What is that Vacant House Next Door Doing to Your Home Value?

(April 29, 2015)

vacant house next door

Do you think you are going to sell your house fast?  You've done all the right things, remodeled the house appropriately, staged the house nicely, and waited until Spring to sell your house.  Sounds like you are ready to go!  There is one thing you can't control, unfortunately.  That's the vacant home next door.  It's a potential threat and eye-sore to prospective buyers.

The Vacant House Next Door

The vacant home next door, on your street or in your neighborhood, for that matter, can very much have an effect on your home value.  Prospective buyers driving through the area and walking up to your house are also looking at the surrounding properties.

A Fixer-Upper

Typically, vacant houses are fixers.  They need work and may not look very appealing from the street.  Without any regular maintenance, you can expect to see overgrown landscaping which can make a house look much worse than it really is.

Abandoned Houses

Sometimes, a vacant home is also an abandoned house.  The owner, for different reasons, has no plans to come back to the property. You may think that this can never happen with such a large asset, but it does.  And it happens all over.

Hoarding and Junk

Unfortunately, these types of houses also become storage for hoarders.  Hoarding in a vacant house is very common.  After all, it's a big empty building to store junk.  This, too, is unfortunate, because it increases the likelyhood of theft.


Vacant homes are easy targets for theft.  With no one living in the house, there is not much security.  This can be very scary for neighbors and leaves great potential for harm to neighboring homes.  This can also lead to new neighbors that don't belong, squatters.


Squatting is extremely common in vacant properties.  After all, it's a free place to stay.  And if the owner of the property doesn't care, then better for the squatters.

Termite Damage and Rodents

Why does termite damage matter?  Well, left to continue, it can eventually effect your house.  Termites like to stay in an area, but they are happy to move to fresh wood (like at your house).  Rodents and other creatures, similar to squatters, also find their way to vacant properties.  After all, it's a free place to stay for them, too.  And eventually, those animals will want more food and come over to your property look for it.

Broken Windows, Abandoned Cars and Weathered Siding

Typically, abandoned houses will have one or all of the above.  Broken windows, believe it or not, are a huge red flag to buyers.  And abandoned cars and weathered siding just add to the signs of neglect.

What Do You Do if You Want to Sell Your House Fast?

Talk to the owner, if you can.  What is their intention?  Maybe they don't know how bad it is and are willing to clean-up the exterior.  Maybe they will let you clean up the exterior.  Yes, more work for you, but if you want to sell your house fast and not wait, it's not a bad idea.

Next, talk to other neighbors who might know the owner, if you aren't able to get in touch with them.  And you can always call the city and file a complaint.  If any of the above are occuring, the city will want to know about it.

If you are thinking of selling your house now or in the future, pay attention to your neighborhood, especially your specific part of the block.  Any of the above suggestions can lead to a remedy that will increase your home's value.

We Buy Vacant Houses

Even better, we will buy your neighbor's vacant house, remodel it and help to increase your home value.  


Jennifer Shenbaum

Written by Jennifer Shenbaum

Jennifer Shenbaum is a real estate investor based in Southern California. She is a veteran of the housing market crash of 2007. Best of all, she offers free remodeling ideas to all who ask.

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