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Old 06-02-2010, 07:54 PM
 
167 posts, read 442,828 times
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I'm considering purchasing a foreclosure that has been winterized since last October. Suppose I were to make an offer, should I put in the contract to have the house de-winterized before inspection date? or it doesn't really matter anymore at this time of year? Sorry for my ignorance!

What else do I have to watch out for regarding a winterized foreclosure?

By the way, I'm in DC metro area.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,983 posts, read 6,027,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need_more_light View Post
I'm considering purchasing a foreclosure that has been winterized since last October. Suppose I were to make an offer, should I put in the contract to have the house de-winterized before inspection date? or it doesn't really matter anymore at this time of year? Sorry for my ignorance!

What else do I have to watch out for regarding a winterized foreclosure?

By the way, I'm in DC metro area.
The only thing that would have been ignorant is if you did not ask these questions and continued on with the purchase. This is a very good question and concerns!

Yes, have the home dewinterized before your inspection. I would also speak with your Agent about having a clause in the offer that your contingency period does not start until they home has been dewinterized. Many times I have had clients who fought with having the dewinterization performed only to make it down to their last day of the contingency period and the dewinterization is finally performed. You can guess what kind of crimp that puts on your time to have any tradespeople out for repair estimates.

When the home is dewinterized make sure that they have all utilities turned on in the home for 24 hours prior to your inspection. Here are reasons:
  1. Making sure the electric is on including all breakers activated. I was in one home where someone (the previous owner?) intentionally shorted wiring in the attic. In repo homes I will not turn on breakers for that very reason.
  2. If there were any busted pipes or slow leaks in water supply pipes then they most likely will show after 24 hours. Make sure that water is turned on to any main supply valve serving the home and water is available at fixtures.
  3. If you have gas the gas company will most likely perform a pressure test on the lines before activating it. They will also check and test pilot lights. If they find anything wrong they will red tag it and potentially not turn on the gas.
By having the utilities on for 24 hours before your inspection you might even find out about significant issues (if any present) before the Inspector even arrives. If they are serious enough that you don't want to deal with it you can cancel the inspection and move on to the next home.

The home has been winterized for the last 7 - 8 months.
  1. You could potentially run into bad seals and gaskets on plumbing fixtures, water heater, etc.
  2. On the water heater if the seals are going bad you might see leakage. Also the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve could potentially be leaking.
  3. If the house has been closed up and HVAC not run for that time make sure the Inspector is pulling HVAC supply and return grills looking for any growths or issues there.
  4. Since you have basements there (I'm from the land of basements myself) check the basement wall bottoms for signs of moisture penetration if they are bare walls. Many times this can show as staining (efflorescence, white deposits) arounbd the bottom of walls and working upwards. Not sure what your weather has been like but if you are entering the summer dry season you might not see actual water seepage signs.
Not sure of the homes particulars but this covers most of what you would see from a home winterized for that length of time.

If you have any other question then fire away. The only thing ignorant about a question is not asking it. There is no such thing as an ignorant question.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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I've seen frozen water in fixtures after an empty property had supposedly been winterized. I'd definitely want to see everything working properly before closing.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,068 posts, read 18,037,537 times
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They typically get the home de-winterized prior to inspections. Just have your agent coordinate it with the banks agent.
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