Why Are People Taking Pictures of Our House?

Ok, so this is the second time I have seen people taking pictures of our house. Who knows if there are more than that when I’m not home or not looking? The first time I witnessed this was about a month ago. A silver Impala drove past the driveway a little bit, stopped and the passenger stuck a camera out the window and took a picture of the house. Then today, not ten minutes ago, a green Murcury Sable (had to be from the early 90’s) did the same thing except that it was the driver and he was talking on his cell phone while he did it. They are definitely aiming at the house, not the fields around us and then they drive off like nothing.

Should I be concerned about this? Are we being “cased”? I mean seriously, what the hell? The house is not for sale and we haven’t done anything interesting to the outside yet. We’ve only been here 7 months!!! But two people within two months? That’s kinda odd, right? How many times does anyone else drive by someone’s home and take a picture? Is our house just that interesting to look at? I didn’t think it was THAT unique! PLUS, they are not taking pictures of all the houses on the street, they never stop for the one across the street from us.

Noone that I know of ever took a picture of our house on Alsace!

54 thoughts on “Why Are People Taking Pictures of Our House?”

  1. These comments kill me! I’m an independent property inspector myself, and wish to clear up a few misconceptions. The first question you have to ask yourself is: Am i behind on my payments? If you are, or have established a consistent late pay status, the bank may begin the pre-foreclosure process with or without you knowing about it. (I’ve done some of the same houses for years.) This includes paying some fool like me $2-$15(average depending on radius from a major metro area) to drive out and perform an “occupancy inspection.” I don’t know all of the reasons why this is performed. I do however know that if you vacate the property for a certain amount of days, they can lock you out and remove any property you have (to be disposed of, held in a storage location, or auctioned off). I did get my insurance adjusters license several years ago, and was offered a job for an insurance co doing this same thing, however it was to verify that homeowners were truthful when signing up. Finding things like an undeclared pool or trampoline, judging roof condition…..things like that.( Also, dishonesty when signing up for insurance is a felony..Its called something weird..What is is? Oh..Insurance Fraud!) But what I do on a daily basis are pre-foreclosure, bankruptcy, and foreclosure inspections. And it seems suspicious, but we really don’t get paid to sit and chat…have no info to give you.(I honestly don’t know who I’m reporting for, I only have client numbers.) ,and I’m racing daylight so I can get decent pics and work enough to make it worth it. Also..No. I’m not going to dress up, when my job is 100% easier if I don’t stand out, and make people feel like crap for not being able to pay their mortgage. I hope this clears up some of the mud. But if you see someone taking pics of your house. Don’t piss of the cops…Call your mortgage holder first.

  2. A white truck stopped in front of the house this afternoon. It looked like some guy taking a photo. Son ran outside and the guy took off fast like he was scared or something. We’ve Never been late with payment. And all is good. So no idea what’s going on. Last January our truck window was shot out as we were going down the road. But thank God we were not hurt. Lately our relatives who don’t live with us have been getting death threats and notes on their door. Now strange guy taking photos of our house. People should really ID themselves before someone gets seriously hurt.

  3. This is happening to us too – we bought a house few months ago in a nice suburban desirable area in Long Island, New York. I’ve witnessed few people stopping by taking pictures. It’s creepy, I don’t know what to think anymore- the house is alarmed but I don’t feel safe. I’m thinking to put a sign on the driveway or a camera to capture how often this is happening.. Creeepyyyy

  4. Just for those coming up on this — there may be several reasons for this. I take photos of homes as part of my job. I am hired by banks and mortgage companies to verify occupancy and conditions of properties. It could be for many reasons. In some cases, it’s just a random check to be sure a property is occupied. In other cases, the home is in some stage of the foreclosure process, or pre-foreclosure process. It could be comparables for brokers or insurance purposes. Even if you are refinancing, changing your insurance, etc. It could also be investigative in nature if you are on unemployment or disability. Also, if you are behind on your car payments (or if you co-signed for a vehicle that’s behind or even were listed as a reference) I could be there to locate the vehicle for the finance company.

    There are just so many reasons. They don’t always tell me why, and I’m usually not allowed to discuss it because of federal collections laws. We are not required to alert you what we are doing if we stay on public property, but if you ask I will always show you my ID card and give you the name/number of the party who hired me if you want it. Some of you noted the photographers driving “beat up” cars — well, when I do do this work, I drive my 15 year old car because I am often required to drive on seriously rough gravel and dirt roads. After driving my nicer car doing this I learned quickly to use my junkier car because I don’t want to beat it up any more…and because a couple of people have run up on me with bats thinking I was casing their home.

    More often than not, it’s a neighbor who gets mad than the resident themselves. The residents are usually aware of why I might be there — not always, but usually. I never go on the property unless I cannot determine if a property is occupied or not. If I’m looking for a car, I may have documents to deliver or I might knock on the door looking for a person that may have moved. In those cases, I’m often required to also take photos to prove that I was there. If a property is empty or abandoned I usually have to take more photographs, check for damage, post a note indicating that we think it’s vacant or abandoned, etc. Another reason I take photos are for landlords checking on the condition of rental properties, or as a matter of quality control for landscapers and contractors.

    Either way… if it’s me, if you wave me down, I will explain what I’m doing. Any reputable person should…though not all of them will. You should ask to see their ID or badge, or at the very least get a name and number of the company that hired them. If they don’t give that to you then you should be worried.

    In the communities I go, I’ve gone to the local police departments and given them my information so if anyone calls in (and they have) the police can tell them who I am and what I’m likely doing. Rest assured, anything I’m doing is 100% legal. It’s disconcerting if you don’t understand. IN the case of mortgage companies, it’s important to know that if a property is in foreclosure (or potentially so) the mortgage company has a responsibility to be sure the property is maintained – so I am sent out (usually once a month) to make sure the property hasn’t been vandalized or abandoned. Even if you are a month or two behind on payments, it could trigger an in-person property check. Sometimes I will only go once… other times I go once a month for 6-7 months or more.

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