Skip to main content
Foreclosure Defense Florida


As Kevin Clark figures it, the feral cats that stalk the thick bamboo jungle in the backyard of the abandoned home next door should at least keep the huge rats in check. That, unfortunately, hasn’t proved to be the case.

The rats and the cats scurry in and out of the yard of the Tampa, Fla., property seemingly unconcerned by the others’ presence. Other varmints, such as opossums and raccoons, also take advantage of the cover provided by the towering woody stalks, which grow more than 20 feet high. The worst might be the insects: Every evening, a veritable attack squadron of mosquitoes buzzes out of the growth, as if taking their cue from the jets that take off and land at the nearby Air Force base.

The infestation is so severe that Clark refuses to allow his 5-year-old grandson, who lives with him, to venture outside alone. “I’m afraid of what will come creeping out of there,” he said.

After the housing market collapsed in spectacular fashion six years ago, Florida became known as much for its abandoned houses as its white sand beaches and palm trees. Many homes fell into disrepair and became the target of looters and vagrants.

In some respects, the situation in the state is much improved. Foreclosures are down and home prices are up, especially in the cities where values fell the most. In Florida’s biggest cities, investors backed by Wall Street cash and local speculators are scooping up homes practically as soon as they hit the market. In Tampa, one of the hardest-hit cities, residential property prices increased 12 percent in April, according to a report released this week. Many housing experts even caution that prices are going up too fast.


Leave a Reply