Slideshow 5 Underestimated Aspects of Property Preservation

  • March 11 2015, 11:00am EDT

It's not just about cutting lawns and patching holes. To convey a foreclosed property into the Department of Housing and Urban Development's ownership, servicers are on the hook for every last detail of a vacant house. Here are five key pieces of the preservation puzzle. (Image: Fotolia)

Beware of HOA Fees and Property Taxes

Identifying whether there are HOA fees or property taxes due or if liens have been attached to a property is crucial to avoiding a mess later down the line. Hidden delinquencies on fees or taxes can further delay title transfer and conveyance of the property and cause costs to soar. (Image: iStock)

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Keep the Lights On

Part of a servicer's main responsibility during property preservation is locating any and all ongoing obligations on the house and maintaining or shutting them down as necessary. If the electricity, the gas, the water are all to stay on, contact utility providers to determine the status of accounts and set up payments. (Image: Fotolia)

Understand the Property's Dynamics

See the property yourself and maintain open communication with contractors and vendors who are onsite to have a benchmark of what their role with the property in that specific community entails. Perhaps there are local noise ordinances to be considered, or vandalism has been a problem. (Image: iStock)

Open, Transparent Web of Communication

Servicers, vendors, real estate agents and other contractors needs to come together and make sure properties are being properly maintained. Establishing the baseline for the property, filing insurance claims, repairing damage, the condition the property was in at foreclosure. Pre-conveyance inspection is going to be important," advised Matt Martin, the director of HUD's national servicing center. (Image: Fotolia)

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Animals are left behind on foreclosed properties more than anyone would like to admit. While property preservation largely deals with insentient tangibles, what to do with pets left on property is something servicers should prepare for. Organizations such as No Paws Left Behind, based in Houston, are dedicated to finding new homes for those pets people don't take with them. (Image: Fotolia)