Homeowners who are trying to cut corners during a sales process should look elsewhere than waiving a home inspection, even if the broker says that doing so will allow the deal to be consummated sooner. The stakes are simply too high for potential damages to go undiscovered, particularly in foreclosed properties, where deliberate vandalism is more common.
Foreclosed home sales in Maryland can be quite profitable to buyers, as the average foreclosed property sold for about $177,000 – 43 percent lower than the average sales price in the state. Per RealtyTrac, Maryland foreclosures were down about 66 percent in 2011. Still, the highest foreclosure rates in the state were found in Prince George's County, Montgomery County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
Homeowners interested in purchasing properties in these areas must be aware of just how common vandalism by previous owners has been across the country. Many current owners cease maintenance of properties and in some cases blatantly destroy part of homes, often out of spite for a lender. Sometimes damages are so substantial that homes are difficult to revitalize at all, such as cement being poured down toilets, as reported by real estate tracker Zillow.com.
"In many cases, it costs so much to rehabilitate these houses, it's just not cost-effective," mortgage industry analyst Thomas Popik told CNN in 2009. "And the properties are eventually going to be bulldozed."
To determine whether a property is damaged beyond the point of no repair, prospective buyers should contact a Washington, D.C. home inspector to uncover potential problem areas of a home. Often, damaged parts can be repaired in advance of a sale, and the cost of home inspection will likely be lower than the cost of repairs would be.