What I'm Seeing Now

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REO Market - Gone, Gone and Gone!

This is something I am finding often in the REO market - gone, gone, and gone!

This is a lonely scene.

I am seeing it more and more.

To the left is the discharge tube to the former dishwasher.

The (very dirty) tube remains, but the dishwasher does not.

IT IS GONE.

To the right is the cable to the former disposal.

The (wire nutted) cable remains, but the disposal does not.

IT IS GONE.

In the center is the valve to the former refrigerator ice maker.

The (very stuck and rusty) valve remains, but the fridge does not.

IT IS GONE.

This was a pretty bare kitchen.  In addition, often times, the toilets are gone, light fixtures are gone, the kitchen cabinets are gone, the carpeting is gone...  well, you name it, often times the house is stripped bare!

It is a sign of the times.

My recommendation:  sometimes what is left by the REO market is bare bones.  But that leaves a blank slate for the new buyer to work with!  It also makes for a different kind of home inspection, looking at what was left, instead of what is there!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 77 commentsJay Markanich • February 20 2012 01:41AM

Comments

My first thought was that these were going to have to be UPdated anyway so the cost of discarding the old ones has been eliminated.  

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Could have been Wallace!  That discharge tube from the dishwashwer looks nasty!  But if the old appliances weren't in good shape, why take them?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

People are so unhapppy with the banks - on a number of levels - that some sellers are more than happy to take with them thinks they feel they have added to the house.  That violates the term of their loan, but they simply don't care.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 6 years ago

Yes, that is a different type of inspection.  I suppose for those that were planning on gutting the kitchen anyway, it's actually saved them some money in tear out and haul away. 

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

I get it Jim.  I am always amused by those who do damage because their problems are the bank's fault.  Their damage, or taking things, costs the bank nothing.

Debbie - true, but what if the stuff taken was really good stuff?!

Not likely that it was...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Hey Jay, I don't think it always the previous owners taking the appliances.  Who is to say that the property maintenance company assigned to clean the place did not take the appliances?  I've seen it happen.  Best of success to you this year!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) over 6 years ago

Jay ...I went in one last year that the people had taken the outside and inside units to the heatpump!

Have a great day!

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) over 6 years ago

Jay: it's also possible that there was a break-in before the house was properly secured. Dishwashers, refrigerators and other portable appliances are not part of the fixtures as well. Desperate people do desperate things.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Hey Jay- that is the way I like it! I am into renovating homes and never saw an existing appliance I wanted to keep-saves me time and $ when its gone!

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) over 6 years ago

Jordon - no doubt you are correct!  This even happens in new construction!

Rob - seen it, and I have the T-shirt.  Honestly, I have seen houses stripped to the bone.  And damage done on top of that!

Anne - probably true too!

Marco - for sure that is a good feeling!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay come on now you know they are doing nothing other than penny pinching.  If they don't sell the home due to them taking short cuts that can be negotiated in the price.  Don't understand it but that is the way it is...

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 6 years ago

There may be a little penny pinching in there James, but for the most part I think it is spite.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay,

It has to be anger and spite. The couple of hundred dollars they walked away with certainly isn't going to make a difference in their life in the long term.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Human nature can be very ugly at times.

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) over 6 years ago

I have seen such homes and advice buyers to figure out the costs of buying these items if they buy the house.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

Rich - it won't make that much difference.  A second fridge is useful, but people are going to move in somewhere else and have to find a place for all this stuff!

Doug - I think people justify what they do, so in their minds this probably was just payback.  It can be ugly though, especially when they do damage.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Yes, it does make for a different and sometime more challenging inspection...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) over 6 years ago

Sure Gita.  And figure on buying the quality they would want to buy.

Michael - in a lot of ways it is more challenging because the locations the new appliances will go into are sometimes at risk.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

The appliances and more disappear, Owners take them as they exit and thieves help themselves when the property is vacant.  At least these are simple repairs/replacements - it's a different story when vandalism occurs.  I went through one home (high-end, luxury market) that the owners took sledge hammers to all of the bathrooms breaking up the whirlpool tubs, showers, etc...painting graffiti on walls and even took out all of the kitchen cabinets.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 6 years ago

These homes are perfect candidates for 203(k) financing.  Sadly, few consumers benefit from that opportunity and the properties go to investor cash buyers. 

