Many foreclosures are cheap for good reason – often, these properties are in varying stages of neglect. As a home that belonged to individuals who couldn't afford its mortgage dues, it’s not surprising that a foreclosure would bear repairs that its previous owners couldn’t attend to. As such, investors or homebuyers may have some renovations or restorations – whether simply cosmetic or more – to contend with, before they can flip or live in the home.
Here are five of the most common problems in foreclosed property:
1) Poor maintenance and upkeep
There might be more to it than the peeling paint, the corroded floorboards, the broken bathroom tiles, the thick layer of dust on the countertop, the cobwebs hanging from every beam. Some foreclosures may have no water or electricity. Plumbing may have leakages, or toilets may not flush. Disrepair is the common denominator for foreclosed properties – the primary reason why foreclosures are sold at discounted costs.
2) Vandalism and theft
To have your home repossessed – it’s devastating. And that may well be an understatement. Evicted homeowners may take it out on the property to get back to the bank or lending institution. Vandalism and theft from the outside – in the form of trespassers – also pose a risk. Keep an eye peeled for graffiti, broken windows, and missing light fixtures, to name a few.
Termites are the scourge of foreclosures. But infestation’s not just limited to bugs. Mold could prove just as tricky a problem; rats may have made a home in the walls. Hire professionals to see to these concerns.
4) Old furniture
In some cases, previous tenants of the space leave their belongings in the property. New owners find themselves with the inconvenience of having to clear out old furniture and other fittings before they could move in or flip the space.
5) A bad neighborhood
As they say, location is key. The property may be in a neighborhood that’s fallen on harder times. Crime rate may have spiked within the vicinity, rendering its streets unsafe at night. The area could’ve been made inaccessible by new traffic schemes, or rendered too crowded by over-development, or found to be plagued by floods. They’re all but common factors for decreasing property values in any residential area. And unlike with the property, there’s quite likely nothing the buyer can do about a less than ideal locale.
To prevent getting bogged down by these problems, evaluate the space and thoroughly before you commit. Hire a trusted inspector for a professional assessment of its condition. Make sure that you’re ready to take on the repairs. Foreclosures, in essence, bear the potential for great deals at lower costs, but one has to be discerning and sufficiently prepared to make it work.