Have you ever heard of the utility meter being stolen?

59 Replies

Myself and a partner have a SFH under contract in St. Louis, MO (this is a long-distance transaction) that we intend to purchase as a buy and hold. We just learned yesterday that they were unable to do the municipal inspection because someone had stolen the meter. Has anyone ever heard of this before?

It seems awfully suspicious to us that it disappeared the day before the municipal inspection. What are your thoughts?

Yep, it happens.....serial non payers of their electric bill go steal a meter when the power company takes theirs after they have been caught “playing with it”.

very common in low value C class areas .. other things that will take a walk 

condenser units.. most of your copper... your water heater.. 

this could be a sign that your in a bad area.

Contractors take them too...   I think they are able to use utilities illegally while they rehab with a stolen meter.  Not sure how that works.  But yeah.  It happens.  

I wondered about that @Ryan Mullin . It seems odd that the meter was there when we had our inspection done last week and then suddenly it disappears the day the municipal inspection is supposed to be done. 

The agent suggested it was likely vandals, yet that seemed an odd thing to vandalize to me. 

Yes @Jay Hinrichs ! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

Originally posted by @Skye Anderson :

Yes @Jay Hinrichs! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 I don't like the term run away.. you can simply walk briskly..  but in my opinion and I have been working in the asset class for 2 decades now and owned close to 500 of these.. if you have this issue now there is a high likelihood of repeat offenses..

Many times the tenants themselves will take the items or hand the keys to their cousin who strips the home.. 

Got to think there are safer bets out there.. and it really depends on your financial situation and your stress meter some folks would stress out and lose sleep, others this is just water off a ducks back.. 

However in general for me personally and anyone who ask's me if you do not live in the area low value and C class and below is no appropriate investments risk to high reward far to low .. real risk of losing money.. not making money.

Originally posted by @Skye Anderson :

Thank you for your feedback @Jay Hinrichs! I really appreciate it. :-)

 Just personal opinion based on experience.. we just don't know what we don't know.. 

I saw this once when I lived in NYC.  A small time landlord that my dad knew had 2 gas meters, one that was the one from the gas company and one that he lifted from a work site where the building had been demolished. During the winter, he would switch out the official meter for his meter for 2 weeks out of every month and put back the official one before the meter reader came.  (I think they are electronic now, so it wouldn't work anymore).  He used to say that he was 50/50 partners with the gas company!  

Originally posted by @Skye Anderson :

Myself and a partner have a SFH under contract in St. Louis, MO (this is a long-distance transaction) that we intend to purchase as a buy and hold. We just learned yesterday that they were unable to do the municipal inspection because someone had stolen the meter. Has anyone ever heard of this before?

It seems awfully suspicious to us that it disappeared the day before the municipal inspection. What are your thoughts?

 It happens.

Originally posted by @Skye Anderson :

Yes @Jay Hinrichs ! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How have your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

Originally posted by @Randy E. :
Originally posted by @Skye Anderson:

Yes @Jay Hinrichs! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How has your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

 well put and many West coast investors don't realize this until they already own them  and boy you should have heard the Austrialian investors.. they could not understand why their rent was not ACH into the account on the 2nd.. when they learned that most of their tenants did not have checking accounts.. you could see their chins drop they simply cant understand how that can be.. when in their country banking is all electronic and no checks are used or money orders etc.. its all on line.

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Randy E.:
Originally posted by @Skye Anderson:

Yes @Jay Hinrichs! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How has your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

 well put and many West coast investors don't realize this until they already own them  and boy you should have heard the Austrialian investors.. they could not understand why their rent was not ACH into the account on the 2nd.. when they learned that most of their tenants did not have checking accounts.. you could see their chins drop they simply cant understand how that can be.. when in their country banking is all electronic and no checks are used or money orders etc.. its all on line.

 It has been a GIANT surprise to me over my time on BP to see so many investors complaining about "bad" investments in "bad" neighborhoods.  These investors almost never look in the mirror and admit that maybe, just maybe, part of the problem lies in their personal inexperience in efficiently dealing with the situation they chose to put themselves in.  Usually a decision made with almost no personal research into where they are investing.

Afterwards, there are always complaints about a neighborhood, or bad tenants, or an entire tenant class being labeled as undeserving of their services as a landlord.  The reality is, those investors have no business trying to do business in neighborhoods and with people with whom they don't understand and have no desire to learn.  After all, no one forced any investor to invest in any specific place.  If you made a decision that doesn't match your qualifications, admit your mistake and make a better choice next time.  OR, stop whining and learn the skills needed to be successful in those areas ... then go out and be successful in those areas.

