Homeowners concerned about nearby foreclosures

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – An increase in foreclosure filings in Mesa County has some residents concerned about property values.

According to reports from the Mesa County Public Trustee's office, there were 133 foreclosure filings in August 2012, up 75 percent from 76 filings in July. Similarly, foreclosure sales in August were up to 65 sales from 57 sales in July.

For homeowners like Jordan Abeloe, who has multiple foreclosures in his Grand Junction neighborhood, the effect is felt through property values and neighborhood image.

"If I'm trying to sell my house or someone in the neighborhood is trying to sell their house or someone is trying to move in, it looks really bad for the neighborhood," Abeloe said. "Maybe I'll have to drop the value to get it to sell, or it's just going to be a lot more difficult to sell."

Property appraiser Mark Young, with Brownlee Appraisal Services, said it requires a significant amount of foreclosures in a neighborhood to affect property values. Appraisal laws require Young to appraise properties based on sale prices of similar, nearby homes that have sold within the last 90 days.

"If you're in a subdivision or a marketing area, and it's clustered with foreclosed homes, that's the market area, and so we have to use those when appraising," Young said. "If you're in a market area that has a few foreclosures, then we can get around those and say that doesn't define the market."

Abeloe said it's the homeowners who pay their mortgages that suffer consequences from others who don't.

"You're doing everything that you can do and that you've agreed to do and you see other people not holding up their end and it starts affecting you and your property and what you have to see everyday," Abeloe said.

Abeloe said he also feels the effects though higher HOA dues when people who go into foreclosure stop paying their dues.

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