Make An Abandoned House Livable — Totseans

Make An Abandoned House Livable

fagfag Regular
edited November 2011 in Man Cave
house1.jpg


In this economy, there are sprawls of empty structures waiting to be exploited. Why waste $500 or more a month on renting/utilities when you could spend that money on shit you want to spend it on? This little guide can help you locate and secure a home.


Step 1: Selection

First, you need to go property shopping. It must fit a certain criteria..Has it been abandoned for extended lengths of time? Checking real-estate websites, and the overall condition, you can guestimate how long a building has been vacant. The longer, the better. In my hometown, I could take you to 10 different warehouses, garages, hotels, and homes that have been empty for as long as I can remember, and probably always will be. Does the structure in question have nearby neighbors that would perhaps be suspicious of your presence? If so, can you access the structure without them knowing? If not, find a better one! If you're a fan of partying and making noise, choose somewhere rural and/or industrial. A building with heavy concrete walls in an area that is desolate after 7pm, and you're pretty much good to go.


Step 2: Entry

Now that you've found the ideal location, go ahead and invite yourself on a tour of the place. Sometimes broad daylight is preferred, sometimes night time is preferred. Sometimes a mix of both is best. If you look like you belong there during the daytime, nobody will second-guess you. Check for unlocked doors. Check for windows that have been cracked open. Check for easy crawlspace or attic access. If you have access to files, a set of vise grips, and disposed street sweeper bristles, fashion yourself lockpicks. With a medium sized tension wrench and a bogota rake, you can open just about any residential grade lock. Check for any type of damage. There may be a reason the place is abandoned, which can work for or against you. On your way out, leave two methods of entry. A conspicuous entry, and a backdoor.


Step 3: Utilities

If an industrial property, chances are the power and water are still running. However, these can lack the amenities of a residential space. If you want a shower, kitchen, and carpet, this may not be the best choice. Residential areas tend to be a bit more tricky, however. Water is generally shut off to 'winterize' the plumbing to prevent damage to the pipes when the water freezes and expands. The electricity will almost always be deactivated. Fear not, for electricity is not hard to get re-activated.

3a: Hacking a power meter: This is relatively simple. A power meter box has a live feed running into it, with a meter, switch, and a bunch of breaker switches. The box may be locked with a padlock, but is more often than not just protected by a thin tamper proof wire that can be cut off with a simple pair of needle nose pliers. To remove this is no biggie. To remove it without showing signs of tampering is damn near impossible. Nonetheless, once you have access to the power box, you will see 4 terminals. One will be connected to the side of the power box, one will be connected to the rear of the meter, and two will be connected, to the middle of the meter, usually side-by side. By running a jumper wire between these two, you effectively bypass the meter and switching mechanism, and give juice to the house! Not just any jumper will work. It needs to be very heavy cable. A heavy vehicle jumper or battery cable can suffice. Be very very careful here. If power still isn't working after jumping, make sure all the breakers are set to the on position. ;)

3b: Hacking water: There will be one of two possibilities. Either the house will have it's own well, or the house will be on city water. If on a well, it's quite likely the water will come back on when electricity is supplied. If not, or if one is on city water, a valve will have to be turned somewhere. This will likely be around the vicinity of the house, typically in a small box embedded in the ground with a green or bluish lid. If turning those valves does not get water running, you may have to locate the pump, and make sure the power breaker to it is switched on. If on city water, it may involve popping open a manhole cover and turning a valve there. I personally recommend you find a place with it's own well, to avoid the city from noticing the unapproved water usage.


Step 4: Response Test

At this point, you have a property, utilities activated, and you're probably antsy to move in. It is a good idea to take precautions. Leave a few lights on in the house, and come back a week later. If the lights are still on, chances are nobody gives a shit, and you're free to move in.


Step 5: Stake a claim

Now that you have found a nice serene home, it's time to establish it as yours. Remove any real-estate sign from the yard to quell the curiousity of passers-by. During the daytime, you may wish to do some landscaping. Remove weeds, pick up garbage, trim the lawn if you can find a mower. For added security, change the locks on the house. One can purchase a set of 2 deadbolts for under $30. This way you have a key to your own home, and real estate agents/ex-residents cannot access it at will. You might even decide to intentionally vandalize the home. Rip siding boards off the front. Put a piece of plywood over a window. Run the garden hose under the sidewalk to wash it out, and smash it in. Make it look dalapidated on the outside, to scare off any potential renters/homebuyers. Water damage especially is a great way to scare people off. Water damage causes nasty things like loss of structural integrity, toxic mold, etc.

Step 6: Don't get too comfortable.

