Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pay Attention!

Let's think about all those homes you've been looking at before making your initial offer on your final choice. Were you taking notes? Did you take pictures? Did you spend more than 15 minutes or so in the property? The answer to most of these questions is, "No"... Now comes your home inspection. He or she is spending hours going through your prospective home and finding all sorts of issues, some serious and many not so serious. You might even be thinking why didn't I see that issue when I was here before. It's a common response. Let's try to get you ahead of the curve, so to speak. Look for some basic problematic areas in any home you preview.

Water and mold damage is #1 statistically with regard to problems in REO/Foreclosure properties. This can be caused by prior plumbing leaks, roof leaks or flooding from poor drainage conditions. Take time to look in the cabinets below the kitchen sink and or bathroom areas. Many times water damage and mold growth is clearly visible in these immediate areas and may change your thoughts about the property.

Look for poor drainage conditions. Are there rain gutters? Is there a full perimeter yard area surface drainage system present? Does the grade and perimeter flat work slope away from the foundation? Again, all very easy to observe and yet can immediately notify you of possible red flags with regard to property condition and performance.

Speak to any available neighbors who might know some interesting information about the property and its condition. I hear some crazy stories from neighbors about prior crimes committed in the property, fire damage, flooding, mold issues, etc...

Again, how convenient would it be for you to have this basic information about the property condition when you're considering which property to make an offer on?

Information is empowering. Get as much of it as possible using all means available to you. Happy house hunting!