How to Protect Your Detroit Vacant Homes

posted in: Buying Tips, Investor Tips | 1


I’ve been “victimized” by vandals before, and it’s not fun.

I’ve been “gotten,” as they say in the streets, for pipes, a hot water tank, and even a furnace before.

Do yourself a favor, and protect your vacant house the best you can.


When it comes to protecting Detroit vacant homes (or any vacant homes, for that matter), there are quite a few things you can do.


Related: Don’t Buy Foreclosed Homes in Detroit for Sale Without Reading This! Part One


If you’re thinking that this isn’t a major concern, either you’re really naive, or you put way too much trust in the Detroit Police Department.

Or both.

Nevertheless, let’s move on, shall we?


Befriend the Neighbors!


My first ever rehab project was in a pretty bad neighborhood in Detroit, about eight years ago or so.


“The Nosey Lady Next Door”

There was an older lady next door (I forgot her name, God rest her soul, she died a few years ago), who was nosey as all get-out.

But one thing I appreciated about her, and that’s that she would keep my phone

When you have a vacant property, you might actually learn to appreciate nosey neighbors.

ringing whenever anything fishy took place on-or-around my property.

My friends used to laugh when they’d stop by the house while I was working on it, because she said I “looked like Isaac Hayes.”

Anyways, this was a huge lesson for me, and it’s one that I recommend you take heed to, which is to always try to meet the neighbors of your property.


Related: What Everybody Should Know Before Buying Property in Detroit For Sale


Why Neighbors Might Be Motivated to Help You

Believe it or not, most neighbors are motivated to make sure nothing happens to your house, just like you are.

Why? Because your house affects their sense of safety; not to mention their own property values.

When you’re talking to the neighbors, let them know who your contractors are.  

You might want to take it one step further, and let them know the hours your contractors are normally going to be working, so that they can give you a call if they see activity over there outside of these hours.


Ask Neighbors to Park in Your Driveway

This makes it look like there’s some activity going on at your vacant house.

And your neighbors will probably be happy to do this.

Who doesn’t like having more parking room at home, even if it’s only temporary?


Keep the Garage Locked

Yeah, I know, this seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised to see how many thieves get in by just raising the good ole garage door.

Simply put, you don’t want to make easy to get in the house.

If there’s a garage on the house, lock it down.


Related: Buying a House in Detroit? Don’t Make These Mistakes…


Put Blinds Up, and Leave them Closed.

Don’t just throw up blue tarp, or mismatched sheets over the windows.

Few things scream “nobody’s home” like a bunch of mail that’s not picked-up.


A person with even the smallest degree of intelligence can use that as a clue that the house is probably isn’t being lived-in right now.

If you have blinds on, it can create some doubt in their minds regarding whether or not someone lives there.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can deter someone from messing with your property.


Nothing tells people that the house is vacant like a huge pile of mail over-flowing the mail box, or laying on the door step.

Visit the house every couple days to pick up any and all mail.

Even if you have the mail sent somewhere else, a lot of times you’ll still get coupons books and other little flyers that are left in the front door.

Check back soon for part two, which’ll be available below (whenever I write it):

How to Protect Your Detroit Vacant Homes, Part Two

Do you have any other tips for protecting your vacant houses?  Yeah? Leave a comment below!

Looking to buy or sell a single family home in Detroit?  Give us a call, or shoot us an email using the Contact Us form.

Till next time friends,


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