When breaking and entering is legal
Meet 'door-kickers,' tasked with assessing the damage in foreclosure homes that investors have purchased.
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In the trade, they call them, "door-kickers"— employees or contractors for large-scale investors in foreclosed homes. These men, and they are almost always men, break into dozens of houses a day and assess the damage left by former homeowners.
"What we are looking at is to see if there's any plumbing or electrical that has been stolen, any damage to walls," said Kyle Sweet, the renovation team manager for Key Property Services, which bought 130 Atlanta-area homes at auction on Tuesday.
Sweet used a small metal tool to break in through the back door of a Lawrenceville, Ga., home on Regal Way that Key bought for $80,000 at auction.
"This is my master key," he joked.
It was remarkably easy to get in, but that should come as no surprise. Sweet said he has broken into more than 3,000 homes in his career.
Sometimes he checks out the inside first through a doggie door. Other times he is forced to push through basement windows measuring barely 3 feet in width. Sometimes he and his team, which includes a locksmith and an assessor, find serious danger inside.
"The worst danger that you'll have is actually through a squatter, someone that resides inside the property that shouldn't be there in the first place," Sweet said. "Typically a lot of our drivers or assessors will go and actually carry weapons on them."
Coming inside the home on Regal Way, Sweet went first through the garage door and into a huge mess. It opened to a living room and kitchen strewn with debris, garbage and broken toys.
"We still have appliances that are in, they took the stove, they took the microwave, that is not uncommon for our condition," he said.
Often, Sweet will find stolen plumbing and electrical systems, broken ceilings and demolished walls. Sometimes he finds fewer bedrooms or bathrooms than were on the auction notice. In that case, he will just add what he finds necessary.
His company, Key, renovates the homes it buys, finds and installs renters and then sells the homes to other investors as turnkey properties.
"We think that our value-add is to buy properties and get them through the renovation and leasing cycle, because we think we can do that faster with our experience," said Simon Frost, CFO of Key Property Services.
Atlanta is one of the hotter investor markets now, as it is still in the early stages of both investor demand and home-price appreciation. Thousands of properties will be set for auction each month in the greater Atlanta area, and Key is buying hundreds at a time. They are among the smaller investors.
Others, like Blackstone's Invitation Homes, are buying thousands at a time, becoming Atlanta's new landlords, likely for years to come.
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Idiots...ever heard of a lock picking tool..instead of causing MORE damage ...idiots
Unlike "flippers" during the boom, most of these sales are feeding the new landlord class. As the incomes of the 'haves' and the 'have nots' diverge and the middle class shrinks, we will become like much of the rest of the world, with fairly small numbers of owner-occupied homes, and most people renting. Investors are starting to catch on the fact that you can service a loan and maintain a group of properties from the rent they generate, with profit and tax benefits built-in. Thank you, Fed, for helping with such low interest rates, and the entire Federial Gov't for making sure those with money are back on Easy Street.
I'm not even a millionaire, yet since I went to the stock market sale in April 2009, I've paid off my house, all five of my cars (six if you count the one at my little house in Italy), paid my bills, and yet I'm about where I was financially in 2007. In other words, the policies to benefit the economy, have done it mostly for people like me. Oh - and thanks for the rental hosue.
if I buy a home and live there, and buy newer upgraded appliances, you bet I will take them with me when I move, whether the move is forced or planned. No one is obligated to leave appliances, especially a microwave. Unless it is built in, it belongs to whomever lives there. These people will next be whining that the evicted family took their television with them.
People who make their living off the misery and misfortune of others are the dregs of society who can make their living no better way, being too dumb and unskilled to do anything else, and then they look down on other people.
This is Profit Taking!
The families that were forced out of their property / homes by the Banks & Wall Street Thugs after the crash will now be able to "Rent" their homes from "Investors"?
Sounds like Greedy Immoral Behavioral Practices! Legal Theft By Taking Any One!