Help a neighborhood and your home value through sweat equity

by Scott on December 21, 2008

Signs of foreclosure, Green Valley Ranch subdivision, Denver
photo credit: joguldi

Are you looking for a cheap foreclosure or short sale investment opportunity? Some properties may not be in desirable areas or might be far from your house and require some travel. What about an opportunity in your own neighborhood or on your same street? I’m not talking about buying the house, but putting in some sweat equity. I’ve had two properties near my house that have gone from ordinary sales to bank owned foreclosures and wondered if they could have sold if the homes had some minor maintenance issues fixed. One had a front yard that was neglected for 6 months and had weeds, branches, leaves, and overall yard cleanup issues. Would you help clean a neighbors yard? What if it meant a better price for the home and an increase in your own home value? Some homes are having the water turned off and lawns are dying. Would you every consider watering a neighbors yard with your hose? That green lawn could equate to some additional green in your wallet if you needed to sell your house.
Home values have decreased 40% in our neighborhood and blood is in the streets as home values are declining every month. Once the bank owns the home, the incentive will be gone to upkeep the house and the neighborhood could see another 5-10% decline in house values. What would you do? Have you considered doing some yard maintenance or painting to help sell a neighborhood home?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 pfincome December 22, 2008 at 4:20 am

Scott – Welcome back, I missed reading your posts for a few months. I think you have some really good points about investing in foreclosed homes in your area to help the value of your home. Good luck to you!

2 Jeff@MySuperChargedLife December 22, 2008 at 6:04 am

Interesting questions! I’d certainly try to help a neighbor, but a vacant house? I hadn’t really ever thought about it in the terms you mention above.

We have a vacant house in my neighborhood that is several blocks from my house. However, it is right near the entrance to the neighborhood. I’ve wished for sometime now that someone would fix it up. I just never thought that someone should be me!

3 jj-momscashblog December 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Hey Scott, I’m so glad to se you

4 jj-momscashblog December 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Hi Scott, Let’s try this again, I’m having huge problems with anything electronic or cyper, everything that could go wrong has. So anyways, I’m so glad to see you’re back, I was concerned there for awhile but glad you’re here now. Your post ask a good question as there have been homes in the area where you do feel like if only you could do this or that to this house and it would look great. But I don’t know too many people who would really do it when it comes right down to it. I’m afraid most people would look at it as why should I do it when I’m not getting paid for it, when they really are not looking at the benefits that they would reap by doing something like you suggest.

5 Dora December 24, 2008 at 6:48 am

Wow, took a chance to see if your page was active. Hopefully you are okay. Welcome back.

6 Scott January 12, 2009 at 12:25 am

@PF Income

Watching foreclosures come up in our neighborhood has really been frustrating and painful to watch as equity disappears. We seem to have some great deals in our area, but the question is, how low can it go?


We have two homes near us that could use some help. One would look great with a little lawn maintenance and some tree trimming. I don’t know if the house is still for sale or if the home is still in foreclosure. I would love to meet the new neighbors and offer to help with the lawn.

@JJ Yep, I agree. I think many of our neighbors are thinking the same thing, but lack action. If they saw me outside, I’m sure they would stop and offer to help. I’ve also thought about creating a work day and see if people would sign-up to help for an our or two.


Thanks. It’s good to be back.

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