Thursday, July 10, 2008

The green pool next door

What should I do about the vacant house next door?

That's a question I hear fairly often right now, since there are so many vacant (bank-owned) homes scattered across the valley. And for the most part, there isn't too much you need to do (or should do, or are allowed to do) - it's probably an eyesore today, but most likely the home will have a new owner before too long, and somebody will be working hard to make it look beautiful again.

That being said, there are 3 issues I would recommend taking action against.

Squatters &/or Vandalism. I've seen vacant homes that teenagers have used as a place to hang out, and I've seen homes where a community of homeless people decided to take up residence. I've also seen homes where people took the liberty to break windows, spray graffiti, and otherwise vandalize the home. If you see any of these things happening, give the listing realtor a call, and he/she will probably call the police for you. Or you're welcome to call the police yourself.

Green Pool. This actually poses a health risk, as it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus. The best solution I've heard so far is to stock the pool with Gambusia fish - little guppy-like fish with a voracious appetite for mosquito larvae. If you give Maricopa County a call at 602-506-0700 they'll even give you some fish for free!

Pest Control. If no one is spraying for pest control, then the home's insect population is probably booming, especially during these hot summer months! Unfortunately, these little bugs don't seem to care about who owns which home, and they certainly won't ring the bell before they infiltrate your home. In addition, more insects means more food for larger pests, including scorpions and black widow spiders. Talk with your pest control professional about a plan to step up your border control.

Once you've taken care of the safety concerns, you can wait patiently and wonder about who your new neighbors are going to be.

Your recently got new neighbors a couple houses away Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] green pool, vacant home, gambusia fish [/tags]