At the end of 2009, there were about 18.8 million empty homes in the U.S., according to Census Bureau estimates. This number includes foreclosures, residences for sale and vacation homes. Do you know what this means for your Santa Cruz real estate?
Unfortunately, the rise of empty housing has caused a rise in vandalism, and your empty Santa Cruz real estate may very well become a victim. Since no one is around to report the intrusion, the damage caused by vandals is often worse than it might otherwise be.
You may think that you don’t need to secure your vacant home because there’s nothing of value to steal. Think again. Light fixtures, appliances, copper plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems and even solid wood doors and mantles have a high street value to thieves.
Protect Your Home
Your homeowner’s insurance policy most likely does not cover your home after it is vacant. Although homeowner’s insurance for vacant properties can be costly, it might save you a lot of heartache in the long run.
In addition to purchasing vacant property insurance, here are a few things you can do to protect your property until it’s sold:
- Rent your property or hire a house sitter.
- Install a home security system. Not only can this keep your property safer, it may also help lower your current insurance.
- Make the property look used. Have someone grab your mail (or have the post office hold it), park a car in your driveway, have timers that turn lights on and off at different times.
- Keep the lawn mowed or snow shoveled.
In the meantime, make sure you have a good real estate agent with a track record for selling in a slow market. Your Santa Cruz real estate is a huge investment. Protect it!
If you’re ready to get your home sold, I can help. Call me now at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com.
18.8 million empty homes
Homeowners insurance for vacant properties
Home security system