July 13, 2024


Mad about real estate

Fixture Theft: A Primary Foreclosure Risk

With a price tag of around $165,000, the four-bedroom, two-story home that is for sale within Avondale turned out to be a steal. Several years ago, this house was brand new and the family shelled out $416,000 to procure it. However, its whirlpool bath, high living room ceiling, pool with waterfall and slide and three-car garage simply were not enough to turn it into more than the handyman’s special.

After going into foreclosure, thieves ended up leaving with the house’s $30,000 personalized kitchen, as well as other fixtures. Personalized appliances, cabinets and granite countertops simply vanished one day. Such fixtures were supposed to come with the home. Basically, they took $30,000 worth of the entire kitchen and disappeared.

Nobody knows the exact amount of foreclosed homes within the Valley that has been stripped by neighbors, strangers or former owners. People who work in the real estate department think that the overall number could amount to thousands.

No questions asked, around 90{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} of homes within today’s market below $200,000 have already been stripped. Appliances tend to be the item that is most common to poach. However, plumbing faucets and fixtures, light fixtures, ceiling fans, air-conditioning units and water heaters would also be fair game for such stripers.

Although FBI agents still have not had the ability to quantify is, they still know how rampant things are going. Ever since foreclosures in metropolitan Phoenix went up by 600{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} in the year 2005, half of their sold houses during the summer ended up being owned by banks. This is where stripping is the most common compared to anywhere else all over the nation.

Such crimes occur frequently enough that the realtors’, lenders’ and law enforcement’s attention has been caught. A lot of realtors take pictures of the house’s interiors the minute they take lender-owned listings in order to document the property’s condition, just in case vandalism occurs.

Recently, the attorney’s office of Maricopa County announced five more prosecutions on alleged foreclosure strippers, one of which involved a salesman of real estate. The task force has hopes that the information will help educate homeowners in foreclosure, as well as neighbors how illegal it would be to gather appliances and fixtures from an empty house.

Craigslist happens to be filled with things which were stripped from homes. In fact, Craigslist themselves tipped off the task force of fraud to how bad the problem is. It is very obvious. People end up advertising how they are planning to sell cabinets within sales of foreclosure.

Legally, sales of foreclosure should not exist. The law says that anything that is attached to a house – such as ceiling fans, lights, cabinets and stoves – belongs and stay within the property whenever it gets sold.

Mature neighborhoods do not suffer from this like newer neighborhoods do in places such as Tolleson and Avondale. Although several houses are stripped by former owners who are stripped of cash, other houses get targeted by complete strangers. Either way, it is a growing problem that needs to end soon.