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Winterizing Foreclosed Homes for Banks

Updated on March 3, 2014

How to Winterize Foreclosures

Areas that are most vulnerable are the plumbing system. In the case of water leaks or loose wires, shutting off the main gas line, shutting off power to the electricity and making sure to repair pipes are just a few of the things that need to be considered when securing and maintaining a REO or distressed property.


It is a priority in the cold winter months to winterize a structure to eliminate the costly repairs of home damage. This can be done simply by turning off the utilities, draining all the pipes and adding anti-freeze. By disabling these features it prevents from having to fix and replace plumbing or electrical in the spring.

Many home inspectors are offering to do de-winterizing, re-winterizing, isolation of electrical circuits, and generator power as well. Many real estate investors who are wanting to buy a foreclosure will want to make sure they understand the vast needed repairs the home is going to need.

Re-winterization of HUD Homes

Home inspectors are being asked to re-winterize a foreclosure property after the inspection. Unless the home inspector is a licensed plumber many do not offer this type of service. It is putting many inspectors in a bind as to what to do.

The lenders do not want the utilities left on after the home inspection is finished. So they are requiring the inspector to cover the cost if not the buyer to have this done. It could just be an extra service for inspectors to start charging for.

winterizing issues for home inspectors
winterizing issues for home inspectors

Inspecting winterized properties

Due to many vacant homes in foreclosure or banked owned have the utilities turned off. So if a buyer wants to purchase the home at a discount or "as is".

The home inspector will have to check the stove, furnace and water heater to see if they are working properly. Finding any leaks can be a challenge in the winter when the temperature is at freezing.

They gas, water and utilities need to be on for the home inspector to check to see if they are in proper working order. Winterizing is an option for owners to get the home ready for months of non use.The goal is to keep the pipes from freezing due to the heat being turned off.

The water that is inside the pipes need to be drained out, then using anti-freeze to protect the entire plumbing system. Many foreclosures have to be de-winterized so the inspector can check all the areas that need repairs.

De-Winterizing Homes who will cover the cost?

Is the real estate agent asking the inspectors to do de-winterizations? apparently so but many home inspectors feel that the banks of the foreclosure should do it.

The reason this causes a controversy is because the one who originally did the winterizing, if they have done it improperly than the person who comes and de-winterizes the situation and then winterizes it back again could be cause for blame if something breaks or goes wrong for the home buyer.

Banked Owned Winterized Home Inspection

Buyers inspections are crucial for the final decision making process. Home inspectors are having to add a new service by offering de-winterization of foreclosures to be able to provide a buyers inspection.

Areas that usually get inspected are structural such as foundations, floor structure, wall structure, attics, ceiling roof structure, and Basements. Or the Exterior areas of the home that include the siding, trim, decks, balconies, stairway, porches, drainings and grading, driveways, walkways,windows,doors, roof gutters, skylights, chimneys.

Then there is the plumbing, water pipes, fixtures and faucets, drain, waste, and vent system, water heaters, gas pipe sump pumps. there is electrical for overhead wires, conductors, cables, grounding, circuit breakers or fuses, outlets, switches, lights,

Heating Systems during winterization will include furnaces, boilers, vent system. Garage doors, garage door openers as well as insulation and ventilation.

When temperatures begin to drop your home will need additional maintenance to prevent damage to the interior and exterior of the home. So if you live anywhere but Hawaii you will want to take some steps to winterize your home.

Winterizing Your Home

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  • profile image

    Will 

    8 years ago

    Here's some more great resources to check out

    Fieldservicetraining.com -Provides training and certification for preservation reps.

    MortgageFieldRep.com - Great social networking site for real estate professionals to network and build there business

    I like your blog

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