What’s going on in that backyard?

Does code enforcement use Google Earth? It’s pretty obvious if they did, they might find a “recycling” operation going on at this home in Sacramento County. I came across this one the other day while talking to an investor on the phone. It’s hard to say what has been happening for sure at this property, but it smells like a chop shop at first glance. What does it look like to you?

Debris in Back Yard

There are definitely areas where most backyards and front yards tend to be filled with debris, but that’s not the case in this neighborhood. As you can see from an expanded aerial view, most houses are not hosts to yard junk.

Debris in Back Yard Image 2

Clutter and property value: On a serious note, cluttered houses tend to drive down property value around them. I’m not being judgemental or targeting certain people at all. This is simply true. After all, nobody wants to live next to a perpetually unkempt property because it’s a hotbed for all sorts of issues. It’s true that theoretically a house can only contain clutter in the rear yard and have no evidence of an issue from the front. However, if there’s an issue with hoarding or something illegal going on (not just a lack of ability to care for a house), it’s not uncommon to see evidence from the front yard too. I guess it’s a bit like life. We can put our best foot forward and hide our issues, but eventually they’ll come out.

Hoarder House Video Tour: Here is a video tour of a hoarder house I inspected a while back. It’s amazing to see how much clutter can fill one house (and sad at the same time). Watch the video below or here. Yes, I had permission from my client to shoot this video.

Isn’t it amazing what we can find out about activity in houses while online? Have you seen something similar before? How have you seen unkempt front or rear yards impact a neighborhood or street?

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.


  1. says

    There is a renter on my street that moved in recently and they run a Metal Selling and junk hauling business. There are a few of us that are inconvenienced by extra trucks blocking a driveway, large hauling, and most recently was broken glass on the street. Since I walk the dog, this is something I have to now speak to them about. This photo could be similar, but without trucks to haul the stuff away I think you are right about the chop shop for car parts. Did you notice the red car parked on the street with its hood up? Sheesh!

    • says

      That’s a bummer. Your neighbor will have to be more cautious. It’s not a good thing to be leaving glass on the street. That gets expensive quickly for tires and dog feet. I didn’t notice the red car. Great catch.

      I’m all for less governmental interference in general, but I do think having adequate zoning and planning really pays off for neighborhoods and is essential for effective local government. Well, those codes need to be enforced then too. If someone wants to run a metal business (or even an illegal chop shop), they should do it in a commercially-zoned area in order to not decrease property values in a residential zone clearly not intended for that type of noise, debris and maybe even traffic. I would have to think oil, gas and chemicals spilling on the soil could cause some environmental issues over time too. Hopefully that wouldn’t impact neighboring lots too. Superfund sites are not always only found in commercial areas.

  2. says

    Your probably right Ryan – looks like a chop shop – I got a giggle out of your circle on the photograph calling attantion to the sore thumb in the neighborhood!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *