Recent data from RealtyTrac, a company that specializes in foreclosure properties and real estate data, shows that the amount of foreclosure starts across the United States has hit the lowest number in 79 months. Nevertheless, 150,864 foreclosure filings were reported in January, indicating that there are still plenty of these homes available nationwide.
For some prospective homeowners, the idea of purchasing one of these properties can be alluring, as they’re relatively cheap compared to other homes on the market and can be perfect for people looking for a fixer-upper. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that they often come with significant problems that can’t be identified by the untrained eye, so it’s essential to have a home inspection contractor take a look at them before you sign any papers.
“There’s no caretaker on these properties. I’ve looked at quite a few. We’ve seen vandalism. We’ve seen previous owners steal cabinets and fixtures. Copper piping has been stolen,” Bill Richardson, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), told CNN, adding that previous home inspections “are only a snapshot in time.”
According to AOL Real Estate, there are a number of areas in a foreclosed property that are especially important for home inspection contractors to examine or be on the lookout for, such as heating and ventilation, mold, water problems and pests.
The bottom line is, when you purchase a foreclosed home, you really don’t know what you’re getting until you have a professional take a look at it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, since buying one of these properties without first hiring a home inspection contractor can mean having to spend a lot of money fixing significant problems that you may not have been aware of in the beginning.