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Problems w/previous property owner

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    #41
    Now that this has turned into a Previous Owner Ghost Story, I humbly submit:

    When DH & I bought our place, the RE agent for the seller gave us the tour.
    That included frozen pipes in the basement, so the hot water radiator system had flooded & created a skating rink on the concrete.
    While we were viewing the 2nd floor (2-flat rental unit) a guy showed up & started talking smack about the building owner. Complaining that "he" (owner) had not bought oil for the furnace & so the pipes burst.
    I figured he was a disgruntled tenant - having no heat in December could do that.
    When we left, RE agent told us that guy was the seller

    Maybe that should have tipped us off that this was not going to be a standard sale.

    Closing was attended by seller's mortgage holder. Turned out he had not made a payment for 18mos & was 1 step from foreclosure.
    Also present was an attorney for seller's wife.
    Who was divorcing him & had moved to Puerto Rico. Lawyer was there to sign for her, as her name was on the title.
    Another guest at the party was a representative of some place seller owed money.
    Everyone wanted to make sure they got their check at closing.
    This being my first purchase of real estate, I had no idea this was not a normal closing.

    Once finalized, we moved into the 2nd floor.
    Spent a week or so replacing the pipe fittings that had broken & replacing cracked radiators.
    Converted the oil-fired furnace to gas.
    We agreed to give seller 30 days to move out, so he was on the1st floor.
    I was washing dishes one night when he casually knocked on the door to let me know my dishwater was coming out of his kitchen sink. TG, pipes just needed rodding.
    Every night, for those 30 days, a cab would arrive late at night & he'd fill it with boxes.
    Final cabload included him & his GSD.

    When he was gone, we cleaned out what he'd left behind.
    Including a shotgun & handgun. Shotgun was turned over to police, plumber took the handgun as part payment for work done.





    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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      #42
      In Colorado we used title companies for closing. The buyer for my property was caught in traffic, so my real estate agent, and the title officer were talking about their strangest closings.

      The longest closing was for a multi-million dollar property, the seller was on a yacht in the Caribbean, and the buyer had a representative there doing their part of the closing. This was a long time ago (early 1990's) so the seller had a notary sitting next to them on the yacht, and everything was faxed back and forth. Closing took hours to complete, but finally finished.

      My realtor's strangest was a client was selling her home, and buying a lovely new one, in the perfect location and had everything she wanted in a home. The seller had to close on the house she was selling to buy the new house. The night before the closing, the seller called the agent crying about selling her house (she said before that she never liked the house, it was never what she wanted), and saying she wanted to cancel the sale. The agent explained to her that she was under contract, and couldn't buy the new one without selling the old one, and the buyers would probably sue her over the failed sale. Plus, she was supposed to close on the new one the same day, and that seller would at least keep her deposits, and probably charge her for all of their expenses, plus the title company. My agent's client showed up late to the first closing, cried through it, and signed everything through. Then completed the closing for the house she was buying. My agent never found out why the woman was so upset, but she moved into the new one, and claimed she was happy she moved.

      When my house was on the market, my agent had another house, and the seller had a bunch of cats. He had shown the house to a lot of people, but no one was interested after they smelled the cats, and saw the condition of the place. Then at my closing, he said he sold the house. Another person with a bunch of cats loved the house, and said it was perfect for the cats. I guess there's a buyer out there for every house.

      Then my friend were house shopping in Colorado Springs, and looked at a house that looked lovely from the outside, was a great price, and in the right location. They walked up to the front door, with their realtor, and she opened the front door. The stench of animal waste, and just plain filth hit them, and they backed off, then figured out which one had to close the door, and they walked away. The home owner had a lot of animals, and was a hoarder, and last I heard it was still on the market for years after this. My friends bought a house near the smelly house, and said it was always for sale, from different realty agencies, and always with the price as though it was clean inside.
      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

      Comment


        #43
        OP doesn't owe the old owner even a day's notice to get the stuff out. Unless something odd was written into the contract, anything left on the property now belongs to the OP. If something odd were in the contract, I would think OP would have mentioned it.

