Home Buying in 85254>Question Details

Yamin, Other/Just Looking in Scottsdale, AZ

How to inspect the bank own property without water and electricity?

Asked by Yamin, Scottsdale, AZ Mon May 18, 2009

I am buying the bank own property. The electricity and water have been turn off. I am wondering that how to inspect the property without water and electricity

Help the community by answering this question:


Yes, get the utilities turned on!

However, an inspection without the utilities is better than no inspection at all. An experienced inspector will still be able to visually inspect the items affected by the utilities, which is very limited. They can inspect the roof, attic & insulation, windows, doors, structure, exterior, and much more without the utilities and with no limitations. Hopefully the inspector has a battery operated flashlight.

I would not recommend going through with the deal without a full inspection with utilities on, but when it is not possible to do so, please don't go through with the deal without any inspection at all!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2009
"GOOD LUCK" if your utilities are not on then your sunk. All your inspector can really do without the electric and water on is poke his head in take a look around and be done with it.

In most cases the seller is required to have these on for inspections. ( Some banks require buyer to turn on Gas) I sell REO's and we turn them on as soon as it goes under contract.

Go to my site or call me with any other Real Estate related issues
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
We don't have as many bank owned here - some have utilties and some don't so walking around with our cell phones open for light is not unusual. It seems that Yamin has already gotten past the stage of having the bank or listing agent keep/turn the utilities on. Wonder if he will update us??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 19, 2009
Lori, In response to your question I think Laaura answered it pretty well. We put the utilities on in our name and get reimbursed after closing. We do this for all of our bank owned properties. The utilities are required for appraisals as well as inspections plus it just makes it easier to show.
It is a nightmare trying to get these things turned on if you are representing a buyer in escrow, and it is always a challenge to get the listing agents on some of these to turn them on. But I have yet to see a contract that called for the buyer to turn them on at their expense. Seems way to risky in my opinion.

Interesting that the same banks would do it differently across the country?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
The Arizona Contract calls for all utilities to be on during the inspection period and final walk through at the responsibility of the seller. Now when the bank submitts their addendums it may change that term so investigate by reading your bank addendum. Home inspections are always recommended and in order to complete one your utilities should be on. The listing agents that I have dealt with have the utilities on in their names (the file for reimbursement from the bank at closing) and it allows buyer to inspect. Anyone not handling it this way is trying to circumvent liability or costs. As always it is buyer beware so if you have to turn them on the utility company will put in your name for "inspection" which is typiclaly 3 days minimum. Yes, more work but buying a home without thorough inspections could be much more costly and more work.
Good luck. In addition, your buyers agent representing you should guide you through this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
Micki, when you call to have the utilities turn, who pays it? Is the bank giving you their billing information?The utility companies here will not turn them on without payment and deposit and even the HUD guidelines put the onus on the buyers. I would not personally call and order utilities and pay a deposit for a client. I love my clients, but that is just too much responsibility.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
I guess our asset managers are different or maybe it's just our team, but as listing agents WE turn the utilities on. They have to be on for the inspections and appraisal and so far I have NEVER had a bank charge this to my buyer clients. Very interesting....

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
The majority of the major problems found in an inspection are directly related to the electricity and water. Without them on the inspection has very little value. As others have suggested, your realtor should be able to help you get them turned on for a couple days. It is also very helpfull to double check by going to the property and turning on a hose bib and ringing the doorbell to make sure they are on. Relying on someone else's word that they are turned on usually results in the inspector having to make two trips when he could have been doing another inspection. This has happened to me several times.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009

In many cases the lister and lender are requiring buyer to turn on to inspect. It can be requested in the contract, however they do not always activate them! I highly suggest to have them on for your peace of mind,It is well worth it!

Feel free to contact me if you would like any further assistance!

Lucinda Tkach
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009

Your buyers Realtor that represented you should be able to assist you with this.

All The Best!

Stew Keene
Signature Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
This is a common problem right now. You will definitely want to arrange to have the utilities turned on at the property so you can have a thourough inspection performed. This means that you will have to contact the utility companies and have them activated in your name for the short time it will take to do inspections. Be prepared to pay a possible deposit and/or hook up fees. It sounds .ike a big pain to have to go through all this trouble, but you want a good inspection. I hope this helps. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
It is often the buyers responsibility (and will be spelled out in your contract) to pay for the utilities to be turned on so you can inspect the property. You will have to turn them on and typically pay an upfront fee to 'winterize' them again right after the inspection as the bank may not allow them to be left on. If you buy the home, you should be able to transfer deposits.

Remember, if there is a gas supply and it has been turned off for over a few months, you may have to have a city inspector come and clear the home for utilities prior to them being turned on . When you call the gas company, ask how long it's been and if there is a mandatory inspection. What you DON'T want is to schedule the utilties to be turned on, schedule and pay for your home inspection then find out that there is a city inspection required first. They may be able to fit you in or it may take over a week.. You should have probably called and found this out first so you would know to allot yourself a few extra days for your inspections. Either way, make the calls asap! Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
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