inspections with no utilities

I am in the middle of my inspection period and it seems I have hit my first snag. The utilities are not going to be turned on while the property is in the banks name. My inspector comes tomorrow morning at 9 and while he says he can do an inspection with no utilities, I am skeptical (this is my first house).

The house was lived in 4 months ago and he realtor says that when he originally toured the house, the power worked. The toilets and sinks clearly worked before the place was abandoned as well. Any thoughts? comments?

That is normal for REOs. I have never bought one yet where the utilities were on. If it’s only been vacant for the past few months, everything will probably be OK. When they sit vacant over the winter, it can be a little exciting when you first turn on the water. One of the REOs I bought had several broken water lines, all of which were under the floor.


I don’t even bother with inspections. And Mike is right, sometimes turning the water on for the first tme can be quite the adventure.

my main concern isnt with the water as much as the electric. I am doing a small project and rewiring a house up to code really isnt in the budget.

Are inspectors really a waste? I guess after a few of these I should be able to see anything huge, but at first it seems like a good idea to have ssmeone objectively tell me what is wong with the house. Thanks as always.

btw- my llc was approved yesterday…yay for me

For the cost of an inspection I really think they are worth it. Unless you have a ton of experience and can do it yourself I would suggest having one done. But, get your money worth when you get one done. Follow the guy around, ask a million questions. LEARN FROM HIM.

When they won’t turn on the utilities I assume that all the things that I can’t test need to be replaced and make my offer based on that. I factor in new A/C, water heater, fuse box, etc.

We had one this year that sat vacant over the winter and the pipes were busted everywhere! Plus the fun part was that the supply lines to the kitchen ran through the ceiling instead of the crawl space even though there was no plumbing upstairs. I think my contractor ended up finding at least 10 leaks. My advice would be the same as others here, budget not only for extra costs, but be flexible to give yourself enough time for unexpected problems.

What did the repairs end up costing you? What kind of discount did you recieve for buying with the busted pipes?

This is the project where our contractors quit on us a week in to the rehab so it didn’t end up costing us anything more than time. We didn’t get a discount in buying this house… the pipes were in the ceiling and we didn’t know they were busted. I’m sure an air pressure test would have shown there were leaks but we still would have had to find them.

Sucks to find that after the fact. I’m always curious what people negotiate for discounts on easily curable problems, always fun to hear what different people get.

I think you just hit on a great point…Even with the water turned off, you can still do an air pressure test…Especially if the pressure if very low, possibly indicating multiple leaks, you can use that as a bargaining tool when purchasing…

Same for gas lines…

Is there something you can buy to perform your own pressure tests or do I have to call a plumber out every time?

You can buy one at Home Depot…I think they cost about $15 or something (bought one a year ago)…

I have the inspevctor out when I purchase. I really don’t like going under a house, and I refuse to go up on the roof.

Termite damage and dry rot underneath the house can really wreck your budget if they come as a surprise. Roof replacement is a big enough chunk that you will notice the cost of you haven’t budgeted for it. Especially of any roof decking must be replaced.

Inspectors vary in their quality. Some really catch every little flaw and some are pretty worthless. So you want to ask around for recomendations if you don’t already have an inspector that you work with.

I suggest that you have a plumber pressure test the water lines. You could damage the plumbing if you don’t know what you are doing.

Anything you can’t test, just budget it for replacement. If it doesn’t have to be replaced, then you are happy. If it does have to be replaced, you aren’t ruined, because it is in the budget.

You can at least get an idea about the wiring by looking at the panel. Copper or aluminum? Circuit rbreakers or fuses?

I’m no rehab expert but I thought I read somwhere where you could get electricity to a home where its been turned off by running a extension cord from a neighbor and plugging it into one of your outlets.

Also, thought I remember you could somehow use a generator to get power to the home.

Maybe some veterans could elaborate on the feasibility of this?

Umm… Never heard of those two ideas AAA. I have had the electricity turned on for a day to inspect that though…seems a bit easier than lugging around a generator, plus how would a generator help you inspect the electricity in a house?

Yeah not only would you risk blowing out all sorts of fuses at your neighbors house you might also cause a fire. Also, how many MALE/MALE extension cords have you seen? Lest we forget the fact that no person in their right mind would let you do that.

It’s the water that you can run a hose over from the neighbors and attach it to any faucet, not the electric.

The seller of the house is not going to be very happy if you fill his winterized pipes up with water in a house that has the heat off.

If you have a huge generator and you happen to be a licensed electrician, you can disconnect the entire house from the power grid and attach it to the generator. That would be a lot of work.

It’s very dangerous to connect a generator to house wiring because the electricity feeds both ways: into the house and back out to the power grid. You’d have to really know what you were doing or ypu could literally kill someone.

Quite honestly, if I ever caught a potential buyer disconnecting breakers and messing around with my plumbing on a house that I owned, I would ruin his day. In fact, I might ruin the rest of his week, and then he would be paying me to have a professional come out and check over and re-do whatever he had touched.

Try to have some manners when you are looking at real estate for sale.

Welcome to the forum AAA!!! :smile

Atleast I prefaced the statement with the fact that I’m no rehab expert. :biggrin

I still think i’ve read that somewhere, not to say that its right.

Thanks for the welcome. Read some good stuff on this website so far. Not alot of traffic though.