        A seller represented by a realtor will have been advised (pressured) to clean up and move extras out even before listing. But there are plenty of less-formal sales where the first thing the buyer will need to do after closing (right after changing ALL locks) is hire a hauler to get rid of the stuff left behind. Same thing with tenants leaving a rented property. First part of clean-up is getting rid of the junk they leave behind, although it should be possible to deduct that from their deposit return.

        A really nice buyer might ask the seller where to drop it. But it isn't necessary. The right hauler will make it disappear.

        Or, if the buyer wants to sell some or all of it, they can do that as well.

        If a buyer is willing to work with a seller to let the seller get more stuff out after the sale has closed, do put a *short* *firm* date. Make it clear the hauler is coming the next day to remove anything still left. And then follow through with the hauler. The buyer does not have to be held hostage to the seller's disorganization.

        It can be rather amazing what people leave behind. Valuable stuff, nice family photos, clothing in good condition. A full-sized upright piano. I suspect that some people think only in the moment. If something isn't needed immediately, they don't try to save it. Sentimental stuff like framed photos doesn't seem to get their attention.

        Always, always change every lock as soon as you have possession. There is no knowing who has a key to the place. Sometimes locks haven't been changed in a couple of owners, and prior owners shared keys with friends, family, workers, who knows. Some of those people may not know that the old owner has moved. As was mentioned by another poster, these days you can do it yourself and use self-re-keyable locks. Doesn't matter what it costs, it's part of moving and being secure in a new home.

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          #44
          Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
          Always, always change every lock as soon as you have possession.
          also clear the memory of any garage door opener or gate system (and change the locks on the gate system) then reprogram in the transmitters you have (assuming you have rolling code transmitters, if old style dip switch change the settings)

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            #45
            A former owner of our place (several owners back) kept coming by for a "visit" a couple times a year and to see what we were doing to the farm, which she did not agree on. I must admit we were so flabbergasted by this that we weren't firm enough to stop it the first time it happened. Finally one year when I wasn't present my wife had enough when the lady brought a large group and they all stood at our paddock fencing, remarking that horses were dumber than chickens and then they all wanted to come into the house to use the bathroom.

            They were firmly shown the exit and told not to return. It was amazing how offended they were.

            Comment


              #46
              Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
              It can be rather amazing what people leave behind.
              Or take with them...

              Former BO took e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g that wasn't nailed down and even some things that were. The place looked like the morning after the "Grinch" visited, including no light bulbs.

              There was a cheap clock that had stopped running years ago (from the accumulated dust) so I cleaned it and put batteries in. Yup, they took the clock.

              "Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons"

              Comment


                #47
                A friend bought a foreclosure house about 10 years ago. They only brought an inspector in after closing, since they were buying 'as is', and at the greatly reduced price knew that anything they had to fix was their problem. They had to get the electricity, and other utilities turned on the day of closing, but when they went in the house (while the locksmith was changing out the bank locks) it was still dark. The ceiling fans had all been removed by the previous owner (the wife still lived in town, with the new guy, so it was assumed she did this), and any other light had the bulbs removed. Also, when they turned the pool, and hot tub on, the inspector noted that the pool and spa needed a major servicing, since some slimey crud came out of the spa jets, and the pool needed to be shocked, and the automatic cleaner (the underwater roomba type thing) had to be replaced, since the previous owner took that too. I guess the new owners were lucky that nothing else was taken, and it only cost a couple of hours of the electrician's time to replace the ceiling fans, and the owner replaced all of the light bulbs.

                I've seen other foreclosures where every cabinet, appliance, and even flooring was removed and resold before the foreclosure happened, or since it's so long between notification, and the actual foreclosure, the soon-to-be homeless owners took their time stripping the house, and selling everything. I've even heard of people being evicted, leaving a window unlocked, and coming back and squatting in the house, or vandalizing it. Or they leave, and the doors are left wide open so others can steal everything. Then some vandalize with spray painting inside the house everywhere, leaving garbage everywhere, pouring concrete down the drains, and it has to be jack hammered out, or the drains replaced. Or block the drains, and leave the water running, and flood the house.