And if anyone has made such a bad decision in NC and wants to move on, please PM me the address(es) of your mistakes and I'll be happy to take them off your hands.

Originally posted by @Randy E. :
Originally posted by @Skye Anderson:

Yes @Jay Hinrichs ! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How have your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

Thank you for your insight Randy E.! You make some great points. 

Actually where my mind went when I learned of the issue was that it was done by someone trying to deter me from buying the property in the first place.  

I am not rattled by the stolen meter from a potential landlord perspective. But this is my first property so I just never heard of such a thing.  

My agent is suggesting we walk away but that seemed a bit rash to me. So that's why I posted about it on BP. To hear what investors who have experience have to say. 

Originally posted by @Randy E. :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Randy E.:
Originally posted by @Skye Anderson:

Yes @Jay Hinrichs! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How has your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

 well put and many West coast investors don't realize this until they already own them  and boy you should have heard the Austrialian investors.. they could not understand why their rent was not ACH into the account on the 2nd.. when they learned that most of their tenants did not have checking accounts.. you could see their chins drop they simply cant understand how that can be.. when in their country banking is all electronic and no checks are used or money orders etc.. its all on line.

 It has been a GIANT surprise to me over my time on BP to see so many investors complaining about "bad" investments in "bad" neighborhoods.  These investors almost never look in the mirror and admit that maybe, just maybe, part of the problem lies in their personal inexperience in efficiently dealing with the situation they chose to put themselves in.  Usually a decision made with almost no personal research into where they are investing.

Afterwards, there are always complaints about a neighborhood, or bad tenants, or an entire tenant class being labeled as undeserving of their services as a landlord.  The reality is, those investors have no business trying to do business in neighborhoods and with people with whom they don't understand and have no desire to learn.  After all, no one forced any investor to invest in any specific place.  If you made a decision that doesn't match your qualifications, admit your mistake and make a better choice next time.  OR, stop whining and learn the skills needed to be successful in those areas ... then go out and be successful in those areas.

And if anyone has made such a bad decision in NC and wants to move on, please PM me the address(es) of your mistakes and I'll be happy to take them off your hands.

 yup in aviation we call this  simply you don't know what you don't know and what you don't know can kill you.. same in investing in areas were you only read the good stuff and think that teannts no matter who they are always pay rent LOL

Originally posted by @Skye Anderson :
Originally posted by @Randy E.:
Originally posted by @Skye Anderson:

Yes @Jay Hinrichs ! The air conditioner was stolen awhile back. 

The area is going through a revitalization period so it's challenging to know what to do. Do we move forward and deal with all this sketchy stuff and hope to come on the other end with a great property in a up and coming neighborhood? Or do we run the other way and find something in a better neighborhood?

 Personally, I would negotiate the lowest price I could and if the numbers worked, this would not deter me.

For your decision, that's all about you.  How have your living arrangements been throughout your life?  Have you always lived in B+ or better neighborhoods?  Have you ever had (and visited) friends who lived in low-income neighborhoods?  The house that you are planning to buy in St Louis, how would you feel hanging out in that neighborhood and having a barbecue with the neighbors there?

There are not right or wrong, benevolent or got'cha, or trick answers here.  But, if you don't have experience in those sorts of neighborhoods, and even moreso, you don't have life experience with the socio-economic type of people who would be your tenants, that's your answer.  Not every investor is suited to be a landlord in every possible neighborhood.

If the reality of a stolen meter surprises and rattles you, I think you are probably better suited for being a landlord in other types of neighborhoods.

Thank you for your insight Randy E.! You make some great points. 

Actually where my mind went when I learned of the issue was that it was done by someone trying to deter me from buying the property in the first place.  

I am not rattled by the stolen meter from a potential landlord perspective. But this is my first property so I just never heard of such a thing.  

My agent is suggesting we walk away but that seemed a bit rash to me. So that's why I posted about it on BP. To hear what investors who have experience have to say. 

 Skye,

I wasn't trying to be hard on you.  It might be that you are perfectly suited for investing in that area, and that your hesitance comes solely from being a newbie.  That's entirely possible.  My first purchase, the act of buying and investing, rattled me.

I just want to make sure that YOU make sure you know as much about the neighborhood before you spend your money.  Don't listen to anyone else sell you on the area, or try to convince you not to invest there.  You should learn as much as YOU can, and that 1st hand knowledge will allow you to make an informed decision.

Good luck,