Friday, August 27, 2010

Unkept Homes Cause the Value of Surrounding Houses to Tank | KIMA CBS 29 - News, Weather and Sports - Yakima, WA - Yakima, Washington 29 | Local & Regional

YAKIMA - It gives a whole new meaning to horrible neighbors. You know what I'm talking about, houses filled with weeds, chipped paint, and garbage everywhere. They're definitely hard on our eyes, and as Action News found out, even harder on our property values.


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KIMA talked to a resident named Laura who asked that we didn't reveal her last name. She said she's very concerned about the dwindling state of her neighbor's homes.

"All of this is just absolutely terrible," she said.

Laura lives on Fifth Avenue, and although she takes good care of her property, she said the opposite is true when it comes to the residences around her. She said it makes her feel helpless.

"It makes me feel really bad," Laura said. "But what can I do"

The issue goes far deeper than how the area looks. Laura said the run down appearance of homes near her are causing her property value to plummet, and unfortunately, the amount of those cases are on the rise.

"When one person starts this, it snowballs," she said.

Realtor Jerry Mullen said he empathizes with Laura's frustration. He said he's seen first hand how much the houses nearby can impact the worth of your place.

"If your home is right next to a home that is trashed, has junk cars, washing machines in the front yard, it's going to impact the value of your home," he said.

Mullen said it's hard to put a number on the exact financial impact of the issue because every case if very different. He said he's seen anywhere from a five to 20 percent drop in value, and in some cases.

"It can make it extremely difficult to sell your property," he said.

KIMA called the Yakima Office of Code Administration, and they said the best plan of attack for these neighbors is to call their office and report it as soon as possible. They do get anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 calls a year, but said they look into every one of them.

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