Advice for a new squatter? (1 Viewer)

Russetfur1128

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I just moved into a house that is abandoned. The owner died 3 years ago and his wife moved halfway across the country. Planning on fixing up the yard and then getting water and electricity turned on, but not sure about how to do that. I've never paid bills in my life, as I've been living with family and never been independent. Is it better to be open and friendly towards the neighbors or only come and go when dark? I've also found out that they have a daughter who lives 10 minutes away and am extremely worried that she might check in. However I think there's pretty good proof that the property isn't cared about and that nobodychecks in? There was food left rotting in the fridge, the yard has been a mess since the owners left, taxes haven't been paid since 2019, there had clearly been other squatters living there a while back (poop caked in one of the toilets, plus a mess was made of things), and the most recent mail with a date on it was from December of 2018. So what do you guys think? Any advice for me?
 
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madmcneal

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I'd say be open, courteous, and friendly! Take pictures of the state of things before you clean up, then clean things up and try to get the house in better shape then if and when someone does show up, be friendly and show them how you've been taking care of it. Anyone with decent sensibilities won't be angry that someone took care of the place so they dont have to! Then if other squatters show up you kinda have a staked claim and it'll seem like you own it. Kindness and honesty are (usually) the best options in my opinion. Good luck! Let us know what you do and how it goes, friend. ✌
 
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I've squatted a lot and it sounds to me like you're in a really good situation. You can get utilities on inn your name without a problem in most areas. I've found a few that only let the owner turn the water on. It's best to avoid being seen by the neighbors as long as possible, but sooner or later, it's bound to happen. Get the inside cleaned up as best you can before that. Get rid of all the stuff that has the original owner's name, that obviously isn't yours, or that has obviously been abandoned for a long time. Get official mail sent there. The easiest is oter registration. Change the address on your ID card to your new home. When they do see you, smile and wave hello. If being seen doesn't get the cops called, that's when you start cleaning up the front yard and acting like a regular resident. Try your best not to look homeless, no big backpack, nice cloths. Concoct a story about renting from someone. You can even say you're renting a room from someone who isn't home.

It sounds like you're off to a good start with the information you were able to research on the house and the family. Good luck!
 

Russetfur1128

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I've squatted a lot and it sounds to me like you're in a really good situation. You can get utilities on inn your name without a problem in most areas. I've found a few that only let the owner turn the water on. It's best to avoid being seen by the neighbors as long as possible, but sooner or later, it's bound to happen. Get the inside cleaned up as best you can before that. Get rid of all the stuff that has the original owner's name, that obviously isn't yours, or that has obviously been abandoned for a long time. Get official mail sent there. The easiest is oter registration. Change the address on your ID card to your new home. When they do see you, smile and wave hello. If being seen doesn't get the cops called, that's when you start cleaning up the front yard and acting like a regular resident. Try your best not to look homeless, no big backpack, nice cloths. Concoct a story about renting from someone. You can even say you're renting a room from someone who isn't home.

It sounds like you're off to a good start with the information you were able to research on the house and the family. Good luck!
So I've discovered that the roof needs to be repaired, as it rained last night and it leaked into one of the bedrooms. How would I go about repairing it? I don't have the money to hire a roofer yet. Now my plan of action is to get the water turned on, have someone check out the pipes, and then get electric and someone to check out the wiring. Should I get an electrician first or does the power need ro be on for them to tell if something is wrong?
 
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Hiring professionals is probably risky and more money than a squat is worth. Even doing a proper repair job yourself is a hue gamble. Keep in mind, the house could get busted any day and then you'd be out any money you put into it. The best cheap emergency fix for a leaky roof is to tarp it. Google how to do it properly, wrap the edges of the tarp around 1x2 slats of wood and go all the way over the crest of the roof. Tarping a roof normally only lasts 1-3 months because wind whips the tarp around and sun makes it brittle. To protect it, you need to cover it with something that weighs it down and traps moisture. You can use old blankets for the crest, and organic material, like composted leaves and moss for the rest of it. Sheets of plywood also work. Make sure there's not a bunch of sharp sticks in the compost to poke holes in the tarp. My roof has been leak free for over 3 years with this method. Doing it without the neighbors seeing you is the hard part.

If there's no visible damage to the wires and pipes, I'd just assume they're good. I you can get into the attic or down in the crawl space under the house to look at them, that would be a good idea. Leaky pipes will cause visible mold and water damage. If the elecrtical meter is in place, that's a good sign. My house had the copper wires stripped by burglars, and I was still able to wire new outlets from the circuit breaker, but that's a different lesson.
 

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