BTW, the is and has always been a huge underground market for the appliances removed (somewhere along the way) from REO properties.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Many of our home buyers are using FHA 203(k) financing which allows them to include the cost of renovation in the first mortgage. And, the repairs can be completed before moving in. 

Have an outstanding week!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 6 years ago

While it may well not seem logical to be angry with the bank that was not paid....that is what happens...and the homeowner chooses to vent that anger by taking everything imaginable making the sale more difficult for the lender....can you say 203K ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

I've seen it too. The copper pipes from the baseboard heating, anything metal,anything that can be ripped out even for scrap value is gone!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 6 years ago
That is pretty normal around here. I tell buyers if the house has a kitchen count yourself lucky. Usually everything that can be taken usually is, including carpet.
Posted by Dale Samples, REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini (304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com ) over 6 years ago

Check Craigslist and you will likely find what it gone.  Entire kitchens for sale and then there is the scrap value.  Sad but 203K and cash buyers are the winners when it is all said and done.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Jay, I once showed an REO that we had a hard time getting in to see. All the door knobs were gone and everything else including the kitchen sink.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

It's the same thing in the animal kingdom. When a weak one falls, there is always a predator there to take advantage and pick the bones clean

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the post.  Great way to look at things for the new buyer, the glass is half full not half empty

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) over 6 years ago

Jay, you are on a roll my man!!

Posted by Karl Hess, on The Jersey Shore (Keller Williams Shore Properties) over 6 years ago

 

I found this old picture of you in your former job. 

 

 

Jimmy Johnson

Posted by Erv Fleishman, Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates (Realty Associates) over 6 years ago

Lisa - I did an inspection on a house where the damage was estimated at $150K!  And I understood the bank was going after them.

Lenn - and you know where the stores are to get "cheap" appliances - one is in Chantilly and the other Manassas.

Thanks Roy.  I don't know a thing about that!  But I'm sure my clients' realtors do.

S&D - so I hear!  The bank isn't losing anything anyway.  They have origination "fees," and insurance!

Donald - you are right about the copper, but that is the last thing taken because it requires so much time to remove.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Dale - that is true.  I have seen many homes without carpeting!

Cindy - and they show up in basement "apartments," for rent.

Mike - heard the stories!  It is amazing, but this may be what we have for a while.

Ed - a great analogy!  Predation is all around us!

Doris - but I can tell you that some of the houses I see aren't half full!      ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Thanks Karl.  I'll take a rock with that roll.

Or butter and jam...

Gee, Erv, I've never heard that!  Years ago I said to my wife that if there was ever a Jimmy Johnson look-alike contest, I was there!  She said, "Who?"

There you go...

We have been in restaurants and she has asked me why everyone was turning to look at me.  I say, "Well, isn't it obvious?"  That gets me the look.  You know the one.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Some friends are buying one where they even took the kitchen sink....

Posted by 1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 6 years ago

Actually Jim, I love these scenes. It allows me as a real estate investor, to acquire properties that others walk away from.

Everything becomes an opportunity is you look at it correctly.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

Or maybe the people who once owned the home could not afford to buy ones for their new residence and were forced to take the old ones, or they had to sell them to make money to move. Often when people go into foreclosure it is not strategic and these are people who are down on their luck and grasping for anything to try and get through this tough time. It is surprising what people do when they are forced into survival mode.

Posted by Ciara Brennan (Mass Homes Realty) over 6 years ago

Jay taking the appliances is only the start, i have seen teh whole kitchen gone including the cabinets, cement in the toilet and rocks and sand in the tub. It only gets worse....

