What to Do with a Vacant House? Essential Advice Connecticut - Digital Journal

Every day your Connecticut house stays empty it costs you money. The faster you can rent or sell your house, the faster you can cut your losses. A vacant home needs maintenance, protection and comes with inherent risks..

Reasons a Connecticut house becomes vacant

The owner has died and property is in probate
Difficulty finding tenants for your house
Water or fire damage has made your house uninhabitable
You need to move because of a job transfer and cannot sell your house
Cost of owning a Connecticut vacant house

There are many costs to owning a vacant house. Some are obvious, such as maintenance costs and property taxes. Others are more subtle but can be even more distressing, specifically the constant worry and stress about vandalism, theft, and arson.

Below is a list of some of the biggest costs you can expect to pay:

MORTGAGE AND PROPERTY TAXES – You will have to pay these bills regardless of whether you occupy your house, rent it out or keep it vacant.

MAINTENANCE – You will incur basic maintenance costs such as landscape and utilities.

VACANT PROPERTY REGISTRATION ORDINANCES (VPRO) – Many local municipalities require homeowners to register their property within 60 days of the date it becomes vacant. A VPRO requires the homeowner to follow general property maintenance standards and pay an annual registration fee. A typical VPRO fee can range from $250 to $5000 depending on the municipality and the length of time the house is vacant. (Source: hcdnnj)

Increased insurance costs – You’ll find that insuring your vacant house is considerably more expensive than insuring an occupied home, since there is no one living in and regularly looking after the property. The insurance cost for a vacant house is between 1.5 and three times as much as standard insurance for occupied properties. (Source: insurance dot com)

Increased risk of property deterioration – When a home is vacant and unattended water leaks, plumbing failures or storm damage can lead to structural issues. In addition, the drastic rise and fall of humidity levels due to the lack of heating and cooling in a vacant house can cause mold to grow throughout your house.

Loss of rent or use of capital – A vacant house deprives you of rental income and the opportunity cost of cashing out the money locked in your house and investing elsewhere.

Lack of peace of mind – Even if you’re diligent about securing your vacant house and giving it that lived-in look, you will constantly have to worry it will fall prey to vandals, thieves and arsons.

Protecting a Connecticut vacant house

Let the police know that your home will be vacant. Many local law enforcement agencies will try to keep an eye on your property by scheduling more drive-bys in your neighborhood.

Check on your home regularly. If that’s not possible, ask a neighbor to check on your home for you and to tell you if he notices anything suspicious.

Secure all the exterior doors and windows. Activate the home’s security alarm and use exterior motion sensor lights.

Alarm System Consider installing an alarm system. It will give your property added protection and as a side benefit may help your home qualify for a discount on insurance costs.

Stop the mail. Mail or newspapers on your front steps or near your mailbox is a clear sign that your house is vacant, don’t tempt vandals and thieves from damaging your home.

Landscape the exterior of the home so that your house blends in with other homes on your street. Keep your property clean, mow your lawn and prune your shrubs and trees to avoid the attention of vandals.

By CT Cash Homes
Illustration: Wikimedia Commons / Vacant_Homes-_Manitowoc,_WI Flickr MichaelSteeber

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