Men Arrested for Living in Vacant Home for Sale

vacant homeTwo men who trespassed at a $1.1 million Huntington Beach, Calif., investor's vacant home for sale and claimed to be tenants were arrested after the real estate agent notified police that someone had changed the locks and taken down the for sale sign, reported the Orange County Register.

Realtor Dave Macleod told AOL Real Estate that when he arrived at the 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom home (pictured below) with his handyman to have him drill the lock and rekey it, "We heard yelling inside. They kept saying, 'Don't come in.' They tried to claim they had a lease."

Squatters claiming to have leases on vacant properties is a growing problem in California ever since a 2010 law said that tenants cannot be booted out before the end of their lease after a home goes into a foreclosure, unless they accept payment from the bank or investor to leave before the end of the lease term, says Macleod.

However, Hoan Huu Nguyen, 37, of Santa Ana, and Jose Alfredo Olivares, 37, of Houston, who were both arrested on suspicion of burglary, trespassing and resisting arrest, were not tenants, says Macleod, who has a pending sale on the home for his investors.

"They came up with a fake lease. They had legal documents in boxes. They even had computers set up already. The police took the computers and all the boxes of their legal stuff. We suspect this was a whole operation involving other homes."

In exclusive photos obtained by AOL Real Estate from the day of the arrest, Olivares is seen on the balcony of the home.

Macleod became aware of the alleged trespassers when his professional stager went to check on the furniture and couldn't get in. He sent an associate, Michael Miller, over with a spare key, and that didn't work either, so he knew something was up.

The house, at 8426 Terranova Circle, two blocks from the ocean, was purchased for $883,616 by his investors at a foreclosure auction in October 2010. They had to pay $9,000 to legitimate tenants who had eight months left on a $3,000 monthly lease in order to get them to move out early. The investors also paid about $20,000 in back property taxes, in addition to repairs, he said.

The property, which has travertine floors and granite counters, was originally owned by a female investor who purchased it new for $1.705 million when it was built in 2006, along with several other homes at the time. This two-story home, which a main floor bedroom and three-car attached garage, went into default at $1,662,768 before his investors purchased it.

Macleod says that sellers and agents have to put in some precautions when dealing with a recently purchased foreclosure. "I send out an email to my investors with vacant homes to make sure that they drive by them every day or every other day and alert all the neighbors [to the status of the home]. I go give neighbors my card and have them call me immediately if they suspect anything."

He says it's not just squatters to watch out for, but also thieves. "People do go and burglarize these homes, too. I had a Bank of America home that was foreclosed on and once the home was secured and the person was out, I found out that someone had later stolen the water heater and lighting fixtures. This happens in all the neighborhoods, even lower income ones."

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All you of you get ready to send your kids off to war very soon. Male, female, gay, no exemptions. I'm looking forward eagerly to sitting on the selective service board to hear the sorry excuses and will be waiting delightedly for the day your kids come back physically crippled or mentally messed up. That's way better than them being killed in action because then they will be a burden you all of you whiners the rest of your lives. All of you had better straighten up and learn to pay your bills or surpriiiiiissssssseeeeee!!!!!!!!

January 28 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It sure is easy to categorize the honest hardworking producing adults verses the juvinile, criminal minded posters. I will bet the later are responsible for giving us OBAMA. The worst of it is the honest adults are over taxed by our government to support the latter.

By that method It would be easy to determine who is liberal and who is conservative.

It is sad to see the something for nothing crowd are so many. They are dragging our country down.

January 28 2011 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Squatters are breaking the law. Realtors are earning a living and not sitting there with their hand out for the government to pay their way.

January 23 2011 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your going to see a lot of vacent houses,rich. middleclass & poorer homes in the yr 2011. What can you expect with the poor ecomony. Don't come to Ohio looking for a job because there isn't any to be had. The rust bucket state is in poor shape/job wise.

January 23 2011 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My experience with realtors is that they are lazy and want other people to do their job for them. If I see someone coming and going or even living in the vacant house next door, I don't care. The realtor did actually did come to my door and give me his card and ask me to call him if I see anything "unusual" going on at the house. Screw him and the horse he rode in on. Let the lazy bastard check the house himself everyday if he cares so much. Maybe I'll call the dirtbag and tell him I'll watch the house for him if he gives me a piece of his big fat commission. A commission he gets for doing nothing. Again, screw him.

January 22 2011 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you have got to be kidding me, this is a home over 1million$$$ it looks like a regular 300k home, nothing special, small dinky rooms... wtf?

January 22 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The sad truth is here in FL a lot of people go on craigslist or such to legitimately rent a place. My best friend did this, and got a foreclosed house worth about 500K for supposedly 1200 a month. The guy actually gave her a lease and she gave him security. Imagine the shock she got when the cops came at her guns drawn accusing HER of being a burglar! It is getting hard to find out whether a landlord is legitimately the owner here in the Miami area...too many suss out a foreclosed house, rekey the lock and move tenants in only to leave them flopping in the breeze without sufficient money to move. Now, granted, I was suspicious as the rent was far too low for that area...but this chap is doing it to others as well and the cops know who he is and do nothing but harass the tenants who had no idea that this rental was bogus. So do not jump to conclusions about some of these so called squatters...a lot of them rented a place in good faith only to be ripped off by an unscrupulous bum who is the real criminal. All the facts need to come out before passing judgment.

January 22 2011 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B arb

This really is an over priced house. The furniture looks like it comes from a discount furniture house or worse..Ikea. Junk on the walls. Junk inside and out. Yuk! But if these two blokes found it satisfying guess it's up to their speed. For nothing? I don't think so. Get the squatters out. Send them back where they came from. Disinfect the house.

January 22 2011 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I think all you snobs need to get a life. I can't wait to see what you do when the shit hits the fan and you become homeless.All you stuck up snobs will be doing worser things than Squatting in someones house" Alan Mercier said and he's right! When you snobs become homeless, you'll go into anyone's house. I bet you snobs profit off foreclosures and other people's misery. Criminals who steal from these homes, yes, they're scum. But everyone deserves a place to stay. These people didn't do anything that any desperate American wouldn't.

January 22 2011 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Sendai's comment

I couldn't agree more with Sendai....self absorbed, completely involved in their own importance, step over the bodies and go shopping for crap kinda people....I wouldn't tell anyone associated with real estate that someone was secretly living in a foreclosed home, especially if they were homeless....screw 'em! Wake up people and get your stuff together.....stop thinking only of yourselves...walk a mile in my shoes is what I say....that interperates to mean compassion and empathy...go look it up.......

January 22 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lets see, you say we are all snobs because we work and pay for our homes. Hmm. And you say that people that vandilise, break into homes and try to cscam ALL of us are ok. They have computers, have "leases" on multiple houses and are scamming hoping to get a payoff to move out under the new law. Take a look around at what you got, put it all on Craigs list for free and let us know about it. You worked for it, paid for it and but everyone else is a snob and expect everyone else to cough it up. Greedy.

January 22 2011 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

haha My thoughts exactly!

January 22 2011 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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