How to Buy Foreclosure

It is hard to evaluate the prices offered on bank owned foreclosure homes.  Some are extremely good deals  and others, not so much.  So what should you expect and what should you be on the look-out for?

Unless the home is part of a development where yard maintenance is included, landscaping is almost always destroyed inspectdue to lack of maintenance but more importantly from lack of water.  It is my experience that there is no inexpensive way to resolve this.  When Florida turf grasses and unwanted weeds such as nutsedge take over , they cannot be brought under control without completely killing all vegetation and following up with new sod.  Careful inspection of landscaping plantings is necessary to estimate what can be saved and what will need to be replaced.  This is an expense that is often overlooked since it is not necessary for move-in but must be considered when comparing it to other Fort Myers FL homes for sale that are not in foreclosure.  This is a substantial expense and your ability to fund it over and above your other expenses should be a serious consideration.

Next there is the structure itself.  First and foremost is the determination about whether the home has Chinese drywall.  Nothing can cause more distress than finding out the home you purchased has the dreaded Chinese drywall.  The first sign is a fowl odor (many compare it to rotten eggs).  Next, remove a switch or outlet and inspect the wire.  Homes that have Chinese drywall will corrode the exposed wire.  Easiest to inspect is the bare ground wire.  I have seen them corroded so badly that they look as if they have black insulation on them.

The next concern is mold.  While sophisticated air quality tests can be performed, a visual inspection is easy and should be done any time you view a home.  We all live with some mold.  Can any of us really say that we haven’t put off cleaning that shower a little too long and seen a bit of mold.  The problem comes in when water enters for any reason and circulation is not provided.  Many of these homes have had the power turned off so be extra cautious about mold exposure.

Last tip on how to buy foreclosure homes is overall condition.  For some this is not a concern since they enjoy painting and carpeting and making a home their own.  Others shutter to think about such undertakings to say nothing of the expense.  In the end most of these “bargain homes” require a great deal to bring them up to your own and subdivision standards.  They still can provide opportunity and value but before taking that big step consider the total picture and be sure that you go in with your eyes wide open.

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