Inspections of foreclosed homes present a particular challenge. Often, the water has been turned off for a significant period of time and the plumbing system may be compromised because of lack of use or maintenance. Likewise, if the electricity is shut off it is difficult if not completely impossible to test the existing electrical systems or large appliances such as the refrigerator, heating or air-conditioning systems. These conditions inhibit a full and comprehensive inspection of the home. Of course, at the heart of every inspection and the primary aspect of the home inspection is verification of the structural integrity.Typically, bank owned properties are sold as is and the bank is typically unwilling to have non-functional systems made functional for the home inspection. Therefore, buying a home in foreclosure under these conditions is similar to buying a used car without the opportunity to drive the car.
Typically, foreclosed homes as well as homes sale have deferred maintenance resulting in degraded conditions in the home. Because of this, foreclosed homes have defects not typically found during a typical home inspection. These defects include pipe leaks which may result in the growth of mold/mildew, cracked, broken and clogged pipes, non-functioning water heaters, non-functioning heating systems, and non-functioning air-conditioning systems. Additionally, other problems that may be found are do it yourself expedient repairs which can sometimes result in hazardous conditions such as electrical issues that could cause fire or accidental electrocution or potential flooding due to slipshod plumbing repairs meant to be primarily cosmetic. Finally, in foreclosed homes there may be removed components or even intentionally damaged components that will require costly repairs or complete replacement.
Therefore, the inspection of a foreclosed home is even more important than the inspection of a home under normal conditions. The fact that bank owned properties are not typically open for price renegotiation based upon issues found during the home inspection is not a wise reason for relinquishing your right to have a home inspection. The House Detective has experience dealing with these situations and will ensure that the inspections carried out will provide the prospective home buyer with the best, most comprehensive detailed reports possible.