Still smelling charred, this vacant Las Vegas house is a scary sight.
Besides the fire damage, the home is boarded up, has a couch and big-screen TV outside and was sprayed with graffiti.
It also went into foreclosure last year and, according to a neighbor, a homeless guy named Larry has been known to stay there.
Las Vegas used to be the epicenter of America’s foreclosure crisis, with lenders seizing homes throughout the valley after the economy crashed. Repos have by no means stopped, but amid an improved job market, they are a lot less common nowadays.
Last year, 0.67 percent of Las Vegas-area homes were hit with a foreclosure- related filing, down from 12 percent in 2009 after the market tanked, according to housing tracker Attom Data Solutions.
Overall, Las Vegas had the 35th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation in the first quarter, Attom reported — an astonishingly good ranking, given how widespread foreclosures used to be in the valley.
With more people working again, fewer locals are at risk of falling behind on their mortgage and losing their house to the bank. Some 3.6 percent of Las Vegas- area mortgage holders were at least 30 days late on their payments in February, down from nearly 25 percent at the depths of the recession, according to figures from CoreLogic.
But Las Vegas hasn’t washed its hands of foreclosures. Case in point: the boarded-up house at 600 Kasper Ave., off D Street and Lake Mead Boulevard.
The one-story home, built in 1960, sold in 2007 for $207,500 and was foreclosed on last June, according to county records.
It’s now on the market for $65,000. It was listed May 18, according to Zillow.
“INVESTORS!! Full fixer upper,” the listing says.
The house was in disrepair by early this year. According to a notice dated Feb. 25 and signed by Kevin McOsker, the city’s director of building and safety, there had been two fires in the previous two months at the property.
The home was a “public nuisance” and “dangerous”; the roof had “suffered severe fire damage and could collapse”; and the house was “without sanitation,” the notice said.
Alan Dille, who lives across the street, said Thursday the homeless man named Larry has stayed at 600 Kasper and has also stayed at the boarded-up house next door at 604 Kasper Ave. According to Dille, both homes have been regular gathering spots for groups of homeless people.
A street view on Google Maps shows two people resting on the front porch of 604 Kasper, with a mattress, a shovel and other belongings.
Dille also said that police come by “all the time.”
In the past year, Las Vegas police responded to at least two calls for service to 600 Kasper and to at least five calls for service to 604 Kasper, according to Metropolitan Police Department call logs.
Some people may think the zombie homes of five or 10 years ago are a thing of the past. But a drive down Kasper Avenue is a stark reminder that, though things are looking up, a house can still get boarded up and barbecued.