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Author Topic: inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off  (Read 1720 times)

Offline scny

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inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off
« on: January 21, 2011, 10:39:03 am »
How do you inspect the mechanics of a property if everything is turned off.  I would like to bid at an auction on an REO.  There is water damage and it is clear that there was water comming from from the floor above.   All the faucets have a sign that say that the pipes have been winterized and not to turn on .  So how do you test for leaks, the heating system, the electric if they are all turned off?

Also, if the seller is providing an insurable title and paying for it, is there still a risk of being responsible for hidden fees.  i.e. if the Homeowners Association is imposing fines on the property that does not show on the title, would the successful bidder be responsible for those fees after the sale?

THANKS to whoever answers the above questions!

Offline justin0419

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Re: inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 11:43:36 am »
For gas service, you can disconnect from the meter and put a rig on the line to the house to press it up.  My plumber has a pipe that connects to the gas line running to the house and reduces down to a valve stem like your car tires would have.  He pumps it up using a small hand pump and checks for system integrity.
For electric, you can just look and see if the house has breakers or fuses.  Look and see if there's a newer style weatherhead on the outside of the house.  You can also probably find some wires somewhere in there either in the attic or a utility room that hasn't been drywalled in.  If all else fails, you could pull an electrical outlet out of the wall to see what the wiring looks like.
The water service could be disconnected from the meter and a plumber could probably rig up something to test that. 
There is some risk to getting a property like that where you can't test everything.  Some people automatically build that factor into their maximum offer by estimating they'll have to replace things like the HVAC system.  Sometimes you just have to look at the units installed and see if you think they'll work, but offer such that you can still make money if you have to replace them.
I'm not sure about the answer to your HOA question.  I don't deal with HOAs on our properties.
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Offline HPM

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Re: inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 02:27:42 pm »
Last year I bought a house with winterized plumbing that I couldn't check.
I had a crack in the cast iron main stack (Replaced 8" going from the basement into first floor wall), had to replace 10 shutoffs and the kitchen sink. Shower supply connection leaked into the first floor ceiling after a month.  Water heater had shutoffs on hot and cold side. One toilet was hooked up to hot water, and the main sewer drain had tree roots in it.
This one was already re-habbed, so because of this I didn't get the steal I thought I was.
Plan for the worst hope for the best.
I knew I'd have some issues, but this many suprised me. The previous owner did asthetic cover ups. Everything that wasn't buried in a wall was new.

Offline scny

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Re: inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 08:12:27 pm »
Thank you HPM and Justin0419 for your feedback!  HPM , I hope you still made money and the investment was worth your trouble.  I called a plumber and asked him to give me a worse case scenario and he thought $7,000 if all the plumbing needed to be replaced and thats not counting if there are issues with heating/cooling system, and of course replacing damaged  floors, walls and ceilings.  Bidding on properties under such conditions is nerve recking and quite a gamble.

Offline tatertot

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Re: inspecting mechanics of REO when everything is turned off
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 12:51:50 pm »
You could always contact the homeowners association and ask if there are back dues unpaid. Or rather, how much the back dues are, because if the house was lost in foreclosure, it's a pretty safe bet that the dues and taxes weren't paid.

 




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