For most buyers, a foreclosure is a calculated risk, but sometimes, those risks go above and beyond the furthest stretches of imagination. Earlier this month, a Cape Coral, Florida man won a foreclosure auction. The home was purchased in a tax-deed auction and it was assumed that the reason for the unpaid taxes was due to the owner’s death.
The neighbors in the area of the foreclosure all assumed the owner had moved away, but they were unfortunately mistaken.
When William Wilson attempted to enter his newly purchased foreclosure he found the decomposing body of the previous owner inside, according to News-Press.
Apparently no one walked through the home before issuing the final foreclosure
No one knew that the woman had never left her home. And perhaps most disturbing of all, the neighbors had called to report the property for code violations: not mowing, sprinklers malfunctioning, etc. and yet no one found the body, or wondered what happened to the owner.
The house had bars on the windows and Wilson assumes this is why no one attempted entry. The local news stated that the Cape Coral Police Department had checked the house twice, both times the zone officer was checking a presumed vacant home on his beat. Code enforcement officers had also been to the home several additional times in the last six years, according to public records from the city of Cape Coral.
The interior was like a time capsule
Wilson described the interior like a time capsule, full of boxes, files of paper, shredded trash, old food, pizza boxes and bird feces. He said the mummified body had been eaten, whether by cockroaches or by a pet bird that lived after the individual passed. He now has to decide what to do with the house and its contents.
Nancy McCrum, a broker associate with Blue Water Realty in Cape Coral, called the incident a fluke, stating, “if I get assignments, I go in, walk through it and make sure everything’s secure,” McCrum said. “Somebody should’ve been in there at some point in time. But, I don’t think you can blame the neighbors, you see vacant, overgrown houses all over.”
Regardless of who is at “fault,” one thing remains clear: this could make customers nervous about entering their foreclosure buys for the first time.