Foreclosed home horror stories

In another thread about foreclosures somebody wrote about a foreclosed home where the tenants chopped a hole in the floor and then burned the debris - in the basement.
I’ve heard stories about disgruntled tenants, who are about to get kicked out, filling the toilet with cement, leaving angry pets behind to make mess, and turning the faucets on with the drains clogged to flood the house. I know after hearing stuff like this I wouldn’t go within 100 miles of a foreclosed home, especially if it’s being sold “as is.”
I’d like to hear from anyone who works in the real estate business, or anyone who’s had to go into foreclosed homes for whatever reason, about what’s some of the worst damage you’ve seen done by angry tenants who are bitter about being evicted.

This thread is really better suited for IMHO; I’ll move it for you.

Are people who trash a house after getting an eviction notice ever hit with criminal charges?

Seems like there would be some consequences for doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to a home…

We’re currently house-shopping.
We’ve seen one that was foreclosed upon and vacant. It was listed as a “handyman special”, but in a nice part of town. We asked our real estate what was meant by “handyman special” and she said “it could have holes in the walls”.

We decided to drive by and have a look in the windows.

The back door and front window were smashed in. Someone took a baseball bat and put LOTS of holes in the drywall and smashed out a few light fixtures.
Oddly enough the mirrors, sink fixtures, toilets, ceiling fans were left intact. I would think that if one were to vandalize a house, then why not do some damage that would be REALLY satisfying?!

I bought one. The worst damage was that the people had taken appliances that aren’t normally taken, as well as most of the closet shelving. It was the best of the lost that we looked at though.

The worst one that we actually went in had dog shit all over the floor and a solid sheet of rat shit in the garage. That place had all sorts of weird, half-started projects, like an outdoor kitchen that was only stuccoed columns.

We looked in windows of a few that had holes smashed in the walls - didn’t bother to go in those ones.

The people who bought the meth shack across the street broke out all the windows and scrawled obscenities all over the house. “Blow me, Wells Fargo”, etc. And a rather amusing caricature of Bart Simpson taking a crap. My neighborhood is awesome.

The worse I saw. They has started to do remodeling just before losing the house. No Kitchen and bathroom fixturres, appliances, or cabinets. Fell out of contract 3 time. When it went back on the market the last time listing required cash only offer. It did sell, but for less than first listing.

The house we settled on good condition. All the cieling lights and fans were removed. The furnace was remmoved in preperation of installing forced air heat.

IN all the houses that we looked at maintenance had not been done. They all will require cleaning. Some more than others. But I do not think we saw any that were trashed.

We did did ask about one house that looked good on paper. It turned out to be red tagged by the city our agents advice was run do not walk away. I was a meth lab and contaninated.

]Call me Johnny one-note…

When you see an ugly in a house - consider it as re-model stage one (demolition) done for you.
Busted windows? You wer going to install double-pane, right?
Floor covering destroyed/removed - this one is a no-brainer, right? What do you think a house looks like from the time the old covering is removed and the shiny new stuff is installed?
Appliances/cabinets gone? That is work done free (get the seller to do the clean-out of the old stuff, andyou’re set)
Even the water in the crawl space trick can be an advantage - you want the damned “popcorn” gone? I saw one where the water had caused it to sag so that it was connected to the structure only along the walls. If the drywall dries straight (and it did in this case) - saves whoever buys it (my disability limits the fixes I can do in reasonable time) gets the popcorn off the dining area ceiling for 30 minutes work.
The concreete in the drains and waste line is tolerable only if the lines are not cast in a concrete slab “foundation”. Did I mention that I DESPISE Slab-built boxes? Yeah, I do…
Dear enraged soon-to-be-former…:
Rip out the wallpaper!
Rip up the floor covering (If it was built before 1960, there may be real hardwood suffering under the crapped-out carpet)
If you want to be really kind - YOU take the 20 lb sledge hammer to the old, cast-in mortar, cast iron bath tub from 1920 (I paid about $200 for 45 minutes of the young man’s time reducing the tub, tiled walls and floors to rubble. That dude had muscles where I didn’t know muscles exisiter!)
Smash out the dry-rotted window panels, but leave the wood time iintact, 'K?
Just let me know what I’ll oew you for your time. I pay cash at end of day for that knid of work, AND get to knock off the price for getting it done free!

