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You Don't Expect a Top Floor Condo to Flood

Industry Observer with Retired

You Don't Expect a Top Floor Condo to Flood

Patricia Feager and Kathleen Daniels are hosting the March challenge. Your challenge is to use critical thinking. Only original content qualifies. Think about a scenario that can march you into trouble. Please write about a scenario that has the potential to come up during a real estate transaction.

I've sold hundreds of HUD owned properties and have seen some pretty bad conditions. However, we found a top floor condo in a modern building in Germantown, Maryland for my first time home buyer, a young single man. The unit was is very good condition and a fresh coat of paint would make it look like new. My buyer was the high bidder and the settlement had been scheduled.

I received a notification that the building has been flooded from the top floor down. The HUD policy of turning off utilities and having the units winterized failed this time. The sprinkler system had frozen and the water lines had bursted. When I went to the condo to check the damage, I expected ceiling damage. However, the ceiling and sidewall sheetrock had been torn open as the workers searched for the leaking water lines. I have seen a number of properties that flooded before the contract but this was my first experience with a HUD property flooding after the contract was accepted. 

I told the buyer that I would try to get everything fixed for him. Fortunately, I had a good relationship with the HUD staff in the Washington, DC office. They went out to inspect the damage and assured me that the needed repairs would be made. I was happy to see the condo restored to like new condition and we proceeded to the delayed settlement.

In the real estate business, we need to be able to cope with the unexpected at any time. Fortunately, this story had a happy ending.


Chrysanthemum, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania USA

IMG 7836
Canon PowerShot G11 Camera
Photograph by Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I am glad that it all worked out well for you and your client.  It is lucky he had you as his agent.  Well done!

Mar 28, 2023 10:27 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Roy Kelley - Thank you for sharing your story and experience with HUD properties. They can be very tricky. What you see when an offer is accepted and what you get before closing can often be something completely different! 

Flooding is a serious detriment for anyone buying a HUD or any type of home. Having a relationship with people you know are credible, like having "a good relationship with the HUD staff in the Washington, D.C. office," makes someone like you a Superman!

Thank  you for your participation. I am in hopes you can write two more for your virtual gold and for the reality check and benefit of other agents, you can plant seeds of hope based on your life experience, when buying HUD homes or any property. 

Mar 28, 2023 10:30 AM
Roy Kelley

Thanks for your kind words. I may not have other stories to share for this challenge. Thankfully, I've had few problems with my transactions

Mar 28, 2023 11:14 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Roy.

Hearing your story about the excellent relationship with the HUD office is interesting. I, too, was thankful that HUD staff was accommodating when it came to short sales and how the lender was behaving unfairly. 

I had a few stories that, thankfully, ended positively. I doubt that I want to dig into the past, and that is something that I don't think much about these days.

Thank you for sharing yours.

Mar 28, 2023 11:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Roy - that's an eye-catching post title.  The story that follows is one where "we continue to see so much in real estate". 

Mar 28, 2023 12:13 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Roy, boy that is the truth, what a story, and good thing you were able to get a great outcome.

Mar 28, 2023 01:32 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Roy,

 You hit it on the head.  We have to be prepared for the unexpected every day.  All our clients care about is finding a solution for any issue that arises.

Mar 28, 2023 01:59 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Roy Kelley a water disaster turned into a happy ending with a delayed closing. That might be one for the books! 

Thank you for your participation in the March to a Solution Challenge! 

Mar 28, 2023 02:28 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Roy- what are the odds?!   But these things do happen and thank goodness you were able to take care of it. 

Mar 28, 2023 05:59 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I had a vacant listing that experienced a broken pipe under the kitchen sink. It was a single story home on raised foundation.  It also had a sunken living room.  The living room looked like a swimming pool.  The water did a lot of damage to hardwood floors.

Mar 29, 2023 01:40 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Roy, on having this blog FEATURED in the PHOTOS group!

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Mar 29, 2023 01:43 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Myrl Jeffcoat 

Thank you very much for the feature recognition. It is much appreciated.

Mar 29, 2023 07:30 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Roy... I'm happy to report that in 30 years I've not had to deal with a situation like this one. Both you and your client must have had a few sleepless nights.

Mar 29, 2023 12:32 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That was unusual. I have had the priced reduced for unforeseen issues that happened, but not come out and repair the damage.

Mar 30, 2023 09:19 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to receive your feedback.

Mar 30, 2023 10:25 AM