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Indianapolis Foreclosures for Sale, Vacant Homes Still High

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Indianapolis foreclosures for sale declined in number in the July to September quarter, but vacant foreclosed homes continue to be of concern to residents and officials of Indianapolis and Marion County.

According to an analysis of U.S. Postal Service data by Indianapolis Star, around 9 percent of all houses in Marion County are unoccupied, equivalent to about 5,000 homes. Most of these vacant units are also located near downtown.

In neighborhoods such as North Concord, residents suffer from reduction of home values because of the relatively large number of vacant homes in their blocks.

Marion County also suffers from reduction in taxes, as the county cannot collect from vacant properties. Across the county, a total of $73 million in real estate taxes were unpaid this year, much of which were due from homeowners who have left their homes. In one area of North Concord alone, over $46,000 in property taxes were left unpaid.

Unpaid real estate tax is not the only factor reducing tax revenues in Marion County. The decline in property values has also been pushing down tax revenues, as Indianapolis foreclosures for sale and the high number of vacant homes continues to push down real estate values.

Another problem for residents is the increase in home insurance rates, as insurers assign higher risks to neighborhoods with a relatively high number of vacant homes.

In its efforts to contain the problem of vacant homes, Marion County has been spending millions to maintain vacant homes. Just cutting overgrown grass for one abandoned home costs $100 or more while restoring one window costs about $75. Removing all sorts of debris from a lot costs $300 or more per load. To demolish properties that have been abandoned for years and that can no longer be repaired costs the county $2.5 million per year.

Residents living near one block of the Haughville community, where vacant homes are in record number, said most of the abandoned homes are owned by out-of-state banks and by investors who live far from the area.

Several of the properties are owned by local investors who purchased them as rental investments, but who have not been able to pay their mortgage loans.

Among the nonprofits working to restore these vacant houses is the Westside Community Development Corp. It has been renovating vacant homes with help from federal funds.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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