Property Q&A in Hammonton>Question Details

Ehrke, Other/Just Looking in 08037

I hear this house is up for pre-foreclosure, is this true?

Asked by Ehrke, 08037 Sat Apr 11, 2009

Can this house be sold if it is listed with the DEP as having a soil contamination from an underground fuel tank removal, and the remediation was never done. Also when a house is in foreclosure can the owners strip the property down, and if so, will this affect the surrounding property values?

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If purchasing or selling a home with soil contamination from an Underground fuel tank NJ has a grant program to cure the problem. NJDEP Site Remediation Program. There are restrictions but overall it is a great program and easy to apply. Even if the tank is not laking you still have options to remediation.

I am dealing with this situation on 2 properties right now for a buyer and a seller.

As far as foreclosure and destroying property. I think homeowners are very distraught over the thought of losing their home. It's probably one of the most embarrassing and horrific things that can happen to you. In this economic climate it is generally not the homeowners fault either. So some retaliation occurs. I have done HUD inspections where the coper was literally ripped out of the house. Every known metal was taken probably for its value. To say it was the property owner or vandals is another discussion.

One of the most detrimental market effect on values is a foreclosure. If only one, then not so much, but in todays climate there are people trying to sell their property in a fair market and then they have to compete with not only 1 but several distressed properties. This is generally what hurts fair market value in a surrounding area. In fact it almost becomes infectious that is spreads out of the neighborhoods influencing other values in other area also. When one person panics in selling their home then another panics and lowers prices. How bad do you want to sell your home? How bad you need to sell your home? Are you being forced a sale? Is a home already bank owned? So many variables of reasons for selling a home. All of which affect market values. I wrote a blog on Bad things happen to good people...…
so 1 foreclosure does not really affect market values, but 2 ,3 4, plus the panic of others trying to sell in a fair market dropping their price all deteriorate market values.
1 bad Handy man special or poorly maintained home can affect values but if all the homes have pride of ownership then that 1 will more than likely be bought up quickly and quickly repaired again to sell in a fair market.
We are facing situations today that are different than any other we have experienced. With a few financial institutions holding all the marbles, and the TARPS trying to help them along to be more solvent, and loses mounting, They shot the Bear(Bear Sterns) and figured that may spread the risk of the losses but that wasn't enough. AIG holds so many of our gov'ts marbles that it is impossible to let go. Military, Post office and legislation retirements are mainly based in this one company. Can you imagine the affect if it went under... ? the lending arena has made it more difficult to get money than we have been used to for the last 15 years and more... We are now back to basic lending 101. Verify what you say and how much you make. No more taking people for their word. No more "No Doc Loans. sure their are some banks willing to make these loans still, but only on their terms; high interest and 60% LTV. Once the "no doc" loan went away so did the ability to obtain a home. The no doc loan is another discussion all together though.
So I guess back to your question... Yes it can be sold... the bank will undoubtedly have to clean it up, or at least the disclosure and directing of the cleanup will be done before title can be transfered again.
Yes the owner could strip the property but with metal prices down not likely... and if they did yes property values could be affected, but mostly until that one property is taken care of.

Hope this helps, there are so many variables that play in your questions, it would almost be fortune telling..

Larry Sarlo
Weichert Realtors-
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 11, 2009
Dear Ehrke,

Yes, the property can be sold, even though there is soil contamination sited by the DEP. The Buyer would be responsible for the remediation costs and certifications. I can fill you in what is entailed, as I have dealt with these matters before. As far as the house being stripped by the owners, yes, they can do it. Sometimes people who are losing their homes feel slighted, and it is not their fault, but their lender...I have seen it quite a bit in the past. Lately though, most people in foreclosure and short sale, are not "trashing" the house...just leaving. However, to answer your question, no it will not affect the surrounding property values, if the stripping is confined to the interior of the house. If the owners decide to decicrate the exterior, then it could very well have an effect on the neighboring properties.

I would be happy to answer any further questions you may have, please feel free to email me at, or call me at 609-909-1111 x 20.

I look forward to talking with you further,
Debbie Bathen-RE/MAX Community
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 11, 2009
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