The obvious: Foreclosures have affected whole neighborhoods in areas that have been hit hardest by the housing bust. There are homes that have been left empty, abandoned and decaying beyond repair.
The not-so-obvious: We are seeing more deferred maintenance in light of the recession.
Many homeowners these days are putting off doing regular up-keep and repair to their homes. Maybe they can’t afford to replace the roof, or they’re underwater on the mortgage and don’t want to put money into seal coating their driveway when they might not be able to afford the home anymore. They might buy a $5 furnace filter but skip the annual service on the furnace.
Whatever the reason, must-do repairs aren’t being done, to the detriment of owners, future owners, and neighbors alike.
We’re seeing the evidence at home improvement stores. Home Depot’s third-quarter 2009 net sales were down 8 percent from the previous year, and Lowe's reported a 29.5 percent drop in net earnings in the same time period. This is interesting as some people who might ordinarily sell their homes are renovating instead. Apparently, this remodeling trend is not enough to offset the effects of the recession.
The homeowner hopes to get by without incident. Sometimes this works out. Other times, something like a simple leak from a pipe in the wall can go from an inexpensive fix the homeowner couldn’t afford to a disaster he really can’t manage. This situation is adding to the number of distressed properties on the market. Deferring maintenance will only make a home harder to sell and negatively impact its value.
Condo and apartment buildings are affected by recession-inspired deferred maintenance too. When owners don’t pay their condo or homeowner association fees, building maintenance doesn’t happen which brings down the prices of all units in the building. When renters don’t pay their rent in a timely manner, owners may not have the cash flow to do either preventive maintenance or make improvements.
Washington says the recession is over but homeowners with no jobs or shaky finances aren’t buying it. They certainly aren’t buying the goods and services necessary to keep their homes in tip-top shape. This may be the reality of the current economy, but the resulting deferred maintenance will impact housing prices and neighborhood conditions.
If you need a break from the pressures of home ownership, Alberta Buyers can help you.
We will buy your home as-is and on-time – maybe even before another payment is due. Contact us today at (403) 879-2502 or visit our website to get the process started. We can wrap up your deal in a couple weeks and even offer you a $2,500 cash advance to help you plan your move.