Yes, folks, Please turn your noses up at these - and pay me for laynig in paint, windows, and carpet.

See 1320 Tumbleweed Way, Sacramento, 95834 MLS 90004627
This is a filpper:
“Recently remodeled home with many custom upgrades: New roof, new int/exp pait, new doors & windows, laminate flooring. New cabinets thruout the home, new appliances, granite kitchen counter and bath vanity, tile flrs in kitchen and bath rms. A must see.”
Now listed at $169.9 Prior list at $96.5.
For $83K, I could hire out ALL the work, and still show w profit.
Am tracking that one and another filpper - not a dramatic

What the nasty people do are often stuff you’d have pay people to - you DO want new floors,
wall covering. See if builders in your area a still offerinf pre-finish tours - do you want the basic cabinets, or the “upgrade” (note basic = $90/box upgrade - 500/box. Tell the builder to leave it "rough-in’d - you’ll do you own cabinets for the $500 price per box you’d pay to get an “upgraded” box, you can filnd very nice cabinets - just not at the big-bow nightmares.
Mainly the tour get you into the “naked houses” in a sterilized from. Imagine the studs dirty, the floor concrete covered with residue of adhsives, the light switches with the box and wire, no switch or cover. THESE ARE NOT BIGGIES.
One 4/2 had removed the handle sets from the bed and bath rooms. Ebay - 6 privacy locksets run about $25 for the se of six. Since you will want to paint the doors, you would want to remove the six locksets, paint the door (in and out side), then replace the locksets. The theif saves you the tear-out, and you get new hardware for the price if installing it.
I’ll shut up now.

Side note: Just adding that it doesn’t have to be beat up by the outgoing people to be a serious dump. I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune last week about a group of residents in one neighborhood who were touring the long-foreclosed homes in their area, all bank-owned and not maintained. One example had ceiling tiles all caving in, a flood water mark about 2 feet up the walls, and ice built up in various places inside the house, including on some doorknobs. Broken windows and smashed drywall may look bad, but serious water damage, on the other hand, is really something to be concerned about.

Marcie and I spent two days touring foreclosed houses; most of them were trashed and some should have been torn down. We saw some where the previous owners had attempted some do it yourself “improvements.” All of these were listed as “not up to code,” nor would the mortgage holders sink any money into repairs. Nearly every house we looked at was missing overhead lights, ceiling fans, plumbing fixtures, etc., etc. We didn’t see even one that would be fit to live in while accomplishing repairs; the two days were a total waste of time except that Marcie learned what I already knew: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Well, not exactly damages, but a friend recently lost his house due to foreclosue (divorce) and the in the barn, anyone who had any junk that would cost a fortune to take to the dump or proper disposal was left there.

The biggest one was a couple of non-working car engines.

Not quite as bad as the others, but I heard about a foreclosed home where a pregnant bobcat got in and had kittens. So anyone wanting the place would have had to evict a load of bobcats, which would have been interesting.

Something like that happened to my aunt - she built a house on a fifty-acre bit of property left by my grandparents, and used grandpa’s old house (in bad repair) as a shed - one winter a family of racoons moved in, and took over the place; in the spring they had little racoons (kittens?). After that, no-one could go in without risk of attack, and she was too tender-hearted to evict them. It became the racoon’s house.

Last I checked the roof was still on. Once the roof goes, the rest will follow fast.

Yeah, a common brilliant move is for banks to cut off the heat/power to save money. Which has wonderful implications for the plumbing in any area that experiences winter.

We’ve got a vacant house immediately behind us. A developer bought the previous house for $570K, and tore most of it down to build a $1.6 mill spec home. When expanding the foundation, they clipped an unplatted drainage pipe, causing water to pour into the excavation. Their brilliant response was to simply backfill the excavation. Really has improved drainage for the entire neighborhood to have so much water pouring right into this house’s basement!

It was open for 2-3 years, during which all manner of critters - including at least one fox - set up house. One day we walked in after the unfinished wood floor had been laid, and the floors were covered with animal shit and piss.

