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Are Vacant Forclosed Homes Hurting Your Neighborhood?

Las Vegas Home owners used to believe that their neighbor's financial problem had no effect on them. Well not any more. Las Vegas Realtor Steve Hawks and fellow realtor Kendall Trotter put that myth to bed with some rather staggering statistics and future projections. The foreclosure crisis has hit next door and now it's effecting next door homeowners in Vegas.

The recent past Vegas homeowners never had to worry about their neighbor losing their home because there would be somebody to bail them out of the situation or money problem because the home was always going up. Certainly a home would not stay vacant and abandoned for months.

That has come to a screeching halt, with the recent foreclosure and mortgage crisis hitting the country neighborhoods are being adversely affected by the vacant foreclosures and bank owned homes. The vacant homes are now magnets for criminal activity drug dealing, prostitution rings, party houses squatters moving in etc.

Once this element enters a neighborhood its hard to bring the crime back under control, not to mention the downward pressure the foreclosures have on the rest of the neighborhood.

Steve Hawks cites a study from Georgia tech that a 1 percent rise in foreclosures results in a 2.5 percent rise in violent crime. Which seems outrageous but if we look at the Vegas valley we can see the up tick in foreclosures has led to a higher crime rate in these high foreclosure areas.

Hawks also cites a PEW study that was featured on that by 2009 1 in 11 homes in Nevada will be in the foreclosure process which is not a good indication of rising Las Vegas property values or lower Las Vegas crime rate.

Hawks tells Trotter of an incident that happened in a local Las Vegas master planned community. Hawks tells Trotter a squatter was living in a vacant foreclosed home located in a guard gated community. A concerned neighbor went over to knock on the door.

Upon knocking the squatter came out shooting 4 times missed the concerned neighbor thankfully, but one of the bullets ricocheted and hit another homeowner who was outside in his front yard, the bullet hit the other homeowner in the ankle once again thankfully no serious harm, although he did have to go the hospital. The bottom line this crime was a direct result of a vacant Vegas foreclosed home.

There are steps homeowners can take to prevent this from happening in their neighborhood. If they see high traffic at a vacant home that is not obviously potential buyers they need to contact the realtor, the bank or local authorities to prevent squatters or criminals from having a right to stay for a period of time. If you have any questions or concerns about vacant homes in your neighborhood please contact Las Vegas realtor Steve Hawks 702-458-3999.


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