Can A Foreclosed Home Be Inspected Before Being Purchased?

If you are looking to purchase a foreclosure in North Carolina please watch the video below and then give me a call or visit my master page on foreclosures. Myself or someone on my team will be able to assist you in this complicated process. We have helped people buy foreclosures in Chatham County and Wake County and from Pittsboro to Chapell Hill and Raleigh, Cary and everywhere in between.

Inspections on foreclosures are possible, but..

In North Carolina, many of the normal rules and procedures that are involved in buying a home are very different when the property has been foreclosed upon. Unlike a normal home purchase, where changes or modifications to the home are negotiable, a foreclosed home is almost always sold as-is. Any problems with the home are the buyers responsibility, whether they are aware of them at the time of purchase or not.

For this reason, getting a foreclosed home inspected is absolutely critical. The buyer needs to be aware of any impending issues with the property so that he or she can decide to continue with the purchasing process, or to walk away. A home inspection can reveal problems like structural damage, black mold, water under the house, failed well, or a poor septic tank. Any one of those issues should be a deal breaker. While it may have cost the potential buyer several hundred dollars to get that information, it’s money well spend when compared to the cost of solving the issue once the home is legally theirs.

But like every other process involved in buying a foreclosed property, the inspection process is more complicated, also. Foreclosed homes are typically winterized by the bank that owns them, regardless of the season. Plumbing gets sealed, antifreeze is put into the main water lines, and electricity, water, and gas are turned off. A thorough home inspection is dependent on those systems being active and functional, and it’s going to be the buyers responsibility to work with the bank to have them all turned back on. This process usually costs another $500-$700, in addition the $300-$400 for the inspection itself.

And to make things even more difficult, many of the utility companies are likely to be owed money by the previous residents, giving the address a negative reputation in their billing systems. In addition to the inspection, and de-winterization, heft deposits will need to be paid to the utility companies in order for them to turn on the water, electricity, and gas lines. This can bring the entire up to $2000.

Bare in mind, that’s all money spent to inspect a home that you may find to have serious problems, dissuading the buyer from finalizing the purchase. Ultimately, a foreclosed home may end up costing a buyer much more money than a traditional home purchase might.