No water meter for 9 years?

6 Replies

Looking at purchasing an REO that doesn't currently have water- Evidently it was removed approximately 9 years ago when payments were missed and the foreclosure process began. The county hasn't been able to provide the listing agent with a time frame of when the water could be reconnected, or even if it can- The property is in Hawaii and it sounds as though there may be some complexities surrounding getting water in this particular area- Is there a way to navigate this, or should it be avoided altogether? What potential issues may exist without water in the home for 9 years?

Hen Ley, 

What island is it on?  I have found it differs from island to island, I have done a property on the Big Island and one on Maui.  The Big Island was easy, one phone call, email application and a $75 reconnection fee plus the normal fee of $75.  Water was back on in less than a week.   On Maui, it was a different story, a lot of phone calls, letter to the Mayor and a $12,000 reconnection fee.  It took a few months and quite a bit of time.  Good luck on it, let us know how it goes if you get the deal.

@Colby Hanley , thanks for your insights.  It's on Maui in the high country-  Sounds as though the realtor has been working for months just to get an answer about how/when the water can be turned on!

@Hen Ley  It can be done since the property has had a meter before, if the property never had a meter then you need to get on the water meter list, but the list has been closed for over eight years to new applicants. They will not open the list till they exhaust the current list. I have been on the water meter list for over twelve years for one of my property’s upcountry, I am #708 out of over 1200 on the list and I was told they are around the mid 80’s as of the beginning of the year (2019) and they are only releasing 30 water meters at a time. One option is water catchment depending where and how much room you have. One of the neighbors did this option but it has its own issues, set-up cost (tank/pump), rain fall and treatment of water. If there is not enough rain fall you can truck water, but you are looking at $500 +/- per 3500gal load. But if you get the property at the right price it can be worth the hassle. Remember you make your money on property when you buy it, not sell it.

Originally posted by @Hen Ley :

@Colby Hanley , thanks for your insights.  It's on Maui in the high country-  Sounds as though the realtor has been working for months just to get an answer about how/when the water can be turned on!

If it's upcountry Maui you need to get it resolved before your J1 inspection contingency expires. People have been waiting for water meters for 10, 15, maybe even 20 years up here. We bought a vacant lot that already had a water meter thank God (for our primary, since we built new). But the others I know that also built just got a catchment. That's probably your easiest route, depending what plan to do with the property. It's definitely not considered a desirable option to most buyers.

Colby should be able to shed some more light on this. He dominates upcountry. Maybe since the house already had a meter and just got shut off you can skip the 437 year waiting list? 

I believe they remove the meter after 6 months of no service. But it should be easier to turn back on than to get a first new meter. 

Originally posted by @Colby Hanley :

@Hen Ley  It can be done since the property has had a meter before, if the property never had a meter then you need to get on the water meter list, but the list has been closed for over eight years to new applicants. They will not open the list till they exhaust the current list. I have been on the water meter list for over twelve years for one of my property’s upcountry, I am #708 out of over 1200 on the list and I was told they are around the mid 80’s as of the beginning of the year (2019) and they are only releasing 30 water meters at a time. One option is water catchment depending where and how much room you have. One of the neighbors did this option but it has its own issues, set-up cost (tank/pump), rain fall and treatment of water. If there is not enough rain fall you can truck water, but you are looking at $500 +/- per 3500gal load. But if you get the property at the right price it can be worth the hassle. Remember you make your money on property when you buy it, not sell it.

Oops. Guess I spoke too soon! lol There's your answer!