Uncharted Territory:  Why Foreclosure Inspections Matter

Thinking about purchasing a foreclosure property? Think again.

A newly constructed home will be in mint condition. Whether you plan to pay a builder to custom-build your home or you are looking at recently-completed construction, new homes and condominiums require just as much attention from a home inspector as older homes. And, a new construction inspection can help buyers assess a home’s structure before, during, and after construction completion. The benefit of new construction inspections is that they allow buyers to address issues before the home is completely built – which can save buyers time and money on maintenance.

But what about a pre-owned foreclosed home? Is it structurally sound? Is there a latent defect? What about the framing & foundation? Can the home be insured?

Foreclosure inspections are quite simple-yet critically important. They mostly consist of only one visit along with a condition report. Before the home sold or is move-in ready, inspectors will arrive to conduct the inspection. Here’s what inspectors look for:

Pre-Purchase Foreclosure Inspection: This inspection is conducted before the home is sold, but ready for occupancy. The customer to get critical information about their new home. The seller gets information allowing them to correct problems before closing. Inspectors will review whether electrical and mechanical systems are functioning properly, if vents have been correctly installed, whether the heating and cooling systems are ready for use, and if adequate insulation is in place or if more is needed. All major structural systems are checked, along with the plumbing and drainage. Building code, health and safety items are closely scrutinized.

Buyer Foreclosure Inspection: This inspection takes place typically after the foreclosure is final and the home is put up for auction by the governing authority. It is similar to the Pre-Purchase Inspection. All home systems are checked. The inspector provides a report that the prospective buyer can use to evaluate the home’s monetary value and structural & workmanship status. Repairs can then be completed before the home is resold or occupied.

The bottom line is this: With so many homes going into foreclosure, and with a growing shortage of qualified inspectors, it is crucially important to get an expert opinion of the health, safety, and potential defect status of your prospective property. In doing so, you can prevent short term financial loss, and gain long term peace of mind.

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Jeffery Lineberger's VisualCV

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