Foreclosures: Ten Reasons for Buyer Caution
Foreclosed homes arenâ€™t always the best deal in town â€“ even if they do come with a price tag that appears to be lower than some other homes in the neighborhood.
Here are 10 reasons why that is true, offered by Vince Mastronardi, president of On-Site Specialty Cleaning & Restoration in suburban Detroit.
- No heat in the winter. When a home has been left unheated, buyers run a risk of damaged pipes.
- Not removed but ripped. Thieves and even angry former owners can do a lot of damage when they depart with fixtures and key systems like heaters and air conditioners.
- Peeling, bubbling, and discoloration. Water incursion isnâ€™t always obvious, but these are signs.
- Mold. Where there is water there is mold. Look inside cabinets, behind drawers, and around built-ins.
- Blocked drains and pipes. Sewer backups can be expensive to fix.
- Black cobwebs. This is the result of a malfunctioning furnace, common in properties where there hasnâ€™t been maintenance for a long time.
- Homemade and handy. Where renovations donâ€™t look professional, check with the municipal authority. They may have been completed without permits and that could mean they have to be redone.
- Fresh paint everywhere. What is the seller covering up?
- Check the basement. Look for discolored subflooring, which can point to mold. And search for asbestos, common in older homes that havenâ€™t been brought up to code.
- Air quality. Include air and surface testing in a home inspection. Itâ€™s a few hundred dollars well spent.
Source: On-Site Specialty Cleaning & Restoration (12/16/2009)