Despite the fact that I’m now spending the winters in Arizona, I still invest in Pennsylvania.  And let’s be real… we get some BRUTALLY cold winters in PA. It’s the reason I’m in AZ.

I am running away from the cold!

If you aren’t from a habitat where the temps can drop below freezing…. Well, aren’t you lucky!
Celebrate your warmth!  For those of you that are from frozen tundras, you have to be extra cautious when buying properties in the winter.

A lot of times investors will look at bank-owned properties. And on these properties, you will see a big sign on the door that says: This Property Has Been Winterized.

I am here to tell you that sign means absolutely nothing.

Yes, nothing. Just ignore it. Like it isn’t even there.  How could that be? Don’t banks take care of vacant properties they have? (Just typing this question makes me laugh out loud).

No, they don’t.  In fact, most vacant properties sit for a year or more until the bank actually gets in there to winterize

What does this all mean?

It means that your pipes and radiators are likely shot. It means the pipes have frozen, thawed, frozen,
thawed, multiple times before the bank even got in there to winterize. Or, sometimes bank-owned
properties are not winterized correctly.

Here’s the kicker …

Bank owned properties have all utilities turned off.

So when you buy the house, and have the water turned on, and your pipes are cracked or broken or your radiators or cracked … it will start raining in your house.  This NO FUN.

So what do you do about it?

ADD FLUFF! We love fluff! I always put in my rehab costs that I am going to have to replace all radiators and I add extra fluff for plumbing expense. And send your plumber in FIRST!! In fact, if you can, take him with when you do a walkthrough of the property prior to settlement.

Buyer Beware when it comes to winterized properties! If you remember anything from this blog post,

April Crossley is a contributing instructor for View her course at April Crossley