You may live there for 10 years. You may live there for 5 days. Always be aware who is aware of you, if anyone. Be careful who you invite over. Keep in mind you have far less rights as a squatter. But by all means, do get furnishings. For the amount of money you save on utilities/rent, this will be quite affordable. The better your initial selection, the better your chances of going undisturbed. ;)

Comments

  • BurnBurn Regular
    edited October 2011
    Nice work! Very interesting, I assume you've lived as a squatter at one stage or another? Any stories to share?
  • fagfag Regular
    edited October 2011
    I've never had the need to camp for more than a few days at a time, actually. Generally the only time I use them for lodging is when Im out of town. Im in it for exploring, raiding abandoned places for loot, setting up party palaces..That sort of stuff. I've got several rural houses in the area that I can go to at any time to catch a free shower, host a party, use as a dead drop, etc..I did follow all my own guidelines in securing them, however, and thought they would work very well for squatting, hence this post.

    This site is practically a shopping list for vacant homes:
    https://www.foreclosurelistings.com
  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited October 2011
  • juggjugg Regular
    edited October 2011




    3a: Hacking a power meter: This is relatively simple. A power meter box has a live feed running into it, with a meter, switch, and a bunch of breaker switches. The box may be locked with a padlock, but is more often than not just protected by a thin tamper proof wire that can be cut off with a simple pair of needle nose pliers. To remove this is no biggie. To remove it without showing signs of tampering is damn near impossible. Nonetheless, once you have access to the power box, you will see 4 terminals. One will be connected to the side of the power box, one will be connected to the rear of the meter, and two will be connected, to the middle of the meter, usually side-by side. By running a jumper wire between these two, you effectively bypass the meter and switching mechanism, and give juice to the house! Not just any jumper will work. It needs to be very heavy cable. A heavy vehicle jumper or battery cable can suffice. Be very very careful here. If power still isn't working after jumping, make sure all the breakers are set to the on position. ;)


    This thread seems to be pretty good, but Jumping power like this will kill you if you don't know what you are doing. BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE GOING TO DO THIS. Other than that everything else seems to be spot on good job!


  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited October 2011
    ^This man knows what he is talking about. He is a state licensed electrical contractor.
  • ThirdRockFromTheSunThirdRockFromTheSun <b style="color:blue;">Third<em style="color:pink;">Cock</em>FromThe<em style="color:brown;">Bum</em
    edited October 2011
    Holy shit this is awesome. I think I'll be moving out soon then :D
  • fagfag Regular
    edited October 2011
    Would be cool if you could post a sub guide on safety precautions when dealing with power meters...

    As an alternative for stealing power, there is a fairly simple option.

    Get an extension cord. I recommend pawnshops. Heaviest/longest one you can find. Then go to the hardware store, and find a female to male adapter. This will equip you with a cord that has double male ends. You can now connect this to a neighboring building's outlet, and then connect it to an exterior outlet on your home. This is a highly limited power source, since you will only have 15-25 amps to work with, possibly less due to the resistance of the extension cord. Depending on the wiring, you will either have a few outlets/lights, or the entire house lit up. Be weary about running things like microwaves, as it could trip the breaker of the neighboring house, alerting them that something could be wrong.

    Once in a while you will get lucky, though. I came across a house with full electricity, and not just running water, but running hot water. Has been empty for 5 months that I know of :D
  • juggjugg Regular
    edited October 2011
    fag wrote: »
    Would be cool if you could post a sub guide on safety precautions when dealing with power meters...

    As an alternative for stealing power, there is a fairly simple option.

    Get an extension cord. I recommend pawnshops. Heaviest/longest one you can find. Then go to the hardware store, and find a female to male adapter. This will equip you with a cord that has double male ends. You can now connect this to a neighboring building's outlet, and then connect it to an exterior outlet on your home. This is a highly limited power source, since you will only have 15-25 amps to work with, possibly less due to the resistance of the extension cord. Depending on the wiring, you will either have a few outlets/lights, or the entire house lit up. Be weary about running things like microwaves, as it could trip the breaker of the neighboring house, alerting them that something could be wrong.

