How’s Your Property Maintenance?

Posted: July 22nd, 2010  

Ever notice that in well-kept neighborhoods broken windows get patched up quickly? I have.

Less well maintained areas, lower rent properties, tend to have maintenance issues that linger. Yards grow weeds, paint peels and broken windows are not quickly repaired. I always feel nervous passing through neighborhoods like this.

Police departments around the country have taken notice of this trend. “The Broken Window Theory,” is how the cops refer to it.

According to the theory less maintained neighborhoods tend to attract crime. Fix the broken windows, maintain the properties and the crime rate falls while the community’s economic fortunes rise lifting all to higher ground.

Hiring a property management company, like Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties of Orange County, can take the worry off any residential or commercial property owner’s mind. It’s been my experience that maintaining something over time is far less expensive than deferring upkeep year after year until something major happens.

Not only will the property hold its value longer, but it will also maintain a higher rental value throughout its life and remain a benefit rather than possibly becoming a blight to the surrounding community.

I’ve discovered this might be the year to hire a property management firm, as property in the county is being devalued by about $500 million. That will translate to a cool $5.5 million in tax savings for Orange County property owners, according to the Orange County Assessor’s Office.

“The savings will begin with the first property tax installment payment due in November 2010,” according to a Jan. 1 posting on the Assessor’s web site.

And as recently as July 16 the Assessor’s Office reports 148,000 properties in Orange County will have their “taxable values reduced or kept the same as last year.”

This might seem like bad news to some, but the Assessor’s Office seems to be indicating the market is about ready to start surging again.

“There are some areas in the county showing a recovery in market value,” according to the July 16 press release found on the Assessor’s Office web site.

The release concludes that a slowing in residential properties loosing value over the last year “is reflecting a stabilizing residential real estate market.”


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