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 6 years ago

I have seen many things gone in the home either the previous owner took it or thieves in the night. They are stealing ACs off the roofs in middle of the night.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 6 years ago

Yes all gone an more items also, sinks, granite counter tops, bathroom mirrors it leave the home inspections with a lot of boxes marked

Posted by Nathan Rufty - Home Loans at 909-503-5600, Mortgage Professional / Home Loans / Direct Lender (Mountain West Financial, Inc) over 6 years ago

Here all those appliances (except the cabinets, toilets and carpets) are normally the property of the home owner and do not belong to the bank. So unless the new owner elects to buy them, it is normal not to see them in a vacant house.

If they are left behind it is an indication of their value, worthless.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 6 years ago

We have been seeing that down here as well.......thankfully, we are seeing fewer REOs this year!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi Jay. These properties are valuable for certain buyers as we are already aware, investors, and those who choose a 203(k) financing. I remember some years back when the market crashed.  Homes I saw were completed gutted, anything that could of been taken was taken, including the walls, the floors...man it was a mess, and for me I never saw anything like it.  I don't run into too much properties like that now, but I'm sure you still do huh?

Posted by Cheryl Thomson, REALTOR, U.S Army-Veteran, Real Estate in Northern Virginia (Jobin Realty (703.216.5635) cheryltee47@gmail.com) over 6 years ago

In Manhattan I haven't come across these types of properties that are stripped bare. If stripped bare I would think that the buyer's look to create their own vision rather than move into someone else's would see it as a plus not a problem.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I have been in a completely stripped home, looked really weird

Posted by Jack O'Neal (Conway Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Jay,

Foreclosures are a bad scene for the outgoing family. I don't understand the anger that causes such stripping to occur. I guess the anger part I might understand, it's the lack of personal control that mystifies me......

For the inspector, at least concealed damage is kept to a minimum. No holes in the wall behind sofas (no sofa)... no missing junction boxes behind cabinets (no cabinets)... no A/C cooling or air flow test (no A/C unit anymore).

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 6 years ago

Jay, I'm seeing the same.  The first time I had an REO where the food disposal was gone shocked me.  Now, it's the food dispoal, refrigerator, stove, hood, microwave and facets.  I guess it all depends on when they were removed, but I would imagine a few of these would be considered thefts by the former owner.  

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago

Another reason for banks to approve short sales instead of turning them down.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) over 6 years ago

Oh, man, Dave, you beat me to the punchline. For every stripped REO out there, the short sales look 10 times better, though. A very good reason to buy a short sale over an REO.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Usually here the fridge is gone - maybe the stove, not much else.  I don't blame the homeowner at all - the banks have screwed so many people they need to feel some kind of control. Sad situation we are all still in.

 

Posted by Jo Olson, HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County (HOMEFRONT Realty) over 6 years ago

Not everything that glitters is gold...REO's, short sales, steals and deals need to be really assessed by a professional set of Real Estate centered eyes....If not...well get ready to travel South quickly. Not wise on a purchase of this size either..good one

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Gotta love the REO market and all of the "irrational exhuberance" that comes with it.

Great pics too.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

Jay, I think you're right - having a blank slate is often better in REOs than what was there in the first place.  It's too bad the original owners may have had to salvage their old appliances, whether to move with them or sell them for what they could get.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 6 years ago

I've read news reports of people who strip foreclosed homes in order to get a little money for themselves.  I've heard that sometimes the banks will go after those folks to recover the cost of what was removed but I don't know how successful that would be.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Remember that old saying ... you can't take it with you? Well, it turns out you can. Sigh.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 6 years ago

Jay, I hate those saddle vavles. They will either leak or get stuck open.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 6 years ago

Jay -- hopefully the prices on the houses have been significantly lowered when such things have been removed (as I have seen cases where that is not the case).

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 6 years ago

I like the idea of thinking of it as a blank canvas! Great way to turn around a bad situation.

Posted by Lang Premier Properties, Metro Detroit Real Estate Group (Lang Premier Properties) over 6 years ago

This kind of thing is being seen everywhere! There are many frustrated sellers out there. 

Posted by Kimberley Rosenstein, Superior Service (HomeSmart) over 6 years ago

Jay~I have to say that at the end you put your own positive twist on this very sad subject. And that's so like you to do!

