<> CAUTION: GRAPHIC PHOTOS Dream Home or Nightmare?

Real Estate Agent with Excellence in Real Estate Tm @ Allison James Estates & Homes

Dream Home or Nightmare?
by John Occhi, Hemet REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

Working with a lot of Short Sale and REO properties there is always the risk of a health hazard when entering a vacant home for the first time.  You just never know what you might find.


Have you ever opened a refrigerator in July after the electricity has been turned off for a week?  How about if it was stocked with opened dairy products?  Maybe a few meat products?  Some decaying vegetation of some sort?  Not to mention all the fuzzy green and white stuff that seems to be growing everywhere...?

If you ever have the opportunity, I hope you are wearing sandals; otherwise it will probably knock your socks off.


Not All Health Hazards are Booby Traps

Unfortunately, many leaving the home under less than ideal circumstances will resort to certain booby traps that can really get very nasty.

One of the biggest problems that neighborhoods face when homes are abandoned is the pool.  It becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the Nile virus and other deadly diseases can easily be introduced

Is this Your Dream Home?

Imagine moving onto a quite residential street where your neighbor across the street has a magnificently manicured lawn and 20 palm trees outlining the property.  It is beautiful and you are so proud to be in such a wonderful neighborhood full of beautiful homes.

Then one day, you watch your neighbors move - using a rental truck.  They don't have a crew that brought in your furnishings.  No, there are several people helping out, but they really don't look very organized.  They are getting rowdier and rowdier as the day moves on and more cases of beer arrive.  You find it strange, since there is no real estate sign in the yard...but you never got to know them, so you don't give it much of a thought, other than you home the new neighbors will be nice and have kids to play with yours.

A couple of weeks go by and the lawn is getting a bit overgrown and the weeds are popping through the planters.  You still don't think much, after all its only been a couple of weeks, right?

The weeks slip into a month and you notice the lawn is really looking overgrown.  It now has it's own weed problem and turning brown, after all it has been a hot dry summer.  You figure out that no one has been watering, since even the palm trees are losing their luster and turning brown at the tips of each palm.

One month turns into two.  You hear the kids telling ghost stories and you are now really concerned.  There is now no chance in the world that the lawn or the pretty flowers in the planters will ever come back and those palms look like they could go up in a blaze if so much as a loose burning cigarette butt found it's way near them.

Living in the desert, you never thought mosquitoes would be a problem.  It turns out the haunted house has a haunted pool in the back yard that looks like the Irish Beer you drank last St. Patrick's Day - only much worse.

The fruit from the trees along the side yard have become over ripe and fallen to the ground creating a mess and attracting all sorts of bugs and vermin.

You wonder if this once beautiful home will ever sell and be restored to its former glory.  Then the long awaited real estate sign goes up and you are hopeful.  But nothing happens - other than another house down the block is about half way through the same cycle - you wonder if maybe that lawn could be saved.  You ask yourself, "Why did I ever move to this dumpy neighborhood?" as you swat away the buzzing mosquito and watch the large blackbirds sitting on the fence across the way - and now you wonder what died in there.

The truth is the house has died and it is taking the neighborhood with it.

I hope this never happens in your neighborhood - but chances are it already has.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Hemet CA Real Estate

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Until Next Time, Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, ePRO & Five Star Certified REO REALTOR®
Hemet - San Jacinto Valley, CA
The Excellence in Real Estate Team @
Allison James Estates & Homes
2281 W. Esplande Ave, #102-B
Next to "Starbucks"
San Jacinto CA 92582
(951) 654-5550

Excellence in Real Estate,Team Log,John Occhi,www.johnocchi.com,hemet,san jacinto,CA

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This blog and the contents written here is the intellectual property of John Occhi, San Jacinto Valley REALTOR® in the South West Riverside County region of the Inland Empire of Southern California.  The views and opinions expressed are just that - views and opinions of John Occhi and those who comment.  Please note that I am not an attorney or a tax professional and any time I discuss either topic, I suggest you consult with the proper professional for relevant assistance.

This blog is part of the ActiveRain Real Estate Network, which is a social network highlighting the best of Web 2.0.  Information is provided with the intent of educating and assisting home owners, home sellers, home buyers and real estate investors with information the can be used to make better real estate decisions.

