Every day your Connecticut house stays empty it costs you money. The faster you can rent or sell your house, the faster you can cut your losses. A vacant home needs maintenance, protection and comes with inherent risks.
This blog will look at the costs involved in owning a vacant property, how you can protect it and the available options to choose from when considering what to do with a vacant house.
Reasons a Connecticut house becomes vacant
- The owner has died and property is in probate
- Difficulty finding tenants for your house
- Water or fire damage has made your house uninhabitable
- You need to move because of a job transfer and cannot sell your house
Cost of owning a Connecticut vacant house
There are many costs to owning a vacant house. Some are obvious, such as maintenance costs and property taxes. Others are more subtle but can be even more distressing, specifically the constant worry and stress about vandalism, theft, and arson. It is important to understand what these are, to help you make the right decision when considering what to do with a vacant house.
Below is a list of some of the biggest costs you can expect to pay:
Mortgage and property taxes
You will have to pay these bills regardless of whether you occupy your house, rent it out or keep it vacant.
You will incur basic maintenance costs such as landscape and utilities.
Vacant Property Registration Ordinances (VPRO)
Many local municipalities require homeowners to register their property within 60 days of the date it becomes vacant. A VPRO requires the homeowner to follow general property maintenance standards and pay an annual registration fee. A typical VPRO fee can range from $250 to $5000 depending on the municipality and the length of time the house is vacant. (Source: www.hcdnnj.org)
Increased insurance costs
You’ll find that insuring your vacant house is considerably more expensive than insuring an occupied home, since there is no one living in and regularly looking after the property. The insurance cost for a vacant house is between 1.5 and three times as much as standard insurance for occupied properties. (Source: www.insurance.com)
Increased risk of property deterioration
When a home is vacant and unattended water leaks, plumbing failures or storm damage can lead to structural issues. In addition, the drastic rise and fall of humidity levels due to the lack of heating and cooling in a vacant house can cause mold to grow throughout your house.
Loss of rent or use of capital
A vacant house deprives you of rental income and the opportunity cost of cashing out the money locked in your house and investing elsewhere.
Lack of peace of mind
Even if you’re diligent about securing your vacant house and giving it that lived-in look, you will constantly have to worry it will fall prey to vandals, thieves and arsonists.
Make sure you fully understand the risks when you are considering what to do with a vacant house.
Protecting a Connecticut vacant house
Protecting your vacant house is vital if you want to sell it, rent it, or maintain its condition. Here are some of the best ways you can look out for your vacant property until you decide what to do.
- Let the police know that your home will be vacant. Many local law enforcement agencies will try to keep an eye on your property by scheduling more drive-bys in your neighborhood.
- Check on your home regularly. If that’s not possible, ask a neighbor to check on your home for you and to tell you if he notices anything suspicious.
- Secure all the exterior doors and windows. Activate the home’s security alarm and use exterior motion sensor lights.
- Alarm System Consider installing an alarm system. It will give your property added protection and as a side benefit may help your home qualify for a discount on insurance costs.
- Stop the mail. Mail or newspapers on your front steps or near your mailbox is a clear sign that your house is vacant, don’t tempt vandals and thieves from damaging your home.
- Landscape the exterior of the home so that your house blends in with other homes on your street. Keep your property clean, mow your lawn and prune your shrubs and trees to avoid the attention of vandals.
What to do with a vacant property
There are several options you can choose from when you are considering what to do with a vacant property.
Rent your vacant house
This is a great way to keep your property and generate income. However, renting your house has its issues.
REPAIRS AND UPDATE – To rent your house you will have to get it into a move-in condition. If your house has been vacant for a long time, you may need to spend a considerable amount of money.
PROBLEM TENANTS – You could get stuck with problem tenants. They could not pay their rent and disrupt their neighbors. The worst tenants will destroy your house and leave without paying their rent, setting you back thousands of dollars in repairs and lost income.
Sell your vacant house with a real estate agent
It is difficult to sell your house with a real estate agent. Most traditional buyers look for homes that are in good condition, so you must make all the repairs and updates to your home before you put it on the market. This is to ensure that your home is at a good enough standard to pass the appraisal.
Furthermore, an agent can only promise to try to sell your house. There are no guarantees when and if your home will sell.
Contact a company that buys vacant houses
If you need to sell your Connecticut area home fast or don’t want to deal with the headaches of making repairs, then selling your house to a real estate investor is a great option. You won’t have to deal with all the hassles of selling your home through an agent, nor the frustration of trying to find a buyer. This will help you to sell it for a top price.