Fast forward to this winter, and it finally went up for sheriff’s sale (no bids.) The day before the sale someone - whether the mortgagee or a disgruntled subcontractor, backed up a truck and hauled away cabinets, appliances, even the front door.

So far it has been 4.5 years, and I can’t imagine that shell being anything other than a teardown.

The punchline is, while all this has been goingon, our town has had no qualms about giving this same builder permits to start new projects in town - none of which have been completed. Gee - what a surprise!

They were talking about this very thing yesterday on the radio. Not only does it play havoc with the plumbing, it makes it impossible to have the house inspected, both by potential buyers and home inspectors.

It really is amazing, isn’t it, the number of vacant homes, townhomes, stores, etc. that are going up and staying vacant, isn’t it? The same thing is going on in the NW Suburbs - they just don’t seem to “get it”!

I don’t know how familiar you are with the area in and around Palatine and Arlington Heights, but we could spend an entire afternoon just looking at vacant new construction. Hell, we could limit it to townhomes and still spend the entire afternoon!

There is a foreclosure down the street from us.

The property is a 1752 farmhouse and could be stunning. The last owner bought it at auction in hopes of fixing it up. It currently does not have working heat or water systems or a kitchen. The place if fixed up nicely should be worth about 750,000 or 800,000 even in this market. The bank is hoping to get 250,000 from what our real estate agent told us. We were/are semi-interested, but we are afraid it is a total money pit.

We are in the market for a new place, but I doubt we want to get into this. As far as we know, things are left half finished and the place in not currently livable. Maybe it will only take $200,000 to make it perfect, but we aren’t brave enough to find out.

It is a total moneypit, and takes a lot of tolerance for living in a shithole for a pretty long time, to eventually get the payoff. My sister and brother-in-law bought a house dating back to the early 1870s because of the location alone (it’s in Coolidge Corner). It had been handed down in one family and last remodeled (with indoor plumbing installed) in the 70s. You can only imagine the state it’s in.

OTOH, they would never have been able to afford the neighbourhood without buying a fixer-upper and on the plus side, it’s huge and has its own carport (rare for the neighbourhood). They plan to hold on to it forever.

Incidentally, they bought in the summer and I think the contractors have YET to put the floors down. You literally have to rebuild those types of places from the subfloor up. My sister says they’re guesstimating it won’t be finished till the end of '09.

While looking for houses, the agent- a client of ours- took us around to areas he thought I’d like. One in particular is gated and on a lake- very pretty- and there just so happened to be a few foreclosures in there. Great!

Well, the one I really wanted to look at we couldn’t get into (the bank had changed the door code or some such, I don’t know), so we went to look at some others in there.

Good God.

This one house was massive, though it had a bit of a strange layout. The flooring (new tile) was nice, though. So, as I’m wandering the house, I’m beginning to notice two things: it has no appliances, cabinets, or fixtures and there is a lurking smell of pee. To the first thing: I’m not kidding- the bathrooms didn’t have tubs, light fixtures, sinks, toilets, or cabinets. Even the mirrors had been ripped off the walls! As far as the pee, I was sniffing around and couldn’t find the source- everything looked nice and clean, if only a little bare.

That is, until I got upstairs, into the master bedroom. The smell was overpowering, but I still didn’t see anything. Then I walked through the stripped master bath, into the walk in closet. Sweet merciful Christ! The walls were SPRAYED YELLOW. The carpet was yellow and crunchy. The only logical conclusion was that they stored their elephant, who has bladder issues, in said closet. Good god.

Oh, I did end up seeing that first house later- a foreclosure, but all brand new carpeting, tile, and in generally fabulous shape (save for some poor painting choices- seriously, who would sponge paint a master bath yellow and white?). And that’s where I live now! :slight_smile:

There’s an article in the current issue of the Reader’s Digest about this…neighbors are taking it upon themselves to try to tidy up the foreclosed homes. Some have been able to convince their HOAs to change the rules so they can go onto the properties without fear of being charged with trespassing. Some folks are even putting fish in pools to eat the mosquito larvae.