Inspecting Foreclosures Before You Buy

If you’ve been thinking about investing in one of the many foreclosures, make sure the home you buy doesn’t have major issues. Before you spend the money on a home inspector, look at these common problem areas:

Ceilings

Usually ceilings are made of plaster and plasterboard. While looking at the ceilings, keep an eye out for these issues:

  • Cracks, holes or uneven areas
  • Dampness or mold growth
  • Crumbling areas
  • Cracks or bulges

    Walls

    In general, walls are made of bonding plaster or plasterboard. You can look for the same problems as you would on ceilings, with the addition of a few more:

  • Loose skirting board
  • Soft, damp or rotten
  • Discolored decorations, blisters or other faults such as peeling wallpaper
  • Dangerous materials such as asbestos or gloss-painted polystyrene tiles. Asbestos can be hard to identify; if you think you have asbestos, get professional help.

    Floors

    No matter what material the floor is made of in foreclosures, the structural supports are generally made of the same types of materials as other homes. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Uneven flooring
  • Movement, cracking, lifting or dampness
  • Loose floor covering, such as raised boards or lifted tiles
  • Large gaps between floorboards
  • Cracked or missing tiles

    Plumbing

    The kitchen and the bathroom may hold most of the plumbing, but some will go through the rest of the house as well. Look at the plumbing for:

  • Rust or leaks
  • Hammering or knocking pipes
  • Lead pipes
  • Improperly supported water tanks

    Wiring

    Faulty or old wiring can be a major hazard in any potential home. Although some wiring issues aren’t easy to spot, there are signs:

  • Rubber cables or single-flex wiring twisted together with exposed insulation
  • Blackened or failing power sockets
  • Brittle or bare wiring
  • Plugs that get hot when used

    No inspection should be considered finished until a licensed home inspector has come to the foreclosures that you’re interested in. However, by using this guide, you’ll only have to call an inspector once to get a clean bill of health on your new real estate.

    Want to get a great buy on foreclosed property? Call me at 281-827-3707 or email me at meredith@rrea.com for more information.

     

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