Are iBuyers Opening the Door to Squatters?
September 12, 2019
A Chandler, Ariz., couple has been arrested after police say they found them and their two children living in a vacant home owned by the iBuying firm Opendoor. Police were alerted after a potential buyer visited to tour the property and reported finding people who appeared to be living inside.
iBuying firms are making instant cash offers to home sellers in select areas of the country. As these firms take possession of the home, they often stand vacant as they then try to resell them on the open market.
Police arrested Gary Lynn, 29, and Adriana Gamboa, 26, after finding them on the property. They are being held on charges of trespassing. Gamboa was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gamboa was discovered by police inside the home’s master bathroom giving her children baths. She reportedly told police that she was touring the home and decided to give her children baths since they were sweaty from their walk to the home.
The children were taken into custody by the Department of Child Services.
Opendoor, which was selling the house, told police that it only gives interested parties one hour to tour homes. Potential buyers who wish to tour properties are instructed to download an application on their phones. They are then given a code to enter on the home’s door lock to tour on their own.
Police say Gamboa had the app on her phone.
Opendoor has its largest operations in Arizona. iBuyers comprise about 6% of the market share in Phoenix, which includes the Chandler area.
“Couple Arrested After They Were Found With Children in Vacant Chandler Home for Sale,” AZCentral.com (Sept. 10, 2019)
Updated: August 13, 2020