Pitfalls of buying foreclosures

Inspection contingencies a must if utilities are turned off

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

DEAR BENNY: My mother was under contract to buy a foreclosed house from the bank. Before closing, she had the house inspected. During the time the house was being inspected, the heat and water system was shut off (I guess the former owners weren't paying their water and gas bill). The inspector documented in his report that the heater and water were not inspected and further stated that when it is turned on we should consult a contractor to check that everything is in order. My mother signed off and purchased the house. When the water was turned back on, she discovered that one pipe was leaking and the heater was not working. These are health hazards, and my mother must fix everything. Who is responsible: the bank for not turning on the heat and water system so that everything could be inspected properly or my mother for insisting that the utilities be in working order before the inspection? We did not know our rights because we were dealing with a foreclosure property. -...