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Home Appraisal Tips & Advice

California Home Values and Property Taxes: Are the Laws What They Should Be?
California is once again rethinking Proposition 13, the law that bases home property taxes on the purchase price of a house. Will a new property tax law pass?

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Home sale prices are down and most people have seen a loss of home value in their neighborhood. Can there be a hidden benefit?

Selling Your Home Successfully in Today's Market
Yes, the home selling market has slowed in the past year; however, houses are still being purchased on a daily basis. What is the secret to successful home selling?

How to Protect Your Home's Value from Foreclosure Damage

By Sheryl Landrum
Home Worth Columnist

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There is one nearby and the tell-tale signs are there. In a neighborhood of manicured lawns and sculpted landscaping, this home's grass and ivy are dying and pine needles and debris are building up. This home has been abandoned and is no longer occupied. How long before a homeowner's absence is really obvious and brings down the value of the other homes in the neighborhood?

Home Mortgage Foreclosures Affect us All
As home mortgage foreclosure surge through neighborhoods, cities, counties, states, and country, it affects those who are losing their homes and their neighbors as well. Property that is abandoned is obviously not well maintained; deserted properties drag down home property values around them and increase the risk of crime, fire, and other mayhem. If you are selling your home in a neighborhood with a high rate of home foreclosures, you may find that those buying homes are looking elsewhere. How big is this problem and what can you do if your neighborhood becomes infested with abandoned houses?

Unite to Protect Your Neighborhoods and Your Home Values
If you live in an area that is not protected by a homeowner's association, it may seem as though you have no recourse to deal with abandoned houses in your neighborhood. First, talk to your local police department to report a foreclosed or vacant home that is looking vulnerable to crime so the police can put it on a watch list. Then, begin to work with your neighbors on a plan for keeping the home monitored as well. Another item for discussion is the property's curb appeal. Some communities require that the owner keep the property maintained, and the bank that has taken possession can be forced to pay for maintenance. Check the laws of your town. Additionally, your police department or local city government agency can advise you of the legality of going into an abandoned yard to do some clean-up work and watering. Making the vacant home look lived in and tidy will help maintain the value and safety of your home as well.

No one likes to see a home fall into disrepair in their neighborhood; not only does it send out the wrong message to those looking at buying a home nearby, it devalues your home and makes it less safe to live in. It behooves you to do what you can to maintain foreclosed property.

About the Author
Sheryl Landrum is a Senior Loan Officer with First Capital Mortgage of San Diego at the Prudential Realty Office in Bonsall, California.
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