Friday’s Off Ramp: Every picture tells a story with foreclosures.

July 17, 2009

Everything But the Kitchen Sink…

It would be easy to mistake the picture above for a kitchen remodel that's in progress.  But what has happened to this kitchen couldn't be any further from a remodel.   This picture is the kitchen of a foreclosed property that I saw recently — it wasn't in San Carlos, but it was close enough.   It appears whoever owned this home before it was foreclosed decided to strip anything and everything of value out of the kitchen, possibly in hopes of scoring a little cash before they were evicted.   If you think this kitchen is bad, you can't imagine the horrors that I found in the other rooms of this home….  But I'll spare you the pictures of that.

A Parting Gift.

Sadly, what I saw in this particular home is becoming more commonplace as more homes are being repossessed.   Whether it's from misplaced anger or just desperation, homeowners are often leaving a path of wrath and destruction as they leave their home for the final time.  I've heard of motor oil being poured into the carpet, graffiti sprayed all over the interior of the home, holes punched in walls, and like above, the home being completely stripped like this one:

Or even worse…

Buyer Beware…

“Foreclosure” is synonymous with “bargains” for many home buyers.  Make no mistake, a huge percentage of the homes that were sold in the Bay Area so far this year were REO's, and shoppers got some really good deals.  But even if the foreclosed home you have your eye on hasn't been trashed like the one above, you still need to be extra diligent with your inspections before you buy one.   While outward abuse may not be an issue, deferred maintenance usually is.   This stands to reason, because if a person can't afford the mortgage payments, they certainly aren't going to spend any money on repairs.

So if you're shopping for a steal on a foreclosed property, I have two pieces of advice:

  1. Do your homework (inspections, research) even more diligently.
  2. Be ready for anything.    Just when you think you've seen it all, you'll see something else that will shock you.

Got a story on a foreclosure nightmare? Share it below in the comments…..


(The Friday Off Ramp series is just an occasional editorial on Fridays about stuff that happens in San Carlos.)


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