Home Buying in 49240>Question Details

SamIAm, Both Buyer and Seller in Manchester, MI

I'm thinking of buying a home that has sat empty for 6 (winter) months - any clues on what damage I should be

Asked by SamIAm, Manchester, MI Thu Mar 12, 2009

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It really depends on how the home was prepared before it was left. If it was done professionally or the right way by someone, the damage, if any would be minimal.

On the other hand, if the property was just abandoned without any measures taken to protect the home from the elements, you can expect there to be considerable damage.

Our advice is to find an experienced agent or an attorney that can "wordsmith" a contingency clause that will protect your interests and give you an escape route if things get out of hand.

Good luck

The Eckler Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
Water damage, frozen pipes, roof leaks, ice damming, mold, pests/rodents, bad gaskets/seals/washers in plumbing fixtures/toilets, well, septic, furnace etc...ALWAYS have an inspector look at a property you are seriously considering purchasing. This could be one of the biggest investments you make in your lifetime- play it safe.

That being said, a property sitting vacant for 6 months would not scare me away. If the property is built and winterized well it should be OK. I have a property in our "HomeWatch" program that has been for sale for over 3 years, and it has never had any major problems. I check up on it once a week...every week...for over 3 years now...[It's not my listing- if it were I would have sold it by now :-p ]
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2009
I agree with John, but don't let this information cause you NOT to look at foreclosed or empty properties. You will probably be able to purchase the property at a very good price and if you have to put a little work into it--you will still be getting a good value for your money. Also, remember, if you write an offer on a property, be sure that your agent has included a clause in the agreement to give you an option to have the home inspected by a certified home inspector. Also, be aware that if you receive an acceptance on a bank owned property, the amendment that the bank will ask you to sign, will spell out that you are purchasing the home "as is" and it is the buyer's responsibility to do their due diligence. As the saying goes "BUYER BEWARE" If I can answer any other questions, call me at 810.844.2280 Happy Home Shopping!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
John has the right answer there. Having seen many empty houses it seems to me that they know when they are empty and age differently for the reasons described. Do a thorough walkthrough prior to making an offer and make sure you get it inspected by an experienced, competent and knowledgable inspector.

Alan Strange
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
First and foremost, water damge. We are finding that when some homes go back to the bank the power is turned off. This would cause a sump pump not to run and a furnace not to heat the property. Also, there are preservation companies not doing their job correctly. Because of this you will find leaking water pipes. DO NOT turn on the water if it is disconnected until you pressure test the water lines with air. Less damage this way. That is the biggest thing to watch out for. Also, high moisture content. Peeling paint, warped paneling or doors. If you see this, look for mold just to be safe.Other than those issues, everything else should be no different than any other home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
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