The Future's so Blight, You Gotta Pull the Shades

Mosquitoes, vandals, and squatters—oh my!

Houses abandoned to foreclosure are beginning to breed trouble, adding neighbors to the growing ranks of victims.

Stagnant swimming pools spawn mosquitoes, which can carry the potentially deadly West Nile virus. Empty rooms lure squatters and vandals. And brown lawns and dead vegetation are creating eyesores in well-tended neighborhoods.

More than 100 houses a day are being foreclosed on in Southern California, up from 13 a day last year. That's still a relative handful for such a populous area, but even the optimists predict that the problem will soon get much worse.

If the foreclosure trend continues on its current pace, experts warn, communities will need to act decisively to avoid blight.

"We know it's coming," said Tina Hess, the assistant Los Angeles city attorney who handles housing enforcement and problem properties.
Ominous. The fun part is that now you not only get to worry about your ability to keep up with your own mortgage, but also about your neighbors' ability to keep up with theirs, lest they foreclose and their property fall to shit, undermining your equity! Wheeeeeee!

Of course that's always a concern with a home ownership, but the more foreclosures there are, the more reason there is for genuine concern. The last thing anyone wants to be is the owner of a home with two vacant properties on either side.

[H/T Atrios.]

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