I have noticed that for a number of low priced homes, the buyer is responsible for de/re winterization. What exactly does this mean, and is it a?

Asked by Callie Brown, 80205 Sun Apr 18, 2010

stipulation that makes a home a lot less desirable?

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Brian Burke, Agent, Highlands Ranch, CO
Wed Apr 28, 2010
The Buyer is responsible for getting the water on for the inspection. The home has the water off and anti-freeze in the drain pipes so in the winter the home does not have as many or any frozen pipes. These homes may be in perfect condition and are vacant.
Please inspect ANY home you buy carefully and with all utilities on.
1 vote
Pauler80020, , Broomfield, CO
Sat May 1, 2010
We bought a foreclosed home from Fannie Mae last year. Bear in mind, if this is a typical foreclosure, you will end up fixing everything that's wrong yourself, even if you find something wrong the bank isn't likely to fix it before closing (that's what they mean by "as-is"). So it's really a matter of knowing what you are getting into. The home we picked was winterized, and they wanted $150 to turn the water on for our inspector, then $150 to turn it back off. Our home inspector actually pumped up the plumbing with an air compressor at the beginning of his visit. It held air for a couple of hours, so he told us that we were probably OK. If it had leaked, we would have shelled out the $300 to see what was wrong. The house overall was in great shape, and we had no reason to believe the plumbing was bad, so we decided to take the risk and go ahead with the closing. We had the water turned on when we moved in. A lot of the faucets leaked or acted funny for a week or two, just because they had been dry for so long. Other than that, no problems at all. So I guess it depends on the overall condition of the house you are considering -- and how much risk you are willing to take.
0 votes
Tracy Shaffer, Agent, Denver, CO
Wed Apr 21, 2010
Adding to this, Callie, most banks do not require winterization past April. Bank owned (REO) properties coming on the market now won't have that and you would not be obligated to 're-winterize' after inspection. I've toured a ton of homes in the 80205 & 80207 zip code and would rephrase Spencer Barron's comment about conditions in Denver as there is a wide range here. Some homeowners do trash the house when faced with foreclosure, true, and other homes need some deferred maintainence. There are plenty out there that are in decent shape but it's kind of like shopping at a thrift store, you've got to be willing and tenacious. Another option is a Home Steps Home, which is a Fannie Mae owned home and those are great value, have been totally redone with new carpet, paint, etc and they shine like a new penny. Fannie Mae also has incentive programs for financing and sometimes even closing costs. Feel free to contact me if you're so inclined.
0 votes
Suellen Mack, Agent, Denver, CO
Tue Apr 20, 2010
This means that the property is vacant and bank owned. The water and electricity have been turned off and in order to inspect the property, the perspective buyer is responsible for the payment of turning on and off the water and power. The price varies, but is usually around $200.00.
0 votes
Spencer Barr…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Apr 19, 2010
This is common with vacant properties, usually lender owned homes. The home owner has someone turn off the water and drain the plumbing system so that it won't freeze during the winter if they turn off the heat. This stops the plumbing system from being damaged (hopefully).

Typically, a lender won't dewinterize until you have an accepted contract, so you don't have to worry about it much prior to that point. They try to roll the cost on to you but truthfully, it's not very expensive, usually around $100. While lender owned properties in Denver typically are not in the best condition, they do often represent the best value in the market if you can put up with dealing with the banks. That's the hardest part. :-)
0 votes
Joseph Domino, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Apr 18, 2010
It has nothing to do with the price of the home. If the home is going to be vacant any length of time. They are winterized to prevent damage. If you de-winterize for an inspection, it is your respomsibility to re-winterize. The Seller can not afford to pay for every time someone has an interest in the house.
0 votes
Emelia Sanch…, , Ontario, CA
Sun Apr 18, 2010
Hello Callie,

This is for persevation of the house against damages that can occur due to cold/snow during winter. It does not make the home less desirable. Example would be to turn off the water, drain the pipes and seal to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
0 votes
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