I am proud to be a full time REALTOR® who is proud to be a contributing member of the ActiveRain community.

Comments (10)

» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator
» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator - Fort Myers, FL


Unbelievable.  You wold think that the lender would have someone attend to these matters. Don't you think it would be worth it for them to do so?

Jul 30, 2007 10:19 PM
Melissa Kruse
Gryphon - Lewis Center, OH

John, why would you open the refridgerator??? I just don't understand people who do this, especially in reo properties. There is never going to be anything in there that you would want!


Jul 30, 2007 11:45 PM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

John - this is sad, to be sure.  Here in Toledo this is an all too common situation. 

I have been in some of these houses doing BPOs and it's awful!  One of them even had several deceased 'pets' locked in a bedroom!  I literally became VERY ill.  In my house our pets are family members - and it just boggles my mind how someone could do that.

As for the refrigerator....make sure you take a face mask with you or rub Vicks Vaporub on your upper lip.  That's the only way you are going to keep from smelling that stench for weeks.

The lenders don't care - pure and simple.  They are far removed from the property and the neighbors and until the court process is done and the property becomes theirs again they will not do a thing to it.  By then it's too late.  Around her we call the city over and over to go out and mow the grass and remove garbage from the outside of the property.  The city then bills the bank for the cost.  That usually gets them moving a little faster.

Best of luck - this is a bad situation that is only going to get worse before it gets better. 

Jul 31, 2007 01:22 AM
John Occhi
Excellence in Real Estate Tm @ Allison James Estates & Homes - San Jacinto, CA
ePRO, Five Star Certified, Riverside Cnty REO Expert, 951.443.6259

 » Bill Burress YOU would think.  The investors love it, because the more damage the better the purchase opportunity.  You are right, you would think the lenders would prefer to have the homes in showing condition and possibly generate a retail buyer.  This home is nothing but wholesale material.  It is unfortunate because the interior has many upgrades and is in excellent condition.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

Jul 31, 2007 02:29 AM
John Occhi
Excellence in Real Estate Tm @ Allison James Estates & Homes - San Jacinto, CA
ePRO, Five Star Certified, Riverside Cnty REO Expert, 951.443.6259

 Melissa Kruse Human Nature can be an awful thing.  There is an instinct we all seem to have (especially if you are fat like I am) that makes us want to open the refrigerator.  Even when we know better!  It's like reliving the 'original sin' all over again, when Eve knew better than to eat the apple - yet she did it anyway.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

Jul 31, 2007 02:32 AM
John Occhi
Excellence in Real Estate Tm @ Allison James Estates & Homes - San Jacinto, CA
ePRO, Five Star Certified, Riverside Cnty REO Expert, 951.443.6259

Carol Smith You broke my heart already this morning.  I have 4 dogs and a Macaw and they are our children.  My wife and I both have dysfunctional families and we often say that we can't pick our parents any more than we can pick our children or siblings - but we got to pick each other just like we picked our puppies.

I was at an REO property about 10 days ago.  It was an old farmhouse with an old barn.  We found bodies of at least a half dozen pit bulls scattered about the yard.  Obviously they were using the barn for dog fights and left the remains.

Awful, just awful. . .

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty


Jul 31, 2007 02:37 AM
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN


Unfortunately, I have one of those homes across the street from my own home.  The lender is now involved in cleaning up the property but this didn't happen until it sat this winter, became flooded in the basement with produced mold on the ceiling and many other damages to the property.  Hard to believe but it happens all to often lately.  Very honest and hopefully eye-opening post!

Jul 31, 2007 02:55 AM
John, don't give in to the temptation. Take duct tape with you. Tape the refridgerator shut and have it hauled away. There is truely never going to be anything good inside. We've come across a couple of former pit bull training grounds as well. Very sad.
Jul 31, 2007 03:00 AM
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Thanks to the writer above for stopping by - unfortunately there is no name or indication of who you are....

Duct tape is a good soluting - and you are right - it is nothing more that an urge - a temptation.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

Jul 31, 2007 03:29 AM
David Robinson
Lloyd Cullen Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Call Now (877) 828-0710

Wow, this is horrible. I have seen a lot worse, but this is just as bad.

Oct 18, 2010 05:59 PM