Congrats on the star, friend.

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 6 years ago

We deal with a lot of HUD houses and they are almost always stripped.

Posted by Chris Lewis, I want to SELL your home, not LIST it! (Gracious Living Realty) over 6 years ago

Jay

Yeah, this is pretty commong. Some places are really stripped down, which can be OK if you are planning to renovate but a bit costly if you want to move in. It's not uncommon to see ALL the light fixtures gone, sinks, sometimes a toilet, even the AC. I always wonder whether it was the owners or someone else.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) over 6 years ago

Well it does make the inspection slightly easier. You don't have to note the appliances :)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

Judi - yes, I have seen people buy those houses too!

That, Joe, is what makes the capitalist world go around!

That might be the reason Ciara.  Unknown!  I see this a whole lot!

Scott - yep, and light fixtures, carpeting, toilets, etc.  I have seen bare, bare, bare houses.

Harry - theivery will never end.  There are predators everywhere and that is very ugly around here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Nathan - I have never seen the marked boxes, but the rest of what you describe yes!

By the standards here, Robert, that is a very unusual world!

Barbara-Jo - I have a banker friend who says there is a huge inventory ready to dump on the market, and then more after that!

Cheryl - not every day, but a couple of times every week, for sure.

Morgan - the apartment half full, not half empty?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jack - they do!  And cry out for stuff! 

Brad - I have done inspections where the people did intentional damage, some of which was hidden so they could not be blamed.  That is a tough inspection!

I think so too Mike, but the bank cannot prove who took it!

Good point of view Dave.  I am sure doing a lot of those too!

Short sales are a market around here Elizabeth, but there are so many machinations before they get to the sales point!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jo - if that is the usual, it is okay!  Around here none of this is usual.

Richie - there are few glitters on these kinds of properties.  And I am seeing it more and more.

Thanks Anthony.  There is some exuberance, for sure!

Brian - I think they turn them over, for a few dollars, to stores here that sell "scratch and dent" stuff on the cheap.

Bryan - once a plugged kitchen sink, intentionally, with the water left running, did a couple hundred Ks of damage and the bank went after them.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Cynthia - for a while anyway!  There comes a time when we leave completely naked!

They are a mess Robert.  This one was living up to its reputation!

Steven - I assume, but don't get so much into the prices of houses.  I just know my fee.

Benjamin - that is a great way to look at it.

Kim - that is unfortunately true, with many yet waiting in the wings.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Thanks Gayle.  Got to have a point of view that is better than the photo!

Chris - I imagine that is a pretty depressing market to deal with.

Jeff - the damage and stripping varies, but there is a trend around here, for sure.

Jim - just the lack o' this and the lack o' that!  And at Halloween the Jack O' Lantern...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

That's all I've ever seen. I didn't even know you can get an REO in better shape than that. I just thought it was the nature of distressed properties.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

Jill - actually I have inspected some gems!  But they are few and far between.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Fortuantly I haven't run across this in a while.  They are perfect houses for 203k loans but buyers have a hard time einvisioning the final product and never seem to pull the trigger on the 203k.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 6 years ago

Don't know what you just said Justin, but thanks!     ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

So more and more people are stripping kitchens et al before they move out? We looked at an investment property once where this was the case, the former owners took doors, cabinets, even the wood flooring!

Posted by Kevin A. Guttman Author, Reverse Mortgages, 877-251-9709 (NMLS#384936) over 6 years ago

Kevin - I think it is more often than it was a few years ago.  And I hear there is a huge inventory of foreclosures about to hit the market.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay -- I bet many days you feel as if you are more of a forensic scientist than a home inspector.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Jay, welcome to my world.  As an HI that does most of his inspections for investors I see this sort of thing almost once a day.  For a while I was surprized when any of the appliances were still there.

 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 6 years ago

Michael - that is a part of the fun of the job!

Jack - in this kind of home and circumstance I feel very comfortable in this world!  Wouldn't live anywhere else.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

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