Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's responsibilities have gone beyond making sure mortgages are affordable for buyers. They're also paying people to take used tractors out to properties.
The two government-sponsored entities took over more than 160,000 properties by the end of March of this year, according to a recent report from the New York Times. The government has to pay about $10,000 to get a house sold, the paper noted, which includes making sure the property is fit for new owners.
However, until those properties are moved, they have to be maintained, which includes sending out contractors who have used tractors to keep up on lawn maintenance. The Times said the monthly bill for these services is more than $10 million.
"We may be behind many loans on the same street, so we believe that it's in everyones best interest to aggressively do property maintenance," Freddie Mac executive Chris Bowden told the paper.
Keeping homes well kept can make it easier for them to sell on the market. Furthermore, neighborhoods that look good have an additional selling point for prospective buyers, who probably don't want to move into an abandoned-looking area.