Swimming Into Trouble - The Urgent Need For Property Preservation Professionals

by Pool Builders on 08-17-2009 in Articles

Abandoned foreclosure home pools are potential disease pits.

Foreclosures that have been abandoned by their owners are at historic highs. For many holders of mortgages left owing a lot more than their house is actually worth, it makes more economic sense to walk away than to continue to struggle to meet huge monthly payments.

What happens after those homeowners leave, however, can turn into a horror show. A recent round-up of newspaper stories from across the country shows how these abandoned homes can quickly deteriorate - especially when the previous owners left without any concern as to the condition of the house - and accents the need for more property preservation companies to clean them out.

In Las Vegas, one of hardest-hit foreclosure cities in America, many of the empty homes also have filled pools with the potential to become disease incubators. The number of "green pool" complaints jumped from 1700 to 2800 from 2007 to 2008 - and it's expected to grow again this year.

Workers with the Southern Nevada Health District make their way from pool to pool, dumping in silvery fish to eat the mosquitoes and algae that quickly overwhelm the pool water.

It's a problem all across the Western U.S. "As the economy went south, the number of green pools went north," said Chris Conlan, supervising vector ecologist in San Diego County's Department of Environmental Health. There, they conduct weekly helicopter flyovers to spot problem pools.

Meanwhile, in Contra Costa County in Northern California, the county's Mosquito and Vector Control District subscribes to foreclosure listing services so they can scout out troubled pools. They also breed fish to put into the pools.

They would need a whole ocean of them in Maricopa County in Arizona, which contains Phoenix, another major foreclosure-ridden city. There they expect 14,000 pool complaints to surface this year - and mosquitoes. It takes about 50 fish to clean the mosquitoes out of a 400 square foot pool. But sometimes well-meaning neighbors dump chlorine into the pool - killing the fish and forcing health officials to start over.

The pool problem has become so expensive that Nevada lawmakers are considering allowing liens on properties whose owners won't reimburse them for the mosquito control.

The problem, though, is easily controllable. REO (Real Estate Owned) sellers and agents hire Property preservation and field service companies to maintain foreclosure home pools affordably and make sure this kind of health hazard never materializes.

By keeping pools in pristine condition, banks and lenders can be sure that the eventual REO sale will go swimmingly.

Copyright (c) 2009 Frank Patrick

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