It’s not just here in Southern California that mold problems lurk behind walls, under roofs and under floors. Orange County winter and spring weather – wet weather followed by hot sunshine – has triggered mold growth for thousands of potential Orange County homeowners. And they may not know until it’s too late.
After the real estate market crash of 2008 and following, foreclosed homes are plentiful and may seem quite attractive to Orange County residents previously unable to purchase a home. Unfortunately, in a foreclosure situation, banks are not required to disclose mold or any other problems or defects about the property – even if you ask!
Here are some reasons to be careful when looking at foreclosed homes:
- Banks are not going to invest in the upkeep of foreclosed homes. They are selling them in order to recoup a part of their financial loss, not make it attractive to the next buyer.
- Unlike private sellers, banks do not have to disclose any problems or incidents that the property has experienced. So if the last tenants flooded the upstairs with water before they left to try to punish the bank, or if there’s a slab leak lurking under the floors, you may never know. Even if you ask, they don’t have to disclose.
- The home could have been sitting empty with all the windows closed for months. Mold was most likely having a field day growing, growing, growing…
- They may have used an unscrupulous real estate agent who covered up some of the home’s more obvious problems with a coat of fresh paint and new carpet.
- They may ask you to sign a disclaimer to say that you’re accepting the house “as is”.
- Fannie Mae and HUD homes are the ones that professionals have seen most coverups in.
Professionals like Milestone Building Group can help save you a lot of time, money, and frustrations down the road. Even if you find the mold problems, water damage, or structural problems, you might not be able to force the bank to repair it before you purchase. We specialize in mold remediation, water and fire damage restoration, and remodeling. We will help you turn that foreclosed Orange County home into your dream home.
If you’ve been thinking of buying a foreclosed property in Orange County, keep our number handy. Keep your eyes open while you’re looking through the property—look for damp areas, new drywall patches, in closets and even pulling up a corner of the carpeting to check for mold. If you see anything suspicious, give us a call!