Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

Newhomeowner, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

A new homeowner just got the keys to his first home and found that the copper pipes had been stolen. What can he do?

Asked by Newhomeowner, Los Angeles, CA Sun Dec 18, 2011

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New Home Owner:

Calling the police and filing a police report, as well as calling your insurance are great suggestions. You might also want to get the name of the Seller's insurance company, as they most likely will be the responsible party. Having a copy of your home inspection report, which shows that there were copper pipes there on the date of the home inspection, will go a long way in getting your claim resolved quickly.

Times are a little crazy right now. It is a shame that someone needed the money badly enough to steal your copper pipes. Hope the insurance claim goes quickly and smoothly. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 18, 2011
Hey Newhomeowner,

I would file a police report and also contact your insurance company.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller WIlliams Holllywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 18, 2011
HBLA- Excellent advice and in linear order by Harold Sharpe. Follow that advice in the order given. Best wishes.

This probably occurred while your property was in escrow. Those "In Escrow" signs has been found as a welcome wagon for thieves. For them copper is the equivalent to gold.

You discovered all the copper piping was removed you are very fortunate that you did not also discover that all wiring was gone. Wiring also contains copper. The next thing could have been all kitchen built-ins and all bathroom facilities missing. It could have been worse as others have discovered. There are always blessings to be thankful for when bad things happen. Good luck. Not the best way to start a new year and most certainly removes the current joy you felt purchasing a new home. In the coming years this occurrence will bring on laughter. .... My best wishes for a beautifully intact new home very soon.

Harold - TU.

Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 2, 2012
1. call police
2. call insurance agent.
3. notify the seller.
4. ask seller for their insurance info as well.
5. call 3 plumbers for estimates in writing
6. submit info to all parties
7. sue the seller in small claims to motivate the sellers insurance if needed.
8. use all proof photos home inspector etc.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 20, 2011
If the copper was there when you did the walk through it's on you. If you financed your home you would have to have homeowners insurance in order to get a loan. As others have suggested you need to file a police report and then turn it over to your insurance company.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 20, 2011
The others have it right. There are really only two things you can do:

1. Call your insurance company - depending on the value it may not be worth filing a claim but you can run the numbers and determine that.
2. Call the police - the chances they will find the culprit are between slim and zero, but your insurance company may require it.

It's too bad that this is how you are starting out in your new home.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 19, 2011
Congrats on your new purchase...you said th opertive word new homeowner,if this had been found before the closing then it would had fell under the previous owner..now you will need to file a police report and contact your insurance company....sorry for your mishap..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 18, 2011
Depending on when it happened, it could be your insurance or the sellers. Getting the police involved would be a good idea.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 18, 2011
Wow Newhomeowner:

Sorry to hear that! You have many great answers below...now take action!

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 2, 2012
This is why they do a final walk-through. But that's water over the dam. For it to be the old owner's liability, you would have to prove it happened while he owned it, hard to prove without catching the thief. Nevertheless, try contacting the old owner, explain the situation, and maybe he will feel sorry for you and assist you even though he may not have a legal obligation to do so. Worth trying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 19, 2011
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