As I drive through some of the neighborhoods in our city, I am struck by the obvious neglect that occurs at some of the properties. From peeling paint, overgrown yards, junk cars and last year's Christmas lights still on the roof, there are too many "infractions" to list here. Reasons for neglect range from tenants who occupy homes and do not care to homeowners and landlords who don't feel the need to maintain their properties. There are some homeowners who may be in financial hardship or are in the process of losing their property through foreclosure, and because of financial problems and disgust with the whole process in general, they feel that they should no longer keep their property maintained.
Whatever the reason, it is incumbent that the rest of us property owners who do have pride of ownership in our real estate to stay on the lookout for neglected properties in our neighborhoods. Sometimes we drive by an eyesore and think nothing of it because it has been that way for some time. Perhaps it is time that we all take notice and make note of the problem.
You may ask: Okay, what can I do? If you live in a community with a home-owners association, report the problem to the HOA. Some HOA's, such as the Continental Country Club, are diligent about making sure homeowners adhere to the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Many other subdivisions in Flagstaff, which are planned communities, have HOAs that are managed by a professional management company and those managers have the teeth to enforce the CC&Rs. If you don't live in a community with an active HOA, you can contact the city of Flagstaff Environmental Code Enforcement at (928) 779-7622 or Coconino County Planning and Zoning at (928) 679-8850.
Why is it important? Besides being unsightly, a neglected home has a negative effect on other home values in a neighborhood. With the onslaught of distressed properties in our towns and communities, it is hard enough keeping property values at the top of the market without having a neighbor storing a junked car on his driveway.
As much as we would like to think that all property owners will keep their homes and properties in tip-top shape, the fact is that there are numerous homes in our town that are in various stages of disrepair. We should all be vigilant in our daily travels and work to keep our city as neat and tidy as possible. The result just may be higher property values for everyone.
Mary Monday is an associate broker at RE/MAX Peak Properties and can be called at (928) 214-7325, e-mailed at Mary@MaryMonday.com