Neighbors house effect on yours
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  1. #1
    Registered User Preston's Avatar
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    Default Neighbors house effect on yours

    My neighbor is moving out today. He's just giving up on the mortgage. His wife left about 10 months ago and I'm guessing the cut in income hit him hard.

    Just wondering what the effects this will have on the rest of the neighborhood. Should we maintain the yard so the house doesn't look vacant or should we just let it be?

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    It sounds like the neighbours giving back the house to the bank. If you go and maintain their yard, the bank could possibly charge you with trespassing. Perhaps when the yard starts to get unruly, and/or if snow is not shoveled within 24 hours after a snowfall, call the city. They will notify the bank ie 'home owner' and the onus is on them to care for their 'property'.

    My advice? Butt out and take care of your own yard. Now if it looks like the house has been broken into or is being 'squatted' in thats a whole other story. It may not look pretty but its not your headache to deal with unless it directly affects you greatly.

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    I see your point Libby, but I see Prestons concern.
    Why not try talking to the neighbor and ask who the mortgage is with and the reason you're asking. At least go talk to the bank asking what their plan is or, offer for a small fee to keep the grass mowed.
    Something I would be afraid of is rodents and bugs. Shorter grass will help alleviate that.
    Waiting for the bank/city to do something could take a month or more.
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    Preston-- I would tend to cut the grass in the front yard. An empty house is always a temptation to break-ins. If it looks occupied you are safer as well. Friends in the Detroit-area learned this the hard way. Hannah

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Also another thing we don't know...the city ordinances. Where DH lived, if you had one weed, you got fined. If it wasn't properly taken care of ie dug up vs having just mowed over it, you got a second fine. If a randomly chosen blade of grass was taller then "x" cm's tall, you got a fine. It was the norm for people to rat out er 'report' other people. DH is so paranoid here and I've tried to explain to him that its not like that here at all.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    The bank is the new owner they will mow it. The bank my hubby works for as a yard work company mow bank owned properties regularly. I personally do not see how it would become a problem. What do other foreclosed properties' lawns look like in your area?

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    We moved across the street from an abandoned house. We actually took turns with several other neighbors mowing the lawn because we didn't want it to turn into an eyesore, or worse, become a hangout place for teenagers (drugs, drinking - who knows what?). After about a year, the bank started sending someone out just to check on the property. It took a long time because it was difficult to tell which bank owned it. Considering the issues bank have with getting foreclosures and stuff filed, I can't imagine that they'd be too concerned over someone mowing the lawn.

    Shortly after WF stepped forward as the owning bank, they needed 6 months to clear everything through the courts and put it up for sale. We were lucky that someone bought it within a month, fixed it up, and rented it out so it's no longer sitting there abandoned.

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    Registered User northernmom2boys's Avatar
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    Im in Canada and usually when a bank takes over a house here they hire a company to look after the house,

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    Sometimes banks are on top of properties, sometimes not. If it doesn't look like they are coming out to take care of the lawn, and you don't know who the bank is, I would just mow it. My neighbors and I have done the same in our neighborhood.

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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    Do you have a Homeowners' Association? Ours makes sure the mowing is done and the property is secure - our HOA dues fund this in part. (We have three abandoned properties in our 100 home subdivision)

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    Speaking of neighbors...I wish I had listened to my bf about the house next door when I bought this place. My neighbors are disgusting and messy! I will have to put up a privacy fence between the properties in order to sell this place!
    (to the op) Kudos for being concerned enough to want to keep the place nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by imagine View Post
    The bank is the new owner they will mow it. The bank my hubby works for as a yard work company mow bank owned properties regularly. I personally do not see how it would become a problem. What do other foreclosed properties' lawns look like in your area?
    Not all do or have such resources. It really depends on the lender and their load of foreclosed homes.

    It doesn't matter if it is an HOA neighborhood or not. And in some cases, it is the new homeowner that must bring the home back to compliance since banks often sell the properties "as is".

    I personally would not do anything to the house. No good deed goes unpunished. While the intentions are good, it could result in something bad happening.

    Any fines accrued if the home is in violation of any ordinances or HOA rules, would be paid by the bank who becomes the new homeowner when the house is foreclosed upon.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Around here the banks have mowing services to come take care of the grass on their abandoned properties. They don't always do a good job, but it keeps it looking reasonable.

    When the house next door was abandoned DH mowed the narrow strip on this side of their driveway where the property lines met. Otherwise it looked like there was 3 feet of our front yard we were letting go wild.

    Our neighbor on the other side has a riding mower and he likes to do the strip between our driveway and his yard, because otherwise it makes his front yard look bad with the grass at different heights.
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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libby View Post
    It sounds like the neighbours giving back the house to the bank.
    Unrelated - and I don't fault the individual in this case because he's not just "walking away" - he can't afford that house.

    But this idea of "giving it back" is a nonsense concept used to make us feel like we're not REALLY breaking our word when we violate our mortgage. It was never the banks to begin with.

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    Registered User LynnLC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Unrelated - and I don't fault the individual in this case because he's not just "walking away" - he can't afford that house.

    But this idea of "giving it back" is a nonsense concept used to make us feel like we're not REALLY breaking our word when we violate our mortgage. It was never the banks to begin with.
    Thank you. I detest the "giving it back" theory.

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