With the approach of the hurricane season there is serious concern about problems emanating from foreclosed houses in Florida. About six vacant foreclosed houses are standing empty in Lehigh Acres just waiting to be destroyed when hurricanes slam down in south western Florida.
These unoccupied houses have no defenses against the wind and rain – none will put up shutters or secure garage doors. But it is not only these houses that will crumble but they will do so by throwing debris all around affecting the entire locality. Everybody will be at risk.
The localities like Lehigh Acres where foreclosures for sale are highly concentrated, all concerned are waking up to the realities of the connection between vacant houses and the hurricane season that kicks off from 1st June. Hurricanes will further bring down prices of those houses near the dangerous vacant ones exposed to the fury of Nature.
Julia Rochman of Institute of Business and Home Safety in Tampa said, “Here’s your choice – Spend a little bit of time and money to secure the properties to withstand wind and water or not do the right thing and have the homes become damaged and are valued less.”
The findings of the stress test conducted by The Associated Press Stress conducted across nearly 3,000 counties in US takes into account foreclosures, bankruptcies and rates of unemployment to calculate the index pointers. It read that those places most susceptible to hurricanes are suffering most from the effects of foreclosures. March 2009 saw 281,691 foreclosure postings in Florida as well as counties along the coasts of Alabama, Georgiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas as well as Virginia.
One of the hardest hit is Lee County. Some have taken advantage of the falling prices to buy homes but during the coming months they will have to stockpile canned food, batteries, and torches while remaining glued to the weather forecasts. All they can do is pray that the debris whipped up by the hurricanes will blow out to the ocean without causing harm. But there are none to take care of the foreclosed abandoned units.
In rare cases the bank will appoint a manager to see to their repossessed units. A house association might come forward or a daring neighbour but there are no mandatory state laws to give the ultimate protection from a cocktail of woes when hurricanes dance the tango with foreclosed houses.