Bank Owned (Am I Missing Something)

By
Home Inspector with StepByStep Home Services LC

Scratch Head Clip Art There used to be a time when I knew what to expect when I inspected a bank owned home. A couple years ago when I was interviewing a potential client for a Metro Detroit Home Inspection  I would schedule extra time if they told me the home was bank owned. Often times these properties were in excessive disrepair so I knew it would take time to document the condition. Most of the time the buyer would tell me right off that they knew the home needed a good amount of work but they just want to be sure there are no "big problems" before they move forward with the purchase.That last part has not changed to this day. Buyers still want to know the property condition with particular interest in significant issues.

The difference I am seeing these days is most of the bank owned homes I am inspecting are in decent condition as far as homeowner maintenance. Once in a while I do find a home stripped of copper or seriously lacking proper maintenance, but for the most part they appear to have been decently maintained by the previous owner. Last year a Realtor told me banks are offering a cash incentive to sellers who turn in their key without damaging the home. I know it still happens but I'm not inspecting many homes with evidence of damage from malicious previous owners. 

So if an owner turns in their property without kicking in the walls etc. why won't the banks do their part in ensuring the property remains in livable condition? Turing off the utilities when there is a sump pump installed will more than likely result in a flooded basement. Frozen plumbing supply lines seems to be the norm these days because banks can't or won't have the home properly winterized. The end result is a home that was taken care of by the previous owner now needing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.

What am I missing here?

 

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Comments 17 New Comment

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Rainmaker
68,576
Vince Santos
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector
StepByStep Home Services LC

Gene - I hope thing do change.

January 24, 2010 08:55 AM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
Anonymous

You're missing cities like we have here that require owners to maintain their properties, and that includes banks and foreign owners. If such is not done, the city will do it and put a lien on the property for the cost of doing maintenance.

January 28, 2010 02:43 AM
Rainmaker
68,576
Vince Santos
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector
StepByStep Home Services LC

Russel - I wish that were the case here too.

January 28, 2010 07:05 AM
Rainmaker
111,484
Richard Acree
Home Inspections - Nashville TN
HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Vince,

This is a great point and we're not finished with this mess by a long shot.  HABITEC frequently inspects bank-owned and foreclosed homes in Nashville and Middle Tennessee and, despite specific language in our initial email to the Client and their agent, and their subsequent effort to get the bank to make sure all utilities are operational, we find some or all of the utilities shut down when we go out for the inspection.  Everyone loses.  Sometimes the inspection is cancelled.  Sometimes we do what we can and then we are called back later to check features using the shut down utilities (at additional costs to the buyer), and sometimes the Client just walks away from the deal in frustration.  And then the banks wonder why they cannot sell the home. 

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

March 31, 2010 11:20 AM
Rainmaker
111,484
Richard Acree
Home Inspections - Nashville TN
HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

Vince,

This is a great point and we're not finished with this mess by a long shot.  HABITEC frequently inspects bank-owned and foreclosed homes in Nashville and Middle Tennessee and, despite specific language in our initial email to the Client and their agent, and their subsequent effort to get the bank to make sure all utilities are operational, we find some or all of the utilities shut down when we go out for the inspection.  Everyone loses.  Sometimes the inspection is cancelled.  Sometimes we do what we can and then we are called back later to check features using the shut down utilities (at additional costs to the buyer), and sometimes the Client just walks away from the deal in frustration.  And then the banks wonder why they cannot sell the home. 

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

March 31, 2010 11:20 AM
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Rainmaker
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Vince Santos

Southeast Michigan Home Inspector
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