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Foreclosures: Not for the Faint Heart

Foreclosures Not for the Faint of HeartI’ll be completely honest with you.  Foreclosures aren’t always the best deal in town.  They often are not in move-in condition and the bank addendum is very scary for first-time homebuyers.  You are purchasing the home in “as-is” condition so the bank has to cover themselves from you coming after them if someone is wrong with the home after settlement.  More often than not, there are no problems after settlement if you get a home inspection.  However, your real estate agent should preface you with what is involved in purchasing a foreclosure and walking through the steps.  Now I don’t want to scare you completely away from even looking at foreclosures, but you need to keep this in mind when searching for a home.

Here are some reasons to think twice(not only when purchasing a foreclosure, but a home in general).

  • No Heat in the Winter – If the utilities are not turned on or if the property has not been properly winterzied, you run the risk of damaged pipes
  • Ripped Out not Removed – Vandals and even angry homeowners can do a lot of damage when they leave taking fixtures and appliances
  • Peeling, Bubbling, Discoloration – These are signs of water incursion
  • Mold – Where there is water, there could be mold.  Look inside cabinets, behind drawers, basements, and utility rooms
  • Blocked Drains and Pipes – Sewer backups are expensive to fix
  • Black Cobwebs – This is from a malfunctioning furnace
  • Renovations – If they don’t look professional, check with the county for the permits
  • Fresh Paint EVERYWHERE – The seller could be trying to hide something

A lot of these issues can be detected in a home inspection.  So don’t break your neck trying to become an expert.  Leave it up to them, that’s what they get paid for.  Most foreclosures only allow an inspection for “informational purposes only.”  This just means that you cannot ask the seller to fix anything if you find something during the inspection.  You will be able to rescind from the contract if you’re not satisfied with the home inspection though.

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