Foreclosure Worsens Neighborhood Conditions- By: Cassiano Travareli
Since there is obviously no end in sight for the foreclosure crisis just yet, it is not surprising that even neighborhoods are experiencing difficulties because of these foreclosure properties.
In Queens, a four-block neighborhood is home to at least 39 homes in some stage of foreclosure. Residents are worried that the growing number of foreclosure homes in the neighborhood has worsened living conditions. Some of the foreclosed properties have overgrown weeds and boarded windows. Most, of course, are dilapidated and attracts vandals.
Just a couple of years ago, the issues that held the neighborhood’s interest involved violence and drugs. But today, the local residents talk about declining property values, struggling businesses and increasing crimes. Some even talk about leaving while the other speculate on which property will be next.
For certain, foreclosure homes affect communities since they could significantly reduce curb appeal. In some cities, neighborhoods work together with the local government in order to minimize the negative effects to the community. Some neighbors agree to mow the lawns of the foreclosure properties near their homes in order to prevent them from tuning off prospective buyers. Others board windows and clean the pools.
Neighborhoods that have yet to encounter such problems should remain vigilant considering the rising number of homes entering some stage of foreclosure. Across the nation, foreclosure rate jumped by 21 percent compared to last year based on the September data.
Rescue programs designed to curb foreclosures have been approved by both local and federal government but it would seem that the problem in the housing industry is more serious than initially anticipated.
The latest effort from the government comes in the form of a $300 million housing rescue program which is already being implemented since October 1. Aside from this, the government is planning on using a portion of the recently approved $700 billion bailout plan to allow distressed homeowners to refinance their existing mortgage into more affordable loans.
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Cassiano Travareli has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosures market over 5 years.