Jason Szep at Reuters tackles an issue that anyone in property preservation knows all too well -- copper thieves. In places like Detroit and Cleveland, it's often the case that the copper in the home ends up being worth more than the house itself. And with the market for nonferrous metals at an all-time high, the industry faces an interesting problem: board up a house, and its essentially open season to be gutted and have its metal parts shipped off to China. From the story:
"I had this property under agreement. We negotiated. The offer was accepted. The buyer came back to the property three weeks later only to find they had gotten in and stolen the copper, so we had to go back to the bank and renegotiate," said Charney, president of CharneyRealEstate.com. After haggling, the bank shaved $5,000 off the $105,000 price. "The problem is there's almost no security. Does this look like anybody lives here?" he said, gesturing to the boarded-up home with chipped yellow paint and a "notice of foreclosure" letter affixed to its door. "It's like a big billboard saying 'come and take me,'" he added. "It's an epidemic."
And one that's hidden from most of the public's view, unless you live and work in areas that have seen foreclosures soar. Here at HW, we're curious what the field services side of the biz is doing to combat this problem -- and will be writing a story on challenges in property preservation for an upcoming special report. Stay tuned.