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Foreclosed homes are not always empty | News

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Foreclosed homes are not always empty
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STOCKTON, CA - A new business in the Central Valley is helping neighborhood appearances by putting residents in foreclosed and empty homes.

The business is called Vacant Home Managers, and it's recruited by Realtors to find residents for those homes.  The people moving in pay roughly half in rent what they would at a similar home.

"They want a house that looks lived in, a house that's properly staged, a house that's taken care of.  I'm here to trim the yard, water the yard, and be the eyes and ears," said Julie Beaumariage, who lives in North Stockton.

Ever since the foreclosure crisis hammered cities up and down the Central Valley, police have dealt with theft and vandalism to many of the foreclosed homes.  A caretaker living in one of those homes is supposed to discourage that behavior.

"People break in and steal appliances.  Kids have Sharpie parties, meaning the house is written on everywhere," said Bill Ames of Vacant Home Managers.

For their part, residents have to understand a couple of things.  First, because the home is for sale, it needs to be well-cared for, and ready for a showing.  Second, because the house might sell soon, the resident needs to understand another move might be coming soon.

This idea actually began in Hanford, Washington in the 1970s when a power plant shut down, leaving hundreds of homes empty.  It's an idea that's made a comeback in California's Central Valley following the foreclosure crisis.

by tdaly@news10.net

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