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August 8, 2017

The Downsides (and Dangers) of Leaving Your Home Vacant

Life Change

Whether you’ve experienced a job change, a life change, or you’ve found the costs of home ownership too difficult to manage, leaving your home unoccupied may sometimes seem unavoidable. Especially if you’re not having any luck selling your home on the market.

However, as a homeowner, you should know there are some unfortunate downsides – and dangers – to leaving your home vacant. Here are just a few.

Insurance Problems

Not many homeowners know that most standard home insurance policies don’t offer coverage after a house has been vacant for 30 days or more. This is due to an increased risk of theft, damage or other issues that can arise when a home is left unattended for an extended period of time.

While most insurance companies offer Vacant Home insurance as an option, it’s often much more expensive than a standard policy. Where you live, the amount of coverage you’re seeking, and any risk factors associated with your home are taken into account when determining the final cost of these policies.

Unexpected Occupants

In many cities, a vacant home is a magnet for “squatters”, who view the abandoned home as an opportune living situation. As uninvited occupants, squatters can make it difficult to sell your home. What’s more, you may have to take the squatters to court in order to have them removed, which can be costly, time-consuming and stressful. In some states, squatters can even take over the property legally through adverse possession if they’re left alone long enough.

A vacant home is just as attractive to vandals and thieves, even if you didn’t leave any possessions behind. From copper wiring and appliances to fixtures and electronics, nothing is safe from criminals when a home is left unoccupied. And for homeowners, this could mean choosing between replacing the stolen or damaged items, or accepting that a home is now much harder to sell.

So, if you’re leaving your home empty for any reason, it’s wise to make sure your home is locked up tight. This includes windows, doors, garages, or any other potential entryways into your home.

Interior & Exterior Damage

Vandals aren’t the only thing that could cause damage to your home. The weather can also have a tremendous impact on your home’s indoor and outdoor areas. Without a working central cooling system, mold may quickly develop. In cold areas, the winter months can bring frozen pipes that break and flood the interior.

Another potential issue is with items being left outdoors causing damage when they blow away in strong winds. Not to mention minor electrical problems that can turn into a house fire. Even after a short period of time, a home that’s left vacant can become a serious problem.

Fees & Fines

If your home is part of a homeowners association, your HOA fees will still be due as long as you own the home. In just a few months, these fees can build up quickly, especially when you consider that an HOA can collect fines for violations that include an untended lawn, accumulated mail or other correspondence, and viewable damage to the home.

Local code enforcement authorities have the same ability to levy fines even if you’re not part of an HOA. And in some cases, either party can even take you to court over the matter, resulting in even more unforeseen expenses.

Buy Every Home helps homeowners free themselves from the burden of having a vacant home, no matter why the home has been left abandoned. In as little as 48 hours, we can offer you a quote on purchasing your home, and usually complete the process within one week, with no pre-approval.

Fill out our online assessment now or call (888) 959-3442 to get your home sold quickly.

Don’t Leave Your Home Vacant


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