The Grinch and Stripped Foreclosures

grinch book coverIt’s Dr. Seuss’s Birthday today and I cannot help but think of the correlation between the way the Grinch took every little crumb in the homes of Whoville and how foreclosures sometimes get stripped before they’re seized by the bank. Here is an example of one house that has always stood out to me from an inspection years ago. While there was no significant damage to the property, the owner or thieves felt entitled to just about anything that could be removed – even the peephole (seriously).

Appliances are some of the most common items taken from properties.

missing appliances in foreclosure property

Toilet seats were removed at this house.

missing toilet lid

Shower knobs and spigots throughout were missing (all faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen were missing too).

Missing knobs and spicket

The covered patio was removed from this house, and that’s fairly normative to see before the bank seizes a property. I think the rationale is that the covered patio was likely not there when the property was purchased or refinanced, so it is the owner’s right to remove it. I completely get that and I really don’t have a strong objection to that point. I would however object to the removal of the actual concrete patio though. What do you think?

Missing covered patio

Pipes underneath the sinks were all partially removed and disconnected.

Disconnected pipes

The toilet was missing in the Master Bathroom.

Missing toilet

Most home owners do not take anything more than a stove or maybe a special light fixture, which is completely understandable, but the property above had really been gutted of things that should have stayed with the home because they typically transfer with a property when it sells. I’m not trying to be judgmental, the moral police or mean in my analogy between the actions of the Grinch and stripped foreclosure properties, but you can probably understand the basis of the correlation due to photos above. If you are going through foreclosure, my heart goes out to you because that’s not easy. Just remember to press on and continue to find hope that does still exist.

What items does the home owner have the right to take? What should be left? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. And of course, what is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

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    • says

      Thanks Bill. I have never heard of that one and I cannot wait to read it. I had no idea Dr. Seuss had an allegory about Hitler. Speaking of movies though, I am anxious to see The Lorax. It’s such a good read and definitely one of my top picks. I think The Grinch comes out on the top of my list.

  1. says

    Yes, I’ve seen plenty of stripped foreclosures. Funny, their refinance money that put them over the edge often was to purchase those luxuries, so it is almost like a double hit to the bank if they lost the fixtures and the loan….

    Funny story about the cartoon version of the Grinch who stole Xmas. One year, we were at my sister in law’s house for a halloween party, and they play Xmas movies earlier and earlier, so we were watching the movie without sound, and hearing music from a CD. It was almost like clockwork when the music had a poignant message or some other phrase, that the movie was taking a similar turn in the plot. After about 5 instances, we all were fixated on the TV and the music, and laughed hysterically when it kept happening over and over. I cant tell you what the music was, but sure made the evening a fun one.

    • says

      Thanks Eddie. During the height of the foreclosure crisis, there were so many properties that were simply stripped. Now in my area there are few foreclosures. They used to be about 70% of all sales, but lately they’ve been less than 4% of all sales. It’s made a real difference in the market to have this change.

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