Activating Utilities in Buyers name?

15 Replies

Hi all,

I've been trying to prep to purchase one of these Hubzu auction REO properties. Finding a lender that will close without turning water on (hubzu policy) has been challenging to say the least.

I read somewhere about some people just turning the water on in their own names (buyer name) for inspections/appraisals. Is this unusual, or fairly the norm in your experiences?

Hi Matt,

Would the lender be okay with letting you purchase the property by doing a pressure test? In some of the cities I invest, the city requires ownership documents before they would turn the water on. And even then, they would only turn the water on, if there are no leaks before the main valve in the house.


Hey @Sharad M.  ,

That the difficulty I'm having, is finding a lender that will close with only doing the air pressure test, and not fully turning the water on. I've been making calls the past few days to try and get one nailed down.

Are you familiar with any lenders that could refer that will do this that you could message me?

Thanks for your input.


Unfortunately, I am not familiar with any lenders in your area. Call some local plumbers and see if they can help you with this situation. The plumbers generally have the tools to turn the water on (they are not supposed to), but you may find someone who may do this for you for right price.


@Matt Overbee - It can't hurt to ask the utility if they have a process for it.  They have certainly had the request before.


In the town where I have a rental SFR, if you're doing a plumbing reno or inspection & there is no ongoing water service at the property, the utility will allow you to turn the water on for a day to do repairs, etc. without going through all the paperwork. I've done this a couple of times so that we could check for leaks during plumbing work. It won't cost anything to ask - could be a very simple solution starting with a phone call!

Thanks @Mike Hartzog & @Kathleen Leary ,

I put in an inquiry to utilities last night about getting it temporarily turned on for a potential sale. Fingers crossed they won't ask for something from the seller.... I called the Hubzu customer "care" and it was like talking to a broken record.

Don't quote me on this, but I can almost guarantee that you will be allowed to do an inspection including pressure testing and de-winterization at the buyers expense.  That shouldn't be a significant holdup.

Found out the property has a $2600 lien on it for unpaid water bills that the utility company said will need to be paid prior to turning on the water... ARGH!!!

Otherwise it sounded like they were going to be willing to turn it on for me. 

I'm going to continue to try and find a lender that will take the air pressure test, so that I can make Hubzu pay the unpaid water bill so that the title is clear (I was able to confirm it is lien in the county recorder records).

Worst case, if I can get it at the right price I might bite the bullet and pay to turn the water on after contract is executed just to make the financing and closing easier....

Matt, I was wondering which route you took? I'm contemplating bidding on hubzu and my lender thinks air pressure test might not suffice for appraisal. Local water utility in Florida would turn the water on with a signed contract and fee. Not sure how hubzu/seller would feel about that!

Hi @Jamal Pathan  

I was finally able to track down a lender that said they would be able to lend without turning the water on. I have my license, and finally came up with the bright idea to search the MLS closings that had "hubzu" in the description, and closed with "conventional" financing. 1 out of the 10 said they could close without turning the water on.

I guess the other 9 required the buyer to have the utilities turned on, probably without hubzu knowing it. One realtor I contacted that had a client close with conventional said they went ahead and turned it on.

On the house however I'm still waiting on the price to drop, no one's bidding still. I did have an air-pressure test done anyway, and it was fine.

I could message you the lender if you're interested. It looks like they have a few offices in the Florida area.

Good luck on yours!

Hi Matt,

Thank you so much for this prompt and timely response! The auction of the house I'm interested in would be ending tonight. It's relatively newer house, 99/00ish built.

Please do provide the lender's name so I can be in contact should I require their funding. I'm a first time buyer trying to navigate these whole process!

Good luck on yours as well!

@Matt Overbee would you mind messaging me the lender also? I am in a similar situation with hubzu currently. Thank you!

I have called Property Preservation to get utilities turned on for an appraisal and was told that city inspector needs to go to property to recommend electrician before they can be turned on.  Has anyone else had this  happen?  Any idea of the timeframe?

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here