Foreclosures and Short Sales
We have been doing home inspections in Florida for almost twenty years now, and learned a lot about foreclosures and short sales in the years after the sub-prime mortgage meltdown of 2008—when most of the home sales were one or the other. Here's what you need to know:
• Homeowners usually let a lot of "deferred maintenance" accumulate before they give the house back to the bank. Many homes need urgent, big-ticket repairs. Some have had the interior stripped and/or vandalized. Banks rarely make any price adjustments or repairs, so it's important to know all the defects and approximate cost of repairs before the end of your inspection period.
• A house that looks like an amazingly good deal may actually be overpriced based on it's condition. Homes that are dirty and smelly, with overgrown foliage and high weeds, but otherwise in good shape, are sometimes the best deals.
• Banks know nothing about the previous history or condition of the home. There is no seller's disclosure, and no recourse for hidden problems found after you take possession. So it is definitely a "buyer beware" situation.
For all these reasons, you need a good home inspector. We charge the same price for foreclosures as regular home inspections. You should attempt to have the seller turn on the utilites before an inspection, but we will inspect a house without utilities for you if there is no other option.