It’s cold outside. Beware of frozen foreclosures!

It’s bitter cold in much of the United States. Uncharacteristically cold. It’s cold where is live too. – 30 this morning. Yes, negative 30 this morning. And even colder tonight. But it’s cold all winter here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Get to the point you say. A few days ago a home closed here in Steamboat Springs. It was a bank owned home, once owned by a predominant lawyer in town. Was once listed for over 2.5 million. Bank owned and sitting vacant for several months it came on the market priced at $1,340,000 or so. Seemingly a relative bargain for a newer home, 5,700 square feet, and spectacular views. And it was popular. Went under contract the first week with several offers submitted.

I represented one of those offers. And during our pre-inspection of the home, prior to offers being submitted, we looked at the home. It was cold inside. Strike one. I asked and the listing agent about a company that winterized the home prior to it getting cold. Hmm. Which company? Some company out of Denver. Strike two.

Long story short: my client did not get the home. Someone was willing to pay cash and offer more. Done deal.

Not so fast. Turns out that during inspection, they tried to re-activate the heating. Now in nicer homes they tend to use radiant – in-floor heating. It great when done right. Or until some company from Denver doesn’t know what they are doing when they winterize the place. Yes, there was water in all those heating pipes. Yes it froze. No, much of it cannot be fixed like it was. Broken pipes in concrete. Not an easy fix. And what can be fixed will cost a lot of money.

They ended up settling for $150,000 off the $1,500,000 they once agreed upon.

What does it all mean? If you have bank-owned empty homes for sale, and it’s below freezing outside, make sure you do your due-diligence on buying. If you’re a buyer, make sure your inspector knows what to look for. Even one night that gets too cold could cause these empty homes to have plumbing pipes break and cause major damage.

—For more on this topic or questions regarding real estate in Steamboat Springs, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at: I will answer your post or email promptly with candid and informed answers. Click here to view all properties in Steamboat Springs in “real time” — This is one of the few real estate sites showing all foreclosed and all short sale listings in real time and updated every few minutes.