                A friend was buying a house, and it was an estate sale, being sold by the siblings of the owner. They under priced it, apparently hoping for a bidding war, and only accepted offers on a certain date. (the house appraised at over $125k, but was on the real estate sites for $115k). The appointed day arrived, and there was only one bid, from my friend. She offered less than the listing price, and with sellers paying her closing costs. Since there was only one bid, the sellers accepted all of the terms, and they were not happy about the price. Minus the closing costs, commissions, the sellers probably only had $100k to split. At the closing table the one sister leaned across the table at the end of closing, and said "I hope you get to the utility office before they close, because I told them to turn the utilities off today". My friend and her realtor sped to the utility office, and made it barely in time, to do the deposits, and put the utilities in the buyer's name, and stop the turn off. It was the last day the office would be open until the next week. That explained why the sellers demanded the closing on that afternoon, at a certain time too. It was just for spite.

                The rental house across the street from where I used to live was full of bizarre paint jobs, that took many coats of Kilz primer, and paint to cover, ruined appliances, and the house was full of stuff. The garage double door went up, and it was a wall of boxes entirely filling the garage. The man who was cleaning it out, and repainting inside and out, put out trash all along the front yard for the grapple garbage truck for weeks to get rid of everything. After he cleared it out, I gave him a couple of the bug bombs, so he could set one off in the attic, and the main house to try to kill some of the bugs off, before the exterminators could come in and do a major clear out. If I would have known it was a rental, and who the owners were, I would have told them the house was being destroyed, but I didn't know. That's why I suggest the anyone who is renting a house out, leave their contact information with the neighbors, especially the one in every neighborhood that knows everything that's going on. One phone call could have prevented a lot of nasty surprises for the owner, because the property managers were useless.
                Last edited by JanM; Sep. 4, 2020, 06:55 PM.
                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                  #48
                  I could write a novel about the shitshow that our farm was during our contract period and after purchase. Maybe I'll blog about it. Long story short, we had to close after 2 blizzards hit Virginia (February 2010, for those who remember THAT winter), and ended up taking 4,000lbs of trash off the property. Much of that we found after the snow melted because there was a long closing period in which the former owner trashed the place. She went so far as to take the mats out of the stalls, without cleaning the stalls, so there were huge piles of shit laying around.

                  After we closed and started the repairs, so many neighbors came out of the woodwork to welcome us to the neighborhood and express their relief that she was finally gone. Apparently 13 horses, several steer calves, 2 pigs, and a multitude of small animals was a little too much for the 10 acres we bought.
                  Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

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                    #49
                    She went so far as to take the mats out of the stalls
                    unless a fixed to the structure the mats would be considered furniture and not a part of the real-estate unless included in the sale by the seller

                    Comment


                      #50
                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                      unless a fixed to the structure the mats would be considered furniture and not a part of the real-estate unless included in the sale by the seller
                      It's less that she took the mats. That's fine. Its that she literally simply pulled them out from under giant piles of shit, and left the shit. And took her dirty mats. Ew. It was so gross.
                      Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                      Comment


                        #51
                        Trashing a foreclosure or eviction property is vandalism/theft. If it's severe enough, it may be proscecutable.

                        With a foreclosure, the new owner (which is often the mortgage lender) can file a claim with the homeowner's own insurance company, since that is the insurance that was in effect at the time of the loss. The insurance company typically then goes after the homeowner for the costs. That's right, the homeowner who was foreclosed on can end up paying for any damage/loss they caused through their own insurance company.

                        I once explained to a young and foolish evictee who thought it would be ballsy to just keep the stuff he disconnected and stole from the property that he could not afford another arrest and court record to add to what he already had from his high school years. Prospective - and current - employers (and landlords) may be forgiving of youthful indiscretions that aren't repeated as a mature adult. But one more fresh record, and the silly idiot could lose his job and have a very hard time finding another one. And bring down other life issues as well. The stuff magically turned up again a day or two later.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Originally posted by clanter View Post

                          unless a fixed to the structure the mats would be considered furniture and not a part of the real-estate unless included in the sale by the seller
                          I had some mats that were glued to the barn floor removed before we got moved in. Others were left. It was odd.
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                          Comment


                            #53
                            The previous owners of my property died and so it was sold by their three children as an estate. They didn't leave anything behind except an old car that I originally tried to sell, but eventually wound up paying to have hauled off. And their mom's ghost. She passed away in the house (dad had died years previous in the hospital), and every once in a great while I'll smell cigarette smoke. Neither DH or I smoke anything, but she was a heavy cigarette smoker. I figure that's her just passing through the rooms, checking up on things.

