Yesterday while showing homes in two subdivisions side by side with high vacancy rates and boarded up homes, it appears there was another recent rash of A/C units stolen for the copper. The units were gutted and the copper was stripped all the way to the home. We meandered into neighboring vacant backyards to find many units stripped.
Has it come to legislating recycling??
I wish that we could get tougher recycling laws like Mississippi (how sad, I know) where recyclers would have to be registered and perhaps state where the materials came from and the source would need to be verified?
Tough economic times coupled with high recycling payouts due to thirsty third world country demands have forced copper recycling theives to analyze vacancy patterns in distressed neighborhoods.
This is not a new issue or unique to Las Vegas!!
I realize this issue is not new or unique to the Las Vegas Area. Copper theft costs community governments, banks, corporate entities, investors and private homeowners a billion dollars a year according to a US Dept of Energy study sited on the (get this) Coalition Against Copper Theft's Website.
Copper thieves will cause tens of thousands of damage to property (tearing through walls, flooring and gutting electrical items like refrigerators) just to receive a couple of grand in loot.
How to protect yourself now!!
It seems like there is a growing industry that is building custom cages to prevent the theft of air conditioning units (if you do a simple google search.) I suppose to me that if you are spending a couple of thousand dollars to replace a unit that has been gutted it would definitely make sense to spend a couple extra hundred dollars to have a custom cage built to protect the unit.
Backed into a corner!!
So now each one of the sellers of these properties are backed into a corner with their asset that has now lost it's financing eligibility due to the inhabitable nature of their property. Each one (and they varied from banks to private investors that purchased the property at a trustee sale for flip) will need to decide if they are going to replace the air conditioning units to make the property eligible for 50-60% of the financed buyers in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market or lower the property to rock bottom cash only prices.
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