As with any home you are thinking about purchasing, a home inspection should be a vital part of the process. After all, purchasing a home is the largest investment you will most likely make in your lifetime.
In all circumstances a home inspection provides you with an unbiased and objective visual analysis of the home’s structure and systems. In essence, the inspection determines the areas of the home that are not performing well, that are unsafe, or are beyond their determined life span. While this remains true for a pre-sale inspection of a foreclosed home, additional defects are looked for as conditions surrounding the sale of the home are drastically different and may harbor unpleasant surprises.
Mold continues to be a main source of problems within a home. This can be due to location, leaking pipes, weather, or neglect. Once mold takes hold within the drywall of a building there is no slowing it down. To fix this issue all infected drywall must be removed and replaced. This process as well as fixing the cause of the mold can greatly add to cost of the home.
As most foreclosed homes are abandoned, many become the perfect target for vandalism and break-ins. Items such as air conditioning units, appliances, copper tubing, piping, and electrical wiring are all major sources of theft as these items are easily sold and reused. Shockingly, many former homeowners themselves are the cause of the destruction, defacing the property because they know they are losing it. Most take what they can, including light fixtures, ceiling fans, and even kitchen cabinets. In more extreme cases actual destruction to walls, flooring, ceiling, etc., has been done. Not only will the home inspection bring these problems to light, it can also provide you with a more knowledgeable and in-depth look at what would need to be repaired. It is recommended that all future homeowners anticipate extra cost for appliance replacement or trash removal when looking to purchase a foreclosed home.
In addition to human destruction, abandoned homes attract the destruction caused by wild animals. Tall grass is a perfect place for finding snakes and other unwanted creatures. A home not occupied by people can become a home that is occupied by wild animals including reports of skunks, panthers, wild boars, fire ants, bats, and beehives. Cost of their removal as well as the corresponding damage to the home’s structure and systems can be quite expensive.
Last but not least, many foreclosed homes have experienced a high amount of neglect in concern to the home’s maintenance. Many people who know they will be losing their home choose to not keep up to date with the necessary maintenance that the home requires. I most cases the paint needs to be replaced, heating and cooling systems are at the end of their lives, ventilation systems are no longer in working order, etc. Homes that were built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. An inspection can show if there is asbestos content still present within the home, or if the property has buried storage tanks, or other environmentally hazards. A pre-sale inspection will help to highlight all repairs and problems that are necessary to getting the house up to date and up to code.
Many homes are full of problems, big and small, that need to be looked at when being purchased; however, a foreclosed home has a must greater chance of having costly and sometimes dangerous issues. A licensed home inspector is trained to see what others may not, helping you become knowledgeable about the home and its issues before making an important investment.