Vacant Property - What's the solution??

Real Estate Appraiser with Gilliam Appraisal Services

With the recent rash of Foreclosed properties throughout the country, lenders and owners are finding they may be held liable for neglect.  It sounds odd that the act of simply leaving a property behind could be neglect, but it can be, and this action can not only have a negative impact on the property itself but the neighborhood as well.

Times can be tough, and people get scared.  It's understandable, and though homeowners morally feel like abandoning the property isn't the right thing to do, it's a scary situation.  Many homeowners simply don't know what to do, the banks are sending notices every day in the mail, and credit card companies are calling 15 times a day and your kids are starting to ‘love' Ramen Noodles.  Situations like this are common, and some owners just ‘snap', pack up one night and leave.

They don't tell the bank, thinking that they are taking over the house in a day or two, so what's the difference?  It's the idea of responsibility, and who is responsible...

Some say the lenders...

In the town of Murrieta California, they have started imposing fines to lenders that don't maintain their properties.  These fines are big, when you consider the amount of homes that face foreclosure.  Unless you're living under a rock, you understand the magnitude of this situation.

So what is the solution???  Some one needs to care for these properties.

Another town in California, Chula Vista, has passed a law making it mandatory for "lenders to hire a management company to take care of houses" that the borrower cannot. 

This is where we come in.  Gilliam Appraisal Services provides this service to lenders, bankruptcy attorneys, banks and private individuals.  From lawn mowing and snow removal to compliance inspections and regular maintenance inspections, we ensure that the property is well cared for.

The savings are HUGE!  From foreclosure to seasonal properties, Gilliam Appraisal Services can care for your property like you would...when you cannot. 




Comments (7)

Sylvia Barry
Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay) - San Rafael, CA
Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert

Hi Theordore:  What a great idea for a business.   I often go to foreclosed / REO homes and wonder why the lender/agent would choose to show the home as it is.  Although I think the price should be reasonable as if this is a property in distress, there might not be so much money for the service. Just being practical. 



Mar 28, 2008 03:27 AM
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer
It sounds like a good idea to me. Keep those values up.
Mar 28, 2008 03:32 AM
Theodore Gilliam
Gilliam Appraisal Services - Norridgewock, ME

Sylvia, you are correct in some respects.  My company has a unique perspective on the market.  We are a Real Estate Appraisal Firm with the added ability to care for homes.  Foreclosed homes are in a state of 'distressed' already, since the sale is forced, and the seller is generally motivated.

As far as the service goes, most clients at a minimum want to know that the property is secure, and not being damaged.  Once a property comes under our care, the subject is secured with locks, windows are secured, photos are taken of every room, and notes are made on the condition.  Our clients can customize the service to meet exactly what they need, and we keep these fees very reasonable.

Mar 28, 2008 03:37 AM
Theodore Gilliam
Gilliam Appraisal Services - Norridgewock, ME

Kevin, thanks for commenting.

 As far as keeping values up, I don't set values.  Appraisers don't determine value, the market does....

Mar 28, 2008 03:38 AM
Pam Joffe
Solaris Realty - Tampa, FL
Theodore - I think the owners should keep their properties in a decent state whether it is a homeowner or a bank, a home with an overgrown lawn and weeds hurts values throughout a neighborhood.
Mar 28, 2008 03:45 AM
Theodore Gilliam
Gilliam Appraisal Services - Norridgewock, ME

Pam, you and I know that, and so do the owners, but the emotion of fear and embarrassment is greater than the rational thoughts of doing what is best for the property. 

If it's the bank that owns it, then they should take care of it.  They sometimes get overwhelmed though, and that's where we come in.

If it's the 'borrower' that owns it, it's difficult at times.  Depression and stress can make thinking of 'what is right' difficult, and then the property suffers.

Mar 28, 2008 04:25 AM
J Manno
Summit Realty Group, Inc. - Newport Beach, CA


The homeowner walked away so the bank is left with the carnage...just like a rental.

Mar 29, 2008 04:40 AM