Friday, March 26, 2010

Epilogue: Short Sales and Frozen Pipes

Renovation on the short sale house has begun, and already I've learned a painful lesson.

The house is in Park Hill, Yonkers, NY, on a cliff overlooking the city, the Hudson River, and the Palisdades beyond. The nine months that it took to close the deal included several months of very cold winter. The heat and electricity were off. In early November, I had asked the sellers, via the realtor, to drain the pipes and winterize the house. The realtor got back to me and said that they told her that they had drained the pipes, although the realtor noticed that there was water in the toilet. The realtor responded by sending another note to the sellers, explaining the details of winterizing, and never got a response. She never followed up about the lack of a response, or reminded me of the importance of winterizing (something that's probably taught in realtor 101).

Well it turns out that they didn't drain the pipes. Not from the cold water. Not from the radiators.

So over the winter, the pipes froze and burst at many points, mostly at elbow joints. About five or six beautiful old cast iron radiators cracked.
So it took my contractor an entire week of turning on the water, finding a leak, repairing the leak, and repeating the process, to restore the houses plumbing system.

I haven't gotten the bill for this yet. And I'm not looking forward to it.

The moral of the story? Don't trust the seller of your short sale house to do anything that involves maintaining the house. And also don't trust your realtor, particularly if your realtor happens to be representing both buyer and seller in the deal. It's up to you to make sure everything that's supposed to happen, happens.


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