Recently, I had the good fortune of working with a repeat home buyer purchasing a rental home here in Scottsdale. He was looking for a basic three bedroom, two bathroom home that would make a good rental. It didn't take us long before we found a great single level home in a good area of mid-Scottsdale.
The home buyer readied the home as a rental with the repairs being handled by the appropriate contractors. One such contractor happened upon what he thought was a water leak. Sprinkler valves were replaced, but still the mysterious water leak persisted even after the plumber returned with a forensic specialist.
The next day, the home owner happened to be standing in the garage next to the water heater when he noticed the hot water side of the heater being red hot. Alarmed he walked around it and suddently it shut off. The water wasn't turned on anywhere in the house. Where could the hot water be going?
After about 60 seconds of pondering, a light bulb went off for this investor. He had heard of others stealing electricity and even cable television, but could someone be stealing hot water?
Another fact surfaced. He had visited the neighbors recently, being invited into their home as the new owner of the home next door. That neighbor had a spa on the patio and a swimming pool. He remembered seeing the swimming pool halfway full during his visit a few days prior to today.
Visiting my client today, I stopped by to chat under the premise we were talking about another home he owned. He began to share his story with me and I asked to see his water bill history. He shared the water usage spike and subsequent drop after he returned home.
I was dumbfounded. Not in all my years had I heard of someone tapping into another homeowners water supply, let alone the hot water heater side!
Even though this home owner has paid a plumber, and undergone much frustration, he's determined to let it go. Sometimes it's easier to just let it go. Mysterious water leak solved!