Foreclosures don't only affect homeowners who are displaced by them, but also their neighbors. Jonathan Berr of our sister site, DailyFinance, writes about how foreclosures have impacted his suburban New Jersey neighborhood. It isn't pretty. Check the jump to read more.
For the past few years, when my toddler and I went for a walk around the block in our neighborhood in New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, we passed a spooky-looking house with overgrown trees and a faded stucco exterior. Number 22 looked as if no one lived there, although my neighbors assured me that it was occupied. At least that was the case until about a year ago, when its owner fled her residence for parts unknown. The house has been a blight on the neighborhood ever since. (See the photo at left.)
Grass in the unattended front yard got about a foot high until, the township got complaints from angry neighbors, including me. Officials in our township then got someone to cut the grass. A tree fell on the side of the front yard. The roof looks like it needs to be replaced. I am not sure about the interior, but given how bad the exterior of the house looks it probably isn't in very good shape. During a recent visit, I saw a newspaper stuck in the gutters on top of the garage, and the garage door was cracked open for some reason
Our neighborhood is quiet, and some of my neighbors are original owners from when the development was built in the early 1990s. Recently, there was a rumor going around that the empty house was unlocked. Worried about the potential security risk, I called the local police who told me that was not the case. Though officers regularly check the house, I am worried still that it will become a magnet for trouble, as abandoned houses often do.