Foreclosure Minefield #37

At a lunchtime training class today, the presenter — a very seasoned appraiser — relayed a story I’d never heard before in connection with foreclosures (and I’ve now heard — and seen — plenty).

When the appraiser arrived at the house, the water was turned off — a common occurrence with foreclosures in Minnesota. So, the appraiser turned it on (a big no-no, for liability reasons), and proceeded to open a few faucets. So far, so good: no leaks.

End of story, right? Hardly.

After closing, the Buyer turned on the water again and immediately discovered water everywhere, coming from literally dozens of leaks.

The explanation?

A home’s plumbing system has to be at full pressure to be fully tested — a process that can take hours, depending on the size of the home. Simply running water through the system, briefly, won’t necessarily reveal leaky pipes . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
4 Responses
  1. Ross Kaplan

    I really don't know how long it should take — I haven't had any deals (yet) where the water was turned off, then turned on for the inspection.

    The "hours to reach full pressure" comment was the appraiser's. I suppose I could have heard wrong, or, she meant that you should allow a few hours after the system has reached full pressure to check for leaks.

    The closest case I've handled is a deal this Spring where the Buyer (my client) bought a home that had freeze damage (water off for the inspection).

    The cost to repair the plumbing was reflected in the asking price, so it didn't come up on inspection . .

  2. InspectorReuben

    It sounds like the appraiser may have given you incorrect information.

    The water distribution pipes will reach full pressure when the water meter stops running, which usually won't take more than a minute or so.

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