Sunday, January 31, 2010

Buying a Foreclosed Home - Some Important Things to Consider

It’s easy for some homebuyers these days. Housing prices are at their lowest in more than a decade, some inventories are high, and the government is offering two substantial tax credits where many homebuyers qualify.

But bargain buyers beware.  Buyers should educate themselves about the potential pitfalls of purchasing distressed property.  It's about the damage and source of damage and how long before that was the problem.

These 10 signs may indicate trouble with the foreclosed home purchase. 

1.  Unheated house in winter months. If the home has been properly winterized, there’s no need for heat. But if the home has not been properly winterized, pipes will burst and cause water damage.

2.  Missing sinks, toilets and other fixtures. Make sure they’ve been properly removed and not ripped from walls and floors.

3. Peeling, bubbling, and discolored paint; swelling in walls or ceilings (especially around kitchens and bathrooms) or a musty odor all indicate water damage and possible presence of moisture and mold.

4.  Fungus growth inside cabinets, behind drawers and built-ins. Fungus could mean that there has been water damage. Since water goes downward, look for the source above the mold.

5.  Blocked drains or pipes will cause future problems and may have already created sewage backups.

6. Black cobwebs, greasy gray residue on walls and/or a strong oily odor. This could point to potential soot damage or a malfunctioning furnace.

7.  An older home with extensive renovations. Check with the city for pulled permits in order to get remolding details. If asbestos is present and has been disturbed, be sure it’s been remediated by a certified specialist.

8.  Excessive painting of every nook, cranny, door and floor may mean that the seller is covering up mold.

9.  Discolored subflooring. From the basement, check the subflooring above for stains and small holes, both caused by mold.

10. Air Quality. The air quality within a home tells a lot about the home’s condition. Be sure to include air and surface testing in your home inspection. It’s a few hundred dollars well spent.

Time and technique by licensed or certified repair people are important factors for effective clean-up and preventing future problems like mold or contamination.

Ask the seller to explain how the damage was fixed.  And check out the company that performed the repairs to ensure it has industry-recommended certification.  If needed, follow-up with the seller or repairing company for specific repair details.

Good luck on your foreclosure home purchase.

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see RIS media article - 10 Trouble spots to consider when purchasing a foreclosed home - National Association of REALTORS - click here.

 

Posted via email from Explore OC Homes

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