dig us into a larger hole.
  • Taxes don’t stop adding up either. Generally this adds up to an additional $150-$200 per month. We just don’t feel the pain of this until the end of year bill comes.
  • Cutting the grass costs money! With nobody living in the house and maintaining it, somebody has to cut the grass. If we neglect this, county code enforcement fines us. This creates another expense of a few hundred dollars.
  • If there is a pool, this is an additional expense. The worst part is, if we neglect pool care, the repair can be expensive. Recoating a pool that was left unmaintained can set us back thousands… not to mention damage to pool pumps.

The moral of the story here is, take action quickly. Generally people let house go vacant because dealing with the problems are stressful and time consuming. Take action immediately when your house goes vacant and it will save you even more stress and time in the future… not to mention money!