22 Aug 2014
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Stow Doesn't Track Foreclosures as Numbers Rise

Stow Doesn't Track Foreclosures as Numbers Rise
Editor’s note: this story is one in an ongoing series about local foreclosures in Stow and Summit County.

The number of foreclosed properties in Stow have increased by an average of 16 per year since 2007, according to a Patch.com analysis.

In 2012, 92 properties in Stow sold at foreclosure auction—the most in the past five years. A total 140 properties were scheduled for auction last year.

Despite the rising numbers, Stow city officials don’t formally track the number of properties sold at sheriff’s sale yearly.

Stow Mayor Sara Drew told Stow Patch in a recent interview that the city does not keep track of each individual foreclosed property largely because such information, tracked by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, is not readily available on a community-by-community level.

“A lot of our information is anecdotal,” Drew said.

The city has loose figures on foreclosed properties based largely on reports from neighboring property owners complaining to the city about a lack of upkeep or vacancy.

“Lots of times our zoning complaints come from vacant homes,” Drew said.

Typicall, those figures come from tall grass complaints from neighbors calling the city about a vacant house where the yard is uncut. And those numbers do shed some light on vacant houses in Stow.

In 2012, the city received a total 87 complaints for tall grass, and 48 of those were determined to be at vacant houses. The complaints are based on first inspections only by the city.

So far this year, between May and July, Stow has received 68 tall grass complaints with 29 of those at vacant houses.

Drew said that while foreclosed properties are a concern the city has focused recently on removing vacant, blighted properties in neighborhoods. So far this year eight houses have been slated for demolition through the state grant program Moving Ohio Forward.

"In a general sense I think that helps with everyone's property values," she said.


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