    Once in a while you will get lucky, though. I came across a house with full electricity, and not just running water, but running hot water. Has been empty for 5 months that I know of :D

    ^This will work


    I can try to write something for you, I just need to find some pictures so I can explain it.
  • fagfag Regular
    edited October 2011
    I can get a photo of the inside of a meter box. Will send you a pm with the pic in it once I have the chance to go take it.
  • HOLLISTER GUYHOLLISTER GUY Regular
    edited November 2011
    Any good method of finding abandoned property that won't be periodically checked on by the bank or real estate company?
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited November 2011
    Re: Step 5

    It might be a better idea to change the telephone number on the the for sale sign by one digit using a tin of paint or a permanent marker. The seller may notice that their sign has disappeared if you take it down completely. Instead replace the tel no. and no interested buyers will be able to reach the estate agent in order to book a viewing, and the seller will be less likely to notice any change.
  • HOLLISTER GUYHOLLISTER GUY Regular
    edited November 2011
    Meloncholy wrote: »
    Re: Step 5

    It might be a better idea to change the telephone number on the the for sale sign by one digit using a tin of paint or a permanent marker. The seller may notice that their sign has disappeared if you take it down completely. Instead replace the tel no. and no interested buyers will be able to reach the estate agent in order to book a viewing, and the seller will be less likely to notice any change.

    except all the people who looks for houses through online listings which is probably the most common thing nowadays
  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited November 2011
    Yeah I was thinking the same thing HG. Most people look at realtors websites for listings, contact the realtor when they see a home they are interested in looking at, and the meet the realtor at the property or in the office. I know that is what I did when I bought my home two years ago.
  • MeloncholyMeloncholy Regular
    edited November 2011
    Shit. Good point.
  • SpinsterSpinster Regular
    edited November 2011
    I dont know a thing about hacking, but I wouldn't think those kinds of websites would have any fancy security or anything.
    but theeen, they would eventually catch on when they realise they arnt getting any call about the property. Also when people vist their branch they should still set house buyers on to the property, give them directions etc.

    not to say your idea was bad meloncholy, I thought it was a stroke of genius when I read it!
  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited November 2011
    ^So you are homeless and you are going to hack a website for some place to live?
  • chippychippy <b style="color:pink;">Global Moderator</b>
    edited November 2011
    I think you would do better looking for an abandoned property rather than one that is for sale.
  • HOLLISTER GUYHOLLISTER GUY Regular
    edited November 2011
    It could be good to check obituaries and if the place where the person lived is left unoccupied for a couple weeks/months then you should be in the clear.
  • SpinsterSpinster Regular
    edited November 2011
    ^So you are homeless and you are going to hack a website for some place to live?

    oh right:facepalm:
  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited November 2011
    ^It's OK, it's easier to see holes in others thoughts than your own at times.
  • HOLLISTER GUYHOLLISTER GUY Regular
    edited November 2011
    We should set up totse squat houses all over the place so that we can travel around and have a place to stay.
  • PacoPaco me administrator
    edited November 2011
    That's a pretty good idea. And then we could set up a map of all the totse squat houses so that people could like, map out trips and shit.
  • juggjugg Regular
    edited November 2011
    [h=1]Vacant House Targeted by Squatters, Scammers and Thieves[/h]
    Empty houses -- those either awaiting foreclosure or where the owners have moved out for other reasons -- might as well have a "kick me" sign on them. Actually, make that "vandalize me" sign. They are frequently the targets of squatters who move in illegal scammers who claim they own them and rent them out to unsuspecting tenants, or just plain old garden variety thieves who break in and steal the valuables right down tho the copper pipes and refrigerator. Or, in the case of one Suffolk County house, all three. the Bay Shore home of Richard and Lisa Scott slipped into foreclosure in 2009. The Scotts said they gave their lender, Bank of America, three short sale offers that went nowhere fast, with the bank citing incomplete paperwork that the Scotts and their agent insist was delivered. The Scotts, meanwhile, moved out to rebuild their lives in the South.

    When I saw this article I thought of this thread.

    Here are some more stories with some more information regarding this thread
    http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/08/24/realtors-latest-challenge-a-surge-of-squatters/
  • DannyOceanDannyOcean New Arrival
    edited November 2011
    Are there any legal ramifications for squatting in a house for a while?
  • juggjugg Regular
    edited November 2011
    Google!!!!!!!

    HOW TO SQUAT IN A ABANDONED PROPERTY

    Know the laws in your area. In many jurisdictions, squatting is a criminal activity and may land you in jail. In some places, notably the UK (though Scotland is one exception), squatting is legal as long as you follow certain procedures and avoid breaking other laws, such as breaking and entering.
  • Darth BeaverDarth Beaver Meine Ehre heißt Treue
    edited November 2011
    DannyOcean wrote: »
    Are there any legal ramifications for squatting in a house for a while?

    I think there are in Ottawa. know a drummer there, I Will have to ask him the next time I run into him.
  • DannyOceanDannyOcean New Arrival
    edited November 2011
    I think there are in Ottawa. know a drummer there, I Will have to ask him the next time I run into him.

    Teach me how to hid myself more on the internet. xD
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