Kansas City ranks high in vacant foreclosures according to website’s study

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new study from 24/7 Wall Street, a financial website, ranks Kansas City as the metro area with the fourth highest rate of abandoned foreclosures in the country. Some who lived in the most affected neighborhoods say it doesn't bother them, while others say vacant homes are only asking for trouble.

A section of Kansas City's Waldo neighborhood has seen its fair share of vacant foreclosures. The house across the street from one that Pamela Kopulos bought to remodel has been vacant for about three years.

"It's horrible to have a house sit for a long time," Kopulos, a real estate agent with Reece and Nichols, said.

Kopulos says when a house sits, problems can start.

"There's vandalism, and just a house not being used," she said.

Then when you go to sell a home, lots of vacant foreclosures in a neighborhood may also affect the price.

"It impacts the comps for the area for when you go to resell, and that's not a good thing," said Kopulos.

Kopulos says there could be many reasons Kansas City is ranked as the city with the fourth highest percentage in the country of homes abandoned after foreclosures.

"The economy is not fully recovered, I mean I think we've all seen that, felt that," she said. "Johnson County has rebounded much quicker than Jackson County."

According to USA Today, however, the foreclosure rate during the first quarter of 2014 declined more than 50-percent from the same time in 2012 in the Kansas City area.

Lowered home prices are named in the 24/7 Wall Street study as a reason for the 36 percent rate of vacated foreclosures in the metro. Kopulos says that could be due in part to a down-trodden school district. While vacant homes can be cause for concern, neighbor Shane Hanson says he's seeing the silver lining.

"I mean it's been kind of nice, kind of quiet," Hanson said.

Wichita was ranked first with the highest in percentage of abandoned foreclosure homes, with nearly 50 percent of homes in foreclosure that have been abandoned. St. Louis was ranked sixth.

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