Sunday, July 29, 2007

Run Away

Abandoned homes in suburbia.

Carr doesn't have statistics but said home foreclosures are rising and along with them code violations. His counterparts in Mesa, Gilbert and Peoria said the phenomenon is affecting those municipalities, too. A significant portion of the recent Chandler complaints are from newer neighborhoods in southeastern parts of the city where homes once sold for $400,000 or more and values have dropped, Carr said. Buyers who divorce, lose a job or can't afford rising adjustable-rate interest are finding they can't sell their houses for what they owe on them, he said.

One abandoned home in the Brooks Ranch subdivision near Chandler Heights and Gilbert roads has a $499,000 assessed value for tax purposes, tall weeds and a green pool. Carr said he hasn't been able to contact the owners and has asked Maricopa County to treat the pool so mosquitoes won't breed in it. In that same neighborhood a home that sold for $701,000 in March is on the market for $689,000.

Sun Groves resident John Simpson lives across the street from an abandoned house in a 5-year-old subdivision. He said it has been an eyesore for almost a year even after he repeatedly called and e-mailed city and county officials.

"The former owners sold the house for double what they paid, but the new owners got divorced and left."

They even left their Dalmatian in the backyard," he said. "We have the dog now."