July 15, 2009

Uncharted Territory: Why Foreclosure Inspections Matter

Finding a good home inspector is crucial to any home purchase. The difference between an inspector who stays for only 51 minutes and forgets to leave radon tanks and one who takes pictures of the outside in and notices planes flying over head every 10 minutes will save you  a lot of aggravation. Take my word for it. Even if you have to pay more money. If you’re buying a home or pre-foreclosed property in north Jersey check out Expert Home inspection and ask for Dave. He did a great job on my recent home inspection.  You can read more on the importance of home inspectors below.
Ask this question of any prospective new home buyer: Are you buying “new” or “pre-owned”? Indeed, studies show more than one out of five respondents will tell you they are either building or buying a “new” home. Why? That is the question we are going to answer in the next ten minutes.

In theory, a newly constructed home will be in mint condition. Whether you plan to pay a builder to custom-build your home or you are looking at recently-completed construction, new homes and condominiums require just as much attention from a home inspector as older homes. What’s more, new construction inspections can help buyers assess a home’s value and quality before, during, and after construction completion. The benefit of new construction inspections are clear- they allow buyers to resolve safety, quality and home value issues before the home is completely built and before problems arise – which can save buyers time and money over the long term.

But what about a pre-owned foreclosed home? Is it structurally sound? Is there a latent defect? What about house framing & foundation? Is there mold behind the walls? Can the home be insured?

Foreclosure inspections generally consist of only one visit and condition report. They are simple and economical. Before the home sold or is move-in ready, foreclosure inspectors will arrive to conduct the inspection. When the inspection is complete, (usually within about two hours), the inspector will produce a condition report for the customer. If the inspector is a licensed engineer, the report will be “sealed.” Getting a “sealed” condition report represents the highest level of technical assurance that the inspection findings represent the work or opinion of an experienced and qualified expert.

Here is a look at what inspectors evaluate during each stage of a new home inspection:

Pre-Purchase Foreclosure Inspection. This inspection is conducted before the home is sold, but ready for occupancy. This timing allows the customer to get critical information about their new home, and also allows the seller to make any corrections necessary prior to closing. During a walk-through, inspectors will review whether electrical and mechanical systems are functioning properly, if vents have been correctly installed, whether the heating and cooling systems are ready for use, if adequate insulation is in place or if more is needed, and more.

Buyer Foreclosure Inspection. This inspection takes place typically after the foreclosure is final and the home is put up for auction by the governing authority. This full home inspection addresses all areas of the home and provides a report that the prospective buyer can use to evaluate the value and structural & workmanship status of the home so any needed repairs can be completed before the home is resold or occupied.

Visit our website and schedule an appointment to learn more about how Lineberger & Associates can help you to thousands of dollars in repairs by determining if your foreclosed property is safe and structurally sound. Our expert engineers and inspection professionals will walk you through the foreclosure inspection process step-by-step.

November 28, 2008

What to Look for When Investing in a Pre-Foreclosed property Listing: Strategies for Getting Pre Foreclosures

Purchasing a pre-foreclosed home is certainly one of the best ways to buy a house for less than its normal market value.  One of the great pros to buying pre foreclosed homes is that you don’t have to compete in foreclosure auction bidding wars that can get out of control. There also isn’t a need to go through Real Estate agents that may not get you the best deal. This often leads to being able to negotiate a better suitable price, that can lead to big Realty resale profits.  Often the homeowners will sell their home at a large discount in order to avoid having a long term poor credit rating that comes with the foreclosure process.  Often, both parties can find a way to jointly help each other. It can be tricky finding pre-foreclosures that have value left, so looking in the right place is important. It’s best to use pre-foreclosure experts that don’t charge hundreds of dollars for pre-foreclosure listings.  Government agencies often do that provide enough data or it is too old.  

The first moment of the Lis Pendens, or  a notice that a legal action is pending,  begins the process. From this time until the home with a mortgage in default goes to auction, there is still time to act and fix the situation between the homeowner in trouble,  and lender. The length of the process can take somewhere from three to four months before the home hits a foreclosure auction, and even longer in certain states.  Make sure not to forget to check out all of the documents and liens. Also, narrow and calculate your choices to find the best property. You may need to make  a few needed repairs before selling, so look at the condition of the home.  Contacting a homeowner who is losing their property can be difficult.  Send letters and make sure that you set a friendly tone telling them that you understand the situation and can help.  Follow up with phone calls, but don’t interrogate the homeowner in default. If you feel comfortable enough visit.  Be friendly and helpful, but back away if the homeowner asks you to leave.  

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