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City of Warren MI is going to enact a foreclosure registry for homes

July 8th, 2009 · 5 Comments · tips for purchasing a foreclosure, warren MI

City of Warren MI offices - foreclosure registry homes for sale

The first reading of a new ordinance in the City of Warren has already taken place and the 2nd reading will probably happen when the city council next meets.

This ordinance is going to have a positive affect on homeowners in the city by helping reduce the eyesores and the safety hazards that abandoned properties have in the neighborhoods.

Some of the highlights if this new foreclosure registry ordinance:

  • Require banks and other owners of abandoned foreclosed homes in the city to register those homes at the city offices.
  • Require the owners of these homes to conduct an inspection of the homes and to properly maintain them (removal of trash, boarding up unlocked windows, and lawn maintenance)
  • Pools and spas must be kept operable with clean water, or drained and covered.

One thing that I find interesting is that most bank owners are not going to know about this ordinance unless real estate agents who market these homes for sale are on the ball and have paid attention in the City of Warren.   It’s going to be up to those real estate agents to notify their bank clients of this new ordinance and make sure that they have the funds to hire people to maintain the homes.  Although, I’m sure as the first few fines start hitting the bank owners that word will soon get around to the rest of them.

This ordinance has been overdue in my opinion and I hope will serve as a model for other communities in Macomb County.  We’re seeing many bank owners take responsibility and clean up the homes and maintain the outside of the properties, but there are still some that do no more than change the locks and put them on the market.  This lack of simple maintenance causes a blight on the whole neighborhood as well as plummeting home values even more.  It also is a concern for the safety of the neighborhood when homes are left unsecure as well as pools & spas left uncovered and filled with dank water.

I’d like to thank the officials with the City of Warren for doing something about the blight in the city and the safety hazards that came because of the abandoned homes. Once this is fully enacted I expect home buyers to enjoy viewing these bank owned homes for sale in the city of Warren again without the hazards that we sometimes encountered.

~Kris Wales~ A partner for your real estate needs in Macomb County MI

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Larry // Jul 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I live in Warren and am glad to hear this. Lots of people will complain about it but when I go to sell my house I want my neighborhood to look good.

  • 2 Paul E. // Jul 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Kris: Warren already has codes requiring the exterior upkeep of properties such as noxious weeds, open and unsecured buildings, and accumulations of trash and litter. Why are ownres of foreclosed homes required to pay a fee and register their properties when other homeowners are not? What if a homowner goes to Florida for a year and fails to maintain their property? He does not have to pay or register, yet the property must still be kept up to standards? Unless the City is proposing to have foreclosed homes meet a maintenance standard than non foreclosed homes?

  • 3 Kris Wales // Jul 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Paul,

    This is only my speculation (I didn’t attend the meeting) but here goes:

    Bank owned homes sometimes change hands very quickly and I have a feeling that a property transfer affidavit may not be given to the city assessors office each time that takes place. If the city wants to know who owns the home (and who is ultimately responsible for the upkeep) it wants the information quickly.

    Requiring banks (and other owners of foreclosed properties) to register the homes with the city accomplishes one certain thing: It gives the city contact information quickly for a vacant property. ( It also ultimately will bring in more revenue for the city…:-)

    I am curious to read the entire ordinance when it takes affect to see if the city is going to hold these owners to a higher maintenance standard than other property owners.

    The absent homeowner (in the scenario you described) would probably find an assessment on his property tax when he returned for any service the city performed (lawn cutting, snow removal) We’re seeing this in communities all over Macomb County now in not only bank owned home, but privately owned homes as well.

    Thanks for commenting Paul and raising the questions that you did.

    Kris Wales

  • 4 Curious // Jan 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Can the city do their inspection BEFORE a new owner closes on it? We are purchasing a home in Warren, MI and was told we had to wait until AFTER closing to get the city to come out and do their inspection. From what I’m reading, that isn’t correct.

  • 5 Kris Wales // Jan 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I always advise people wanting to purchase a home that has been “tagged” to have the city inspection during the same contingency period as their regular home inspection. This way, if the city inspection reveals more repairs than they wish to make, they can back out of the purchase agreement.

    From what I understand from talking to the building department a few years ago, a purchaser can do this as long as the inspection is ordered with plenty of time and paid for. Now this was a couple of years ago, so you may want to call the city building department (actually, I think for the inspections it’s called the housing department) and ask them it this still the case.


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