Problems With Buying A Repossessed House
Trouble With Buying A Repossessed Houses
I worked for a Property Management company that specialized in working for Banks. I did this for a few years. A friend of mine bought a repossessed house from a bank thinking it was a great deal. So I am fairly qualified in talking about this issue and the experiences that I had.
When buying a repo house you had better be a good Handyman. These houses are generally made to look good so the banks can UNLOAD them. For the most part they are not a bargain. Remember it probably took the bank at least a year to get the previous owner out of the house. So there was not much general maintenance done to the house in at least that time period. Also it probably sat for a while before they could find a buyer.
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The next big problem. Sometimes the Light Fixtures are removed by the previous owner. That is really not so bad as long as they haven’t all been removed. Remember nice looking fixtures are not cheap. The other thing is some time vandals have gotten into the house and removed wiring taking as much of the copper as they can get.
Mold and Mildew
I wonder why my house smells funny? Sometimes the roof leaks and Mold and Mildew starts to grow. This is a serious health problem and very hard problem to fix. It sometimes require the removing the Drywall and or Plaster from ceilings and walls to repair properly. The new owner may have to remove whole rooms of plastered walls and or drywall.The banks sometimes have them sprayed with a sealant but it is not really a solution.
1. The biggest problem is the plumbing especially in the areas of the country where it gets below freezing. They may or may not have had them winterized. A lot of times the winterization of the house is not properly done. Also the Toilet and Fixtures, Sinks and Water tanks have sat for a long time without water. Many of the rubber o-rings will probably need to be replaced, also the toilet seals inside will be dried out and leak. So when you have the water turned back on beware. There is also the problem of having pieces of pipe missing (the price of copper is up) and burst seams in the pipe from getting frozen out. So when the water is turned back on the sinks won’t turn off because all the rubber gaskets that are in the valves as dry rotted.The toilets keep running again because they won't hold water and are dry rotted. Then when you flush it, you find out it, is cracked inside and you have water shooting out in the walls and ceiling. Then after you fix those some of the P traps under sinks, tubs and showers are broke from freezing. In order to fix this you have to sometimes tear out plaster and Drywall or floors to get to them. Also the Mad ex-owner has played pipe roulette by cutting pipe here and there. Then there is the hot water tank. Is it leaking or not? Also people like to sabotage the drain by flushing towels down the toilets.
Animal Party Time
The next thing I have encountered is the mad ex-owner before it is taken by the Bank, lets their dogs and cats party in there for a couple weeks before they take them out. They leave them plenty of food and water just don’t let them out. You can imagine the smell and mess that it leaves. The floor is all urine soaked and dog do-do has had a nice time to soak into the floors. Of course the bank has had it all picked up but now the smell is still in the floors.
Furnace or Boiler
The furnace. If it had a boiler in it. You need to check to see if it is cracked and or broken from freezing. This is sometimes hard to determine until it is pressurized. Also look to make sure that some one has not removed all the radiators. How about the pipes in the wall leading up to the boilers are they Cracked. Sometime you don’t know till they have been pressurized. The expense of replacing those pipes and boilers are time consuming and expensive.
Sometimes these house have roof problems. They may have been patched with a little bit of Roof cement and left to be fixed by a new Owner. A lot of the repossessed houses have bad roofs. Again it is a problem where the old owner probably did not have enough money to upkeep the house. If the roof is bad then Not only will it need recovered with shingles but chances are the wood underneath bad. It probably has been leaking for a good while. Again you have the chance that Mold and Mildew are present.
These are all the Major problems that can be found on buying a repossessed House. As in all things let the Buyer Beware. The banks do not usually guarantee anything they just want to unload the house.
So good luck if you buy one. Remember the bank does not spend money on these units unless they have to.
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