How to spot Vacant houses

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I’ve mentioned in the past how I have been taking my dog, Jack, out for walks around the different neighborhoods in my area in an effort to learn the streets and get to know the area as best as possible. In some lower level neighborhoods it might be easier to spot vacant houses because the grass is not cut or there are news papers piling up in the driveway, basically you look for un kept houses. In the town I live in, you will pretty much never see that. Even if the houses are vacant, the lawns are cut, there are no piles of newspapers or boarded up windows.

Vacant houses will stand out in a different way, to me the seem to have an empty feeling to them. There are no lights on, the blinds are shut, it just “feels” vacant if you know what I mean? Anyhow, of the dozen or so walks i’ve been on with Jack there has only been two houses that I’ve seen that would qualify for my above criteria. One of them I’ve confirmed, by checking the tax records, to be vacant as the owner of the house lives somewhere else.

After seeing this particular block, I realized that these are the types of houses I should be concentrating on. They are the older houses, built prior to 1975. Now I have seen a least a dozen of worse looking, vacant houses on Rt 10 but I wouldn’t touch (and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks like that) those because who wants a house on a MAJOR route like that? It is a 45 MPH, divided highway type road. Dangerous and noisy!! So I just ignore those homes.

Over the years, my town has seen quite a few of these older homes (not the ones on Rt 10) being cleared out for new construction. Just driving around town there are at least 10 spec homes going up right now. So this tells me there are rehabbers out there!!

On a side note, I’ve also noticed a lot more “For Rent” signs then I can ever remember in my area. I’m going to start writing those down and add them to my Mailer List.


Scott Costello
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