While inspecting a house in North Sacramento yesterday I saw this fence. How does this image strike you? What does a fence like this tell you about the neighborhood?
Some might say graffiti has artistic value, while others say it clearly does not. Stepping aside from that discussion, from a real estate perspective, I’ve never seen evidence to suggest graffiti like this helps boost property values. All things considered, graffiti ultimately harms a neighborhood because it contributes to a negative perception of the community. Do others get the sense that residents care about a neighborhood if graffiti runs rampant? No.
Just like I mentioned in my “blight week” series a while back, it’s often the “small things” in a neighborhood like graffiti, debris and unkempt lawns that create a less than positive view of the community and impact the way others feel about the neighborhood too. So focusing on getting to know neighbors and taking care of some of the small signs of decay is often a relevant place to begin to bring change.
Tips for dealing with a neighborhood graffiti problem:
- Choose: Decide to be a part of the solution. Others may not step up, but you can be a game-changer for your street. Why not you?
- Local Police: Talk with local law enforcement. What is the nature of the graffiti? Know what you are dealing with in the community and ask for advice from police officers.
- Band of Neighbors: Get a few neighbors on board to deal with the issue by asking a couple of people to be on a rotating schedule for covering tags. Maybe you can switch on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Be Quick: Cover graffiti within 24 hours and keep doing that until the problem stops. The issue is likely to lessen or stop over time if it is covered immediately because why would a tagger waste his time if his tags are not seen by others?
- One Color: Use the same paint color if possible because it’ll look better and less blotchy. The residents in the picture above deserve applause because they are dealing with the issue. My hat goes off to them. Ultimately if they used one color though, it would look better, don’t you think?
- Ask for Paint: Ask code enforcement, city council members or a local hardware store for free or discounted paint and any resources they might have to assist you. You may not even have to spend your own money because there is bound to be someone out there who wants to get behind your cause.
- Keep a positive attitude: It’s easy to become discouraged when problems persist, but try not to take the graffiti personally. Try to get to the point where you find joy in getting to take care of your community on a more daily basis. You are doing something that needs to be done. You may never get recognition, but you are helping the community grow in the right direction, so practice thankfulness while you are painting and when you notice new tags too. I know that sounds like an odd concept, but just go with it.
- Celebrate your successes: Have a casual BBQ with neighbors in your front yard and invite code enforcement and a city council member to eat with you. This could even help spur on more discussion about solving issues.
- Any other suggestions?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and your story. Feel free to comment below. Thanks for keeping it civil and constructive.