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Bank-Owned Properties and Freezing Weather


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Last week on the 2nd - that first colder day that we had - I arrived onsite to find the pilots burning on the water heater and furnace but neither would come on. The place was a bank-owned property that had allegedly been "winterized" in the fall and then had been de-winterized the day before the inspection.

Everyone was standing around freezing, so I decided to fire up the furnace to get them warm while I did my thing. No-Go. I told them to call a repairman and started doing my thing. Within an hour, a fellow was there. He checked things out and determined that the meter, of all things, had gone bad. The gas company showed up, installed a new meter and then everything fired right up and they were able to get warm.

Yesterday, I heard from the buyer. The listing agent is going to re-winterize the home because it is going to be several months until they finished all of the stuff that's required of the short sale. The listing agent is doing it himself. Naturally, I expressed some skepticism about the ability of a real estate person to do that correctly.

My client was concerned about pipes freezing. Rightly so too; the pipes under that home are completely uninsulated. At least when the heat is on in the winter there is probably enough heat loss to keep the crawl above freezing - has to be, no sign that there's ever been any flooding in the home's 20 year history and that crawl is a study in ratology; nasty vermin trails and crap everywhere, and rats won't stay where it's too cold for them. Wat's going to happen with the heat off and those pipes in that crawl sitting there uninsulated? I've got a pretty good hunch I know what the answer is.

He says he'll probably hire me to go back out and check out conditions in the crawl just before he takes possession, but I can't blame him for being nervous in the meantime. I recommended that, until then, he go by there and check things out as often as possible. He's crossing his fingers.

Anyone else encountering folks doing really, really stupid things with bank-owned properties?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Anyone else encountering folks doing really, really stupid things with bank-owned properties?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

All the time - what a nightmare.

Also, first two questions I ask; Is the home occupied and if not is it bank owned?

I am sick to death of heading out to homes with one or more utilities shut off. It's not from a lack of trying to stress the importance to everyone involved either.

[:-banghea[:-banghea[:-banghea

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. . . Anyone else encountering folks doing really, really stupid things with bank-owned properties?

Not just with bank-owned properties. I spoke with a young man yesterday who told me that he & his roommates have turned off the furnace in the house they're renting to save money. They figured that they could man-up and wear heavy clothing indoors.

Temperatures have been in the teens all week. I asked him what he planned to do when the water pipes froze and flooded the house. Realization dawned slowly on his face. He hadn't even considered the possibility before I'd mentioned it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I live where if you have no heat in mid Nov your done like dinner. A few years back when I was Pl WO (2IC), I recieved a call from base emergency services. It was about one of my troops, he had been living on camp in private married quarters (PMQ). No problem there. They further state that he shut the main breaker off to the house. He was away on course, didnt want to pay for power while gone for 6 months Everything was off, I looked at my calander to confirm that it was still Feb...oh my jeebuz,,, I thought, how much damage could there have been. Well, since the main water service comes right into the basement, the high water mark was over the second step. Which was frozen, almost thick enough to skate on....I will save you what happened to him, but the PMQ got a new refurb basement, and he paid most of the repairs, garbage, labour...he was done like dinner as well,,,good kid though...ship happens eh?

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About fifty percent of my inspections right now are foreclosures and short-sales. Both are pretty bad when it comes to utilities promised to be on not being on. Short sales, in particular, are bad. When it comes to a short sale, most banks just don't give a rat's butt and are not very helpful. It seems that about fifty percent of these inspections require a second and sometimes even a third visit. Frustrating...

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