hana Posted August 10, 2012 Share Posted August 10, 2012 (edited) I know that often after something goes wrong, people make poor choices and things spiral even more out of control, so I'm hoping for help thinking this through. At the end of July, our vacant (yes, we now regret that!) house in Flint that is for sale (we're at the point of accepting almost any offer--it doesn't appear that local organizations are interested in donations, as some suggested--there are just too many houses) was vandalized--all the pipes (basement, kitchen, bathrooms) were stolen. Since then, it has been broken into again, and the washer and dryer stolen. I fear the kitchen appliances and the radiators will be next. We have had a contractor install alarms, but I think most thieves around here know how to get around them. The insurance adjuster is working to deny the claim, based on the house being vacant too long (over 60 days). It wasn't, but I'm not sure how we can prove that. We were there until about 28 days before the vandalism. He has requested our utility bills, which we have provided. They do show lower usage, but the usage is consistent with the season last year. So, now, 60 days will be up August 29. We expected to be back a few days before that (we are on summer vacation out of the country). We intended to live there until December (when my partner retires), or until we sell it. Obviously, it would be difficult to live there right now because there is no running water. We do have another place we can stay, so we don't need the insurance company to pay "additional expenses," but if we're not actually staying in the house, I'm afraid he'll count it toward the vacant time. However, I'm really freaked out and trying to figure out what we can do to prevent further vandalism and to keep the adjuster from denying the claim for false reason. Also, I want to get things fixed, because I doubt we'll have any offers as is. So, here are some things I'm thinking about: 1. We were going to just stay in the house with minimal furnishings. Now, we're going to buy or rent furnishings. This is a definite, assuming the adjuster settles the claim so we can get running water. 2. I could go back to the house next week to re-establish occupancy. But how--we have no running water. I'm hoping my presence around the house would put off vandals, but I don't know if this is reasonable. Is this worth it? Its a 15-hr. drive or a $500 flight. 3. We could rent a car to park in the driveway to make the house look occupied and to block easy entrance. But this would cost at least $250/wk. We don't know anyone with an extra car to park there. (We've asked around.) 4. I don't know--any other ideas? None of this is the end of the world--we are all healthy and relationships are okay (knocking on wood), but it has been emotionally shaking and is costing so much money for a house that is worth nothing. Do we go back and put the extra effort in, hoping the adjuster will come through? Do we just let go--I guess I'm not sure the value of continuing, but I don't know what this means, either. If we don't hurry back, then what? If we do, is it worth it? And remember, this is a lovely house in a nice neighborhood. I've talked it up far and wide--multiple facebook pages, craigslist, ebay classifieds,talking to neighbors, local rental owners and contractors, as well as it's listed with a broker for 1/3 of what we paid for it. She doesn't think lowering the price will help, as it may just get it ignored. We've been very clear, though, with everyone we've spoken to that we'll accept even very low offers. When we left at the end of June, it was move-in ready; now it doesn't even have running water. As I type this, it seems obvious to not go back and just let go. But that's so difficult. We have loved this house, but we need to move on and can't afford to put in more money than we will get back. The market is so bad, that even repaired, the house is worth very little. Any thoughts welcome and very much appreciated. ETA: My partner read this and said it sounds like I'm looking for validation to not go back. I don't want to sound like that. I'll gladly go back if it will make a difference--I just am not sure how it will. Edited August 10, 2012 by hana Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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