Have you ever left your house empty for an extended period of time? Maybe you went on vacation or moved out of state for a new job. It’s important to take measures to protect the property and avoid any potential problems. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your property safe and secure while you’re away.
In some states, the government can seize your property and sell it at auction if it’s considered abandoned. Other states may require you to maintain the property or face fines. If you’re not sure what the laws are in your state, it’s best to contact a local real estate attorney to find out. They can advise you on what steps you need to take to protect your property rights.
Table of Contents
• Vacant House Meaning
• Abandoned House Description
• What Happens To An Abandoned House
• What To Do When Leaving House Unoccupied
• How Long Can A House Be Vacant
• Vacant House Problem
• Do With Utilities When House Is Vacant
•How To Sell A Vacant House
➥Sell Your Vacant House To ASAP Cash Offer
Vacant House Meaning
The legal definition of a vacant house varies from state to state, but generally, if no one has lived in the home for at least 6 months (and often 12 months), the house is considered vacant.
Once a house is deemed vacant, it’s up to the owner to maintain the property and make sure it meets all local codes and ordinances. If an owner fails to do this, the city or town can issue a notice of violation and even fine the owner.
If your house has been vacant for more than 2 years, it’s considered “abandoned” by the government.
Abandoned House Description
An abandoned house is a step beyond being vacant. An abandoned house is one that has been vacated by the homeowner with no intention of returning. This could be because the owner passed away, was foreclosed on, or simply gave up ownership of the property.
Once a house is considered abandoned, the owner is no longer responsible for its upkeep. The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the municipality in which the property is located.
Municipalities have the authority to enter an abandoned property, make any necessary repairs or changes to bring it up to code, and then bill the former owner for those costs. If the owner doesn’t pay, the municipality can put a lien on the property.
What Happens To An Abandoned House?
Once a house is considered abandoned, the municipality in which it’s located can take possession of the property. This process is called “eminent domain.”
The municipality will then either sell the property at auction or demolish it. If the property is sold at auction, the new owner is responsible for bringing the property up to code and making any necessary repairs.
If the municipality decides to demolish the property, they will bill the former owner for the cost of demolition. If the owner does not pay, the municipality can put a lien on the property.
What To Do When Leaving House Unoccupied?
Vacant houses are often targeted by vandals and squatters, so it’s important to take measures to protect the property. Here are some things you can do:
- Keep the property clean and free of debris.
- Mow the lawn and trim the hedges regularly.
- Make sure all windows and doors are locked and secure.
- Install an alarm system to deter criminals.
- Check on the property regularly to make sure there is no damage or vandalism.
- Consider renting out the property to generate income and help offset expenses.
- Obtain sufficient insurance to protect the property from damage or theft.
- Keep up with all real estate taxes and insurance premiums.
- Be sure to have a current will that names a successor for the property.
- Make arrangements with a friend or relative who can check on the property in your absence.
How Long Can A House Be Vacant?
There is no set period of time that a house can be vacant before it’s considered abandoned. However, if a house has been vacant for more than 2 years, it’s generally considered to be abandoned.
You may be also charged with vacancy tax which is a tax imposed on the owner of a vacant property. The amount of the tax varies from city to city, but it’s typically a percentage of the property’s assessed value.
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Vacant House Problem
There are a number of problems that can arise when a house is left vacant for an extended period of time.
- The property will fall into disrepair and become an eyesore in the neighborhood.
- The municipality can issue a notice of violation and fine the owner.
- The municipality can take possession of the property through eminent domain.
- The property can be sold at an auction or demolished.
- Vacant houses are often targets for vandals and squatters.
- The value of the property will decline over time.
- It can be difficult to find a buyer for a vacant house.
- There may be difficulty obtaining insurance for a vacant house.
- Damage by animals or insects.
- The property may be foreclosed on by the lender.
What To Do With Utilities When House Is Vacant?
If you plan to leave your house vacant for an extended period of time, you’ll need to make arrangements for the utilities. Here are some things you need to do:
- Notify the utility companies that you’ll be away and ask them to suspend service.
- Pay all outstanding bills before you leave.
- Make arrangements for someone to check on the property regularly and pay the bills.
- Consider having the utilities disconnected altogether to avoid any problems.
How To Sell A Vacant House?
It can be difficult to sell a vacant house, but it’s not impossible. You’ll also need to be prepared to make any necessary repairs and bring the property up to code. You may just have to put in a little extra effort. Here are some things you can do:
- Appraise the property to determine its value.
- Market the property to potential buyers.
- Stage the property to make it more appealing to buyers.
- Offer incentives to buyers, such as a home warranty or closing cost assistance.
- Be prepared to make repairs and renovations as needed.
- Be flexible on the price and terms of the sale.
Why Should You Sell Your Vacant House To ASAP Cash Offer?
ASAP Cash Offer is the best solution for selling your vacant house. We’re committed to providing fair offers, flexible terms, and quick closings. We buy the property As-Is, so you don’t have to make any repairs or renovations. We also pay all closing costs.
If you’re interested in selling your vacant house, please contact us at (805)427-8312 today. We’ll make you a fair cash offer within 24 hours. There’s no obligation to accept our offer, and you can close on the sale as soon as 7-28 days!