Winterized / Foreclosed Homes ” Risk vs Reward”

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to inspect several foreclosed properties and wanted to share some thoughts. Typically the properties have been abandoned.  The utilities are shut off and as in most cases, the house is “winterized”. This involves opening up  water systems and draining them to include hot water heaters and all plumbing fixtures. There is more to it, but you get the picture.  If done, this instantly requires some additional thoughts, planning and discussion.

This is what I want all to know:  Every “proper” home inspector follows a Standard of Practice (SOP) . These guidelines are utilized to guarantee a quality of performance and final product. Simply stated, inspect the following items every time to insure a complete evaluation. Don’t deviate. If so, your General Liability Insurance and Error & Emmisions coverage will always be intact.

These guidelines also state that inspectors should not inspect or more importantly should not activate activate any system that is not already operational.  By doing so, we risk property damage and more importantly we risk loss of insurance coverage from deviating from the required SOP.

It is always my concern to do whatever I can to assist in helping my customers “make a good decision” on purchasing any property.  Deviation creates great risk for me. The reward is a future with a minimum of respect for the trade from my customers and peers and for all to understand we want to help but also stay in business.

Your thoughts are welcomed.