Hoarder houses—you’ve heard of them, and you may even know someone who has a habit of accumulating clutter in their home. But can hoarding affect the value of a real estate property?

The short answer is yes, yes it can. Hoarding can have a severe impact on a property’s market value, as the condition of the house itself can deteriorate beneath all the clutter.

A hoarder is someone who collects anything and everything, which can range from household items to food to vehicle parts, and pretty much anything else you can think of. These items accumulate in the hoarder’s house to the point of excess, and while there are varying levels of hoarding, the clutter is unsightly and can lead to hazardous living conditions.

It should be noted that hoarders differ from collectors, as collectors tend to take better care of their collectibles and often display them in a neat and orderly fashion. Hoarders accumulate what anybody else would label as ‘junk’ without discernible rhyme or reason and have trouble getting rid of the items even if they don’t use them.

Hoarder houses are often labelled as fixer-upper properties due to the terrible conditions that require copious amounts of effort to clear, clean and fix. Pest and mold problems are common in more extreme cases, and the nauseating smell of decomposing food and garbage can be tough to clear. And if animal hoarding is involved, the damage to the interior can be substantial and costly to repair.

For these reasons, a house that would otherwise be considered a catch can see a sharp plummet in its market value if the hoarding problem is severe enough. Hoarding can also affect neighboring property values if the house falls into such disrepair that it becomes an eyesore, especially if the hoarding spreads out into the yard.

When a hoarder house is sold, it’s oftentimes a relative or a friend who handles the sale, whether as an intervention or because the owner has passed away. Investors and house-flippers are the most likely candidates to purchase a hoarder home, as they make a living out of buying distressed houses on the cheap and fixing them up to sell for a profit.

If a hoarding problem is bad enough to warrant intervention from the city or county (usually due to complaints from neighbors), the owner can find themselves faced with fines and liens, which makes selling the house even more difficult since buyers would be forced to inherit the liens right along with the clutter! Title companies can find out if a hoarder house has an undisclosed lien on it, so buyers will know exactly what they’re signing up for.

At Title Junction, we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. The experts at our title company have extensive knowledge about real estate not only in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, but all of Florida as well.

Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: 4 Questions FSBO Sellers Should Ask Before Selling Their Home

Instant Title Quote
Launch App ...or Contact Us for a Custom Quote