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Avoid The Dangers Of A Vacant House In Pittsburgh By Selling

Perhaps you have seen a movie or tv show that featured an old vacant haunted house.  Do you remember how it was depicted in the show? Creaky doors, broken windows, cobwebs, dust, and more were all part of the old vacant house. Are you the owner of a vacant house? Sometimes these are inherited homes, or rentals that could not be rented, or a place you left behind when life allowed you to move some place better.

In this post, we’ll discuss the risks associated with letting a house deteriorate into an unrecoverable asset.

The worst possible outcome? A haunted house!

Did you know that one out of every sixty-five residential properties in the United States is vacant? These “haunted looking houses” are frequently abandoned and neglected, causing an array of issues. In recent years, the problem of vacancy has risen in Pittsburgh.

When there is too much damage to economically fix the issues, but the homeowner does not want to lose the home, this is a common strategy. This is also common if the homeowner intends to make improvements to realize the home’s potential but is waiting to “get to it.”

It’s easy to get caught up in life and put the idea of repairing or managing the property on the back burner, but you shouldn’t! Although it may appear to be something that can be dealt with later, putting it off will cost you money.

Not utilizing your vacant property as a valuable asset is equivalent to leaving your retirement savings on the sidewalk for anyone to take.

If your home is vacant, look out for any of the following indicators. Inaction could result in debt, property loss, or even imprisonment.

717 Home Buyers Buys Houses Like This in PA
717 Home Buyers Buys Vacant Houses in Pittsburgh, PA

Likely Problems Caused By Vacant Houses

There are any number of likely problems that are typical with houses that sit vacant for longer than just a few months without constant attention. One may think that if no one is living in a house, not much can go wrong, but that is just not the case. Watch for these problems if you own a vacant house.


For potential thieves, a vacant home is comparable to California in the 1800s — a potential goldmine. If your home does not appear vacant, it may deter potential intruders. However, once it is known that your home has been abandoned, it will only be a matter of time before it is broken into.

Frequently, the target will be copper wiring or other valuable home components, such as the HVAC system or kitchen appliances. While the loss of these items is costly in and of itself, thieves frequently break walls and remove fixtures to get to the valuable items. This transforms the situation into a dire one, as the home will be completely demolished and require extensive structural repairs.

Even if nothing is stolen, troublesome individuals may enter your home and cause damage, such as vandalism or the destruction of items for amusement. They will observe that no one respects the home and wonder why they should.

Someone Could Start Living There

Although Pittsburgh is regarded as an extremely safe place to live, the city is experiencing a homelessness crisis. This poses a problem for the nearly 450 abandoned or vacant properties in the city.

If left unchecked, squatters may occupy your abandoned home for as long as they wish. This could result in severe damage to your home. They will likely not take excellent care of the property, which can cause it to deteriorate.

Once squatters have taken up residence in your home, they are difficult to evict. If they refuse to leave, they may be permitted to remain. Still worse? If they have lived there for a lengthy period of time, they may have a legal claim to the property.

The House May Get Damaged Costing Thousands of Dollars In Repairs

Homes require maintenance and care to remain “livable.” If this fundamental requirement is not maintained, significant damage develops at an ever-increasing rate.

This consists of:

A major source of expensive damage can be caused by water. Everything from a broken pipe or water heater to a damaged roof or gutter can allow water to enter your home and cause structural and interior damage.

Unmaintained heating systems can cause serious problems, including fires. However, the possibility of arson is an even greater concern with vacant properties. Possible squatters may also start a fire.

Animals invading and wreaking havoc in vacant homes is one of the most common problems associated with these properties. A left-open door, shattered window, or even an eager animal can cause a deluge of damage. Termites are also a huge problem in Western PA that need to be treated regularly, especially on older house built out of wood.


Even if you are not living on or actively managing your property, you are still responsible for what occurs there.

If someone is injured on your property, you may be held responsible for any resulting damages. Similarly, if an unmaintained home causes a fire or explosion on your property that injures someone or damages another property, you will be held liable.

Property Expenses

Even though no one is living in your home, government fees are still charged. You will continue to incur the same expenses as with any other property you own. This consists of:

Taxes: You will owe property taxes regardless of whether your home is occupied.

Fines: You could be charged a fine if your vacant home does not meet city codes.

The bank will not charge you less for your mortgage if you allow your home to fall into disrepair. You will be responsible for the same mortgage payment regardless of whether you occupy the home.

Nonpayment of bills on time and in full may result in accruing penalties or even imprisonment. It could also result in property forfeiture to the bank or government.

How To Make Money Quickly On A Vacant House in Pittsburgh

In addition to the other issues listed above, a vacant home is a waste of a perfectly good investment and source of income. You may feel your vacant house is worthless and unable to be sold, but in reality, you may have the opportunity to turn that home into cash in a very short amount of time.

While you may not be able to afford repairs to make your home habitable or rentable, selling it to a reputable real estate investor could result in a cash infusion and a return on your investment.

At 717 Home Buyers, we can help you turn your vacant house into quick cash. We are interested in houses in need of major repair, houses that need major cleaning, and more. If you have a vacant house in the Pittsburgh area that you are interested in turning into cash, you can learn more about how we work by clicking here.

There are no fees, no closing costs, no commissions. We can usually provide an offer on your property within 24 hours and if accepted, we can close with in about a week. Call today and chat with one of our friendly professionals. You can read some of our reviews at this link to learn more about our reputation for professionalism and fairness.

We hope to hear from you soon. Call us today at 717-639-2164.

About Josh Eberly

A native of Lancaster County, Josh’s roots run deep in his commitment to this community. He especially enjoys helping people find solutions through real estate. Josh is a seasoned investor with experience in many sides of buying and investing in real estate. Josh enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, digital marketing, and hanging out with his family. Feel free to connect with him here.

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