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A look at 1 vacant home of the 13,000 in Las Vegas

The two-story home at 5450 Nickel Creek Trail near Sam Boyd Stadium is in many ways reflective of Las Vegas’ housing boom and bust.

The three-bedroom, 2½-bath home was brand-new and came with a package of appliances when Felipe Delgado and his children made it their home in November 2006.

Ten years later, the tan home in a gated community stands empty. It has spent most of its existence without someone living in it.

Shortly after moving in, Delgado said the value of his property started declining. He also had an adjustable-rate mortgage and an investment property, a fourplex, he said.

“It was really not a good situation,” Delgado said.

He chose to walk away from both properties, but did not file for bankruptcy based on a lawyer’s advice.

Records show the original price was $217,320. A year after the original sale, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. (Freddie Mac) was named as the foreclosing beneficiary on the deed and sold it about six months later, in April 2008, to Christopher Mitchell and his wife for $144,900. The couple secured a 30-year fixed mortgage from Bank of America at 6 percent interest.

The Mitchells, first-time homeowners, ripped up the carpet and put in hardwood floors. But they didn’t stay for long before deciding to move again.

Mitchell said during that time, police would knock on his door about once a week looking for a missing person or a person of interest. He said he was concerned because his wife was pregnant. They were also going to need a bigger house, he said.

A real estate agent had completed a short sale for his parents, so he asked her to do the same. The agent said it would be easy. So the couple moved out, not knowing the house would sit vacant for several years without a buyer. The house was never rented because the homeowners association prohibits it.

The short sale was stopped and foreclosure began in 2014. Somewhere along the line, the mortgage was sold to Tampa, Florida-based Ditech Financial. As of April, Ditech Financial held the deed to the house. Calls to the company about what they plan to do with the property were not returned.

“I definitely learned a lot through that process,” Mitchell said of his first home.

The Mitchells, and the original owner, Delgado, still reside in the Las Vegas Valley. But today, they are renters.

Both former owners said they would like to again own a home — a few years from now.

In the meantime, the house along with two neighboring properties with boarded-up first-floor windows show that the gated community hasn’t quite recovered yet from the foreclosure crisis.

As of this year’s second quarter, about 400 residential properties in the ZIP code 89122 were vacant, according to RealtyTrac, California-based real estate information firm. In the Las Vegas metro area, RealtyTrac says there are 13,850 vacant residential properties.

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