While we can all imagine that going through the foreclosure process can be stressful for homeowners and their families, now there is a study that concludes it may also be stressful for the neighbors. A new study released in the May 12, 2014 edition of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, found that individuals experienced an average 1.71 millimeters of mercury increase in systolic blood pressure for every foreclosure within 100 meters of their home. While that may not seem like much, such a rise in blood pressure is roughly equivalent to the increase a person experiences as a result of three years of aging.
Another interesting aspect of the study was that health consequences were dependent on how foreclosures were resolved. Properties that slipped into foreclosure, but then recovered or were quickly sold, did not result in negative health consequences for community members. Rather, blood pressure rates started to rise when foreclosure led to properties that languished with uncertainty, resulting in vacant homes and neighborhood blight.
If the uncertainty of foreclosure and the empty or poorly maintained properties that can result is the health concern, then mediation may be part of the cure. (more…)