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How to Deal With Ugly Houses in Your Neighborhood

How to Deal With Ugly Houses in Your Neighborhood

May 07, 2022

Knowing what to do about an abandoned house on your street is one thing, but what about ugly houses whose owners haven’t abandoned them? Property neglect can certainly be an eyesore, and trashy houses can be even more frustrating when they begin to affect surrounding property values.

Why Worry About Ugly Houses?

Live and let live, right? Well, unfortunately, your neighbors collapsing roof isn’t a self-contained problem. Adjacent property neglect can significantly decrease the value of the homes around it. That’s why it’s smart to do something about the ugly houses on your street. “A nearby property’s overgrown yard, peeling paint, and clutter can easily knock 5% to 10% off the sale price of your home,” according to Appraisal Institute President Joe Magdziarz (Business Insider). This obviously represents a serious dent in any final sale price. With that reality in mind, can you really blame folks for getting a little bent out of shape over ugly houses with long grass, excessive lawn art, or deteriorating exteriors?

How to Deal With Ugly Houses and Property Neglect in Your Neighborhood

There are a few steps neighbors can take to handle any ugly houses that are driving down the property values of surrounding homes. These include having a direct conversation with the offending homeowner, calling your HOA, POA, or COA about the problem, and referring the property to a team of reputable rehabbers who buy and rebuild homes.

Talk to the Owner

Sometimes the best solution is a direct conversation. Since this is the simplest way to gain an understanding of the situation, it’s probably worth trying. While laziness or other irresponsible tendencies can certainly lead to mismanaged, ugly houses, these are not the only reasons a house may start to look run down. Property neglect often occurs as a result of unenviable life events like a death in the family, someone moving out, age-related mobility issues, or other medical situations.

Approaching your neighbor with the desire to understand may yield better results than coming in hot with an accusatory mindset. Ask them what resources they would need in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution. Feel free to point out any resources you know of that could be helpful. By demonstrating a willingness to step into their shoes for a moment, you may be able to dodge any knee-jerk defensiveness, get to the heart of the matter, and find a solution.

A symmetrical, brown home with tall grass out front.
Don’t leap to judgment on the owner of a trashy house — there may be a tragic reason for the neglect.

Involve Your HOA, POA, or COA

Another way to attempt to revitalize neighborhoods where a nearby homeowner has allowed the state of their property to lower the appeal of the area at large, is to call on an HOA or similar organization. It’s possible that any HOA, POA, or COA you belong to is already aware of the issue, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s also possible that your insistence may cause them to take action sooner and bring a gradually growing problem to the forefront before it gets totally out of hand.

Be aware that tipping off an organization is not going to endear you to the homeowner. Even if your name is left out of it, it may be clear who reported them (especially if you tried to speak with them about it first). You may be absolutely fine with this, but it’s good to be aware of all possible scenarios. Again, this homeowner is likely threatening the value of your single largest asset — you’re certainly within your rights to tip off the appropriate powers that be.

Refer the Property to a Cash Buyer

Two ugly houses in the woods.

In certain scenarios, you can also get cash for ugly houses you come across. You simply have to tip off the right people about them. There are cash buyers who will buy houses in bad shape. If you choose to contact one of these companies, they may be able to purchase the home from the homeowner in order to renovate it and resell it.

If a professional rehabbing team buys a trashy house, that can prove to be a win-win-win. The homeowner gets a solution to what is less than an enjoyable living solution, the rehabbers get to do what they do, and the neighborhood gets the radically enhanced curb appeal of a professionally rehabbed home (plus a cash reward for the referrer*)!

*Not all cash buyers offer referral reward money, but our team believes it’s only fair for your efforts.

How to Get Cash For Ugly Houses (Yes, Even For Referrals!)

Home referrals made to UHS have led to higher property values in neighborhoods all over Central Ohio.

With us, the referral process is very straightforward. Referrers just take 30 seconds to let us know whatever info they have on the property in question. This can be in the form of a call, a message, or by stopping by our office in Powell. If we end up buying a house you refer, we’ll give you $500!

Common Questions:

  • What if I don’t have contact info for the owners?
    • It’s totally fine if you’re not sure who the owners are or how to get a hold of them. All we need is the address, but anything else you can let us know is helpful.
  • How many homes can I refer to UHS?
    • There’s no cap on how many homes you can refer. Send ’em our way and collect your pay!

Questions About Property Neglect & Trashy Houses?

The fact of the matter is that ugly houses can drive down the appeal of an entire neighborhood. While you have a few options for dealing with this, they won’t all work in every situation. Not everything can be easily talked out, and the best that HOAs, POAs, and COAs can do is enforce a baseline standard. Since neglectful homeowners are often looking at significant time and effort to bring an ugly house back up to quality standards, it’s not uncommon for them to just sort of give up. Cash buyers can be a lifeline in situations like these.

With fair offers for homes that wouldn’t do well on the market, community-minded buyers have been able to flip ugly houses and revitalize neighborhoods. Feel free to reach out to Upward Home Solutions if you have any questions about property neglect or how to deal with ugly houses on your block. We’ll be more than happy to set up a call or meeting with you.

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