Question about foreclosure with pipes that froze.

frozenelvesAugust 5, 2014

We were going to build a home, but a foreclosure just came on the market that is a custom high end home for our area and it's a good price. I wouldn't call it a steal but certainly much more than we can get built and at least 100k cheaper than any similar nonforeclosed home. The bad thing is that someone didn't have the heat on this winter and the pipes froze. We know that the propane boiler needs to be replaced for sure. There isn't any evidence of water on the ceilings, walls or floor except in the mechanical room. We did find out that there is in-floor heat in the house in the basement but baseboard radiators on the main level. They won't let us turn on the water until repairs are made. We put in the offer but now we will have a plumber come out and see what he thinks. Is there any way to know how bad this is? Would the in floor heat be all ruined? The house is built in 2001. It's in pristine condition otherwise. Not a typical foreclosure for sure. Does anyone have any advice for me? It's a 3800sqft house split entry design which is popular here on 10 acres right in town. I don't have a clue what this could cost.

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Maybe the plumber can pump the lines full of water and or use air pressure to determine where there might be leaks.

How cold does it get in your country? "Frozenelves" sounds like you could live in the tundra.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:09AM
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Duluth Mn. It was one of the coldest and snowiest winters ever recorded. There is a little kitchenette in the basement that has tile. The tile has a crack running through it and we thought maybe it's the tubing or pipes that froze and caused that. I'm not even sure if they would have used copper or pex in 2001. The rest of the floor is carpet.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:23AM
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I would suspect all the piping is ruined. And even if some of it is OK - connections could be weakened - both pex and soldered. You could have an unexpeced 'flood' in comming years.

I would pass on it myself.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:12PM
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The plumber said the best thing to do would be to seal off the in-floor heat and just put in baseboard radiators. He also said to expect a new boiler, boiler mate and well pump. He's going to price that out and we can try to re-negotiate with the bank if we want to. I'm not sure they'll come down though.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:17PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

If this home will cost less than you would pay to build, I'd just bite the bullet and fix it. Your custom build will be smaller on a smaller lot, and it will take a really long time, a lot of headaches and cost more than you thought.

Is this foreclosure stretching your budget as it sits, or is there wiggle room for repairs.

10 acres in a high end neighborhood mid town sounds pretty amazing to me.

Good luck! I'm jealous!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:34PM
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I buy foreclosures all the time and many have burst frozen pipes. Not a big deal at all. Go for it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Just get the plumber to do a pressure test after you buy it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:03AM
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