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                              #54
                              It took us almost three months to close on our farm. The sellers were out of state and hadn't seen the property in years. The renter had torn the entire kitchen out and had a dozen other half finished projects. We still joke that was the he got a divorce! The seller's agent drove by the farm daily on her way to work but was incredibly difficult when we needed doors unlocked for inspections. She hadn't even gone into the basement, which had 6 inches of water!

                              We would resubmit modifications in 30 minutes and then she wouldn't even send them to the sellers for a day or two.

                              We wrote a washer and dryer that were sitting on the porch into the contract, they agreed, then someone stole them. We made them pay for that.

                              They refused to put in a sump pump to remove the water, and to fix the septic, both issues that would have prevented me from getting a loan.

                              I got the worst lender ever.

                              Finally, they fixed the sump pump and the septic seeing how I was the only person who'd made an offer that had the credit to back it up and we closed 2 days before the lease on my apartment ended so we moved in and slept on a mattress on the floor.

                              After that everything broke one by one for the first year.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                                #55
                                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                ........
                                After that everything broke one by one for the first year.
                                That's awful! I hope that house turned out to be the best ever for you, after that first year!

                                While we are anecdoting ... it does seem that right after someone new moves in, houses tend to have lots of things going wrong. That first couple of weeks, sometimes the first couple of months, it is one thing after another. My theory is that the previous resident just stopped noticing things. Or else they were close enough to moving that they didn't want the trouble of doing anything about little problems. The new residents, on the other hand, are noticing everything precisely because it is new to them.

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by PamnReba View Post
                                  The previous owners of my property died and so it was sold by their three children as an estate. They didn't leave anything behind except an old car that I originally tried to sell, but eventually wound up paying to have hauled off. And their mom's ghost. She passed away in the house (dad had died years previous in the hospital), and every once in a great while I'll smell cigarette smoke. Neither DH or I smoke anything, but she was a heavy cigarette smoker. I figure that's her just passing through the rooms, checking up on things.
                                  It’s just so hard for smokers to quit.
                                  “It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. ... As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.” Professor Allan Lichtman

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post

                                    It’s just so hard for smokers to quit.

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      Originally posted by MoonWitch View Post

                                      Or take with them...

                                      Former BO took e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g that wasn't nailed down and even some things that were. The place looked like the morning after the "Grinch" visited, including no light bulbs.

                                      There was a cheap clock that had stopped running years ago (from the accumulated dust) so I cleaned it and put batteries in. Yup, they took the clock.
                                      The former tenant (renter) of our farm took all the things.
                                      We found out from the neighbors that she was a hoarder moonlighting as a rescue and horse whisperer. She hoodwinked someone into buying this property so she could rent it from them. She had some 50+ horses here at one point supposedly, on a 20-acre farm. Not a blade of grass in sight. Owners finally caught wind of her scam and kicked her out. She’s supposedly not allowed to own horses in at least one county due to neglect and hoarding. When she left, she took all 14 pasture gates (among other things).

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                        The former tenant (renter) of our farm took all the things.
                                        We found out from the neighbors that she was a hoarder moonlighting as a rescue and horse whisperer. She hoodwinked someone into buying this property so she could rent it from them. She had some 50+ horses here at one point supposedly, on a 20-acre farm. Not a blade of grass in sight. Owners finally caught wind of her scam and kicked her out. She’s supposedly not allowed to own horses in at least one county due to neglect and hoarding. When she left, she took all 14 pasture gates (among other things).
                                        This stripping of a property always amazes me simply for logistical reasons. Most people leave so much behind, the next resident has to have it hauled away. When I've moved it's all I can do to get just my stuff out of there. How do people have the *time* and the *room on transport* to take things like the hedges and the light fixtures and the pasture gates? They are much better organized than I am!

                                        Comment


                                          #60
                                          Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                          When she left, she took all 14 pasture gates (among other things).
                                          I am pretty sure I remember the thread about the taking of the pasture gates.... still amazed that some one had the nerve to do that... Didn't they have to bring back the gates but they brought different gates?

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