Inspection with no utilities

I’m purchasing a home where the utilities can not be turned on. Someone started to do a repipe with pex. I believe they completed the work. They just didn’t finish sealing everything up (siding, drywall, etc.). The previous owner also started the roof and did not finish. There was a permit pulled on the roof, but I don’t see one for the repipe. It is currently bank owned after foreclosure. The bank does not want to turn on the utilities.

What are your thoughts on handling the inspection?

I am going to have a licensed plumber come out and give me some quotes on finishing the repipe. I will also do the same for the roof. I’ve have some construction knowledge and electrical. I’m also own a HVAC company. I’m not concerned about the Furnace/AC or water heater. I’m just worried about costly repairs.

A couple of things that might be costly is electrical, structural, and/or mold. It is a wood frame house (1989). The panel is not a fpe or zinsco. I am going to look at the electrical and just make sure that it looks to be intact and has not been sliced or removed in the attic. I’m not sure an electrician could do much more.

Structurally I will take a look around the house. It’s a slab foundation. Do you think it is worth it to hire a home inspector for this portion?

Plumbing- I may just try dumping water down the drains. I could also get the drains camera inspected.

What else am I missing?

As a 203K inspector consultant I do many residential inspections with the utilities off. I am also called on to provide repair pricing. Is what it is.

You have 2 choices:

Forgo the inspection and save the inspection fee, you might save a few hundred.

Hire an inspector who can “guess” at what needs repair and maybe save thousands.

Around here, you can arrange (as a buyer) to have utilities turned On for an inspection period (say 48 hours) and yes, you will have to pay for that service.

In the end, past on what you have already seen, isn’t that worth it?


I agree with Paul and recommend you follow his advice for sure …

If I am understanding your post correctly… my advice to you **at this stage **is to forego the services of a home inspector, and simply get the appropriate contractors in there to evaluate the situation. If you notice any cracking in the slab (especially if a PT slab) call a contractor. I always recommend waste lines be viewed on REO properties. One never knows what the evictee has dumped down the drains when moving out (or in the rehab phase). Cement is a common favorite, as well as latex paints. If you see **any **indications of mold, hire an Industrial Hygienist for thorough testing. Once the “mold” word is spoken, the bank will pull the home OFF the market and you will be locked out. The bank may sit on the home for months before making repairs and placing it back on the market.

And how will you get contractors quickly?
And if you do how will they know all the requirements from the lender?
Also mold is not a problem if its addressed in a comments letter from the inspector.
Same with lead and asbestos.

Might be different where you live Jeff but I do these all the time and the last person to recommend is the contractor before the inspector.

I do REO inspections with the utilities ‘off’ all the time also. The “mold” word is like a curse to banks. They have had too many lawsuits over mold issues that they now take ZERO chances with it.
Obviously, there is a difference in methods between you in the “big city” and me in “Rural America”!
Perhaps you need to clean your glasses and attempt to comprehend what the OP said in his post.
I stand by my opinion given him.

I added mold, lead and asbestos because an inspector who does these properties should be able to smooth things out and get things moving. Not always but usually. Besides, your the one who mentioned mold.

Hiring an inspector for the structure only is how it reads.

We are not only inspectors, were also there in these cases to ensure buying this type of property is feasible.

As far as your opinion, its your opinion and I can’t argue opinions.
My opinion is this guy needs someone who can find issues and provide advice on what things might cost.


So what?

I’m trying to help and your trying to show how smart you are.
Just help the guy.

Make sure you drink plenty of water after you swallow those:mrgreen: