We’ve all heard about the hazards and inconveniences associated with environmental factors like snow, water, and wind, but you might not be quite so familiar with the perils of tumbleweeds. These spiky balls of dried plant material break off in strong winds and blow around, dispersing seeds. Unfortunately for residents of Victorville, California, tumbleweeds sometimes end up piling up and nearly burying houses as well.

“It’s a nightmare,” said one Victorville broker, Bryan Bagwell, who had to hire two men to remove all the tumbleweeds from his property. The job took nearly seven hours. Other residents in the area report they are trapped inside their homes thanks to completely blocked doors forced shut by huge piles of the dried plants. The piles are also a fire hazard, so city crews are working hard to remove them. The weeds must be fed into trash compactors in order to resolve the threat.

Investor Insight: Some of the environmental issues associated with real estate will surprise you, so be sure you do plenty of research on an area if you are not local.

Interestingly, the tumbleweed problem “may be at least partly a legacy of the housing collapse,” observed Bagwell to Realtor.com. He noted nearly 10 years ago, developers cleared a large amount of brush and shrubs, which usually would catch tumbleweeds before they enter residential areas, in anticipation of building new developments. After the housing collapse, some of these areas were left vacant and remain so today. Now, the tumbleweeds may pause in the area, but the next strong wind blows them right through town.

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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