This is part of my series: “Things That Can Make Your Las Vegas Financed Home Purchase *Blow Up* in the Middle of a Transaction.”
My ultimate goal in this series is to make Las Vegas Home Buyers aware of the challenges of a specific home’s eligibility for financing.
Congratulations! Your lender just approved you to purchase a Las Vegas area home by looking at your check stubs, debt to income ratio and you are now approved to purchase a Las Vegas area home!
Hold the phone here, *you* may be eligible to purchase a home but is the house eligible for financing? This series is designed for you to research a home’s eligibility for financing.
DISCLOSURE: I am not a lender, title company, home inspector, contractor or appraiser. I am only speaking from personal experience by working with financed Las Vegas area home buyers. Hopefully you have hired a Las Vegas area real estate agentwho will be able to spot things that can *potentially* cause problems with your financing (mostly FHA/VA) before your contract to purchase a Las Vegas area home.
Much of Las Vegas is currently priced in fire sale status. Many times when you see unusually inexpensive homes there is a reason – they are not eligible for financing and the seller does not wish to rehabilitate the home to make it eligible for financing.
Today’s topic at hand is “Theft or Vandalism During an Escrow“.
This is such an icky topic because you have come a long way baby! You have trampled through houses, ordered your inspection & appraisal and sometimes – right before close – the home of your dreams gets vandalized or items are stolen.
The amount of vacant homes in the Las Vegas valley is staggering. This and our poor economy (15% unemployment) makes vacant homes easy targets for vandals and thieves to go bump in the night and shatter your dreams of homeownership just like that. As I have mentioned before, sellers in this environment are just not willing to pony up the expenses for restoration.
I have personally had this happen in three escrows: a spa stolen from the backyard, graffiti on the interior of a house and a whole section of kitchen cabinets removed.
Some Items Thieves Will Take:
- Plumbing Fixtures
- Lighting Fixtures
- Tubs & Sinks
- Air Conditioning & Heating Units
- Water Heaters
- Appliances – Stoves, Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Washers, Dryers – YOU NAME IT!
- Pool Equipment
This is just a list of the POPULAR items that are stolen from a Las Vegas vacant home. As I mentioned above, I have seen whole sections of kitchen cabinets walk away in the middle of the night!
Many of the above examples may cause problems with lenders funding a loan. Sometimes the sellers are willing to remedy the situation, many times in the case of REO (aka BANK OWNED) or especially a Short Sale not.
You will definitely want to try to re-negotiate with the seller for restoration. Odds are restoration will not happen so you can also try for a credit or a new lower price – that is if the stolen item does not hinder financing by making the property “inhabitable“.
All in all, if the seller will not repair or replace or credit, you have a tough decision to make. Can you live with the damages or is it time to move on?