Buying a Foreclosure Home from the Bank

My home inspections range from 5,000 sq. ft. mansions to modest double-wides, in every stage of condition. This sample report was for a bank-owned home that had been foreclosed upon, which often adds to a variety of unknowns: the utilities have been turned off, electric panel and crawl space have been padlocked, and sometimes thieves have scavenged the property for copper plumbing pipes and appliances. Disclosures, too, are frequently lacking full transparency. The bargain price, however, can sometimes justify the investment.

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FORECLOSURE – A sample inspection report for this home accompanies this post.

I never try to steer the clients one way or the other. That’s not my job. What I do is make sure they thoroughly understand the condition of the property prior to taking possession of it. What kind of safety issues are present? What systems or components are not functioning as intended? Will it be necessary to budget to replace a major ticket item in the next five years? These are the kinds of questions I’m paid to answer. I’m in the crawl space; I’m in the attic; I’m on the roof; I open the service panels on the HVAC and electric panels; If it’s accessible and can be safely accessed without damaging the seller’s personal property, I’m going to visually inspect it, photograph any deficiencies, describe them in my report, and provide recommendations.

Walking the clients through the property and letting them put their eyeballs on the various deficiencies I’ve identified helps them grasp what they’re getting themselves into. It also helps me help them understand the gravity of each deficiency, so that they are not unduly alarmed by the small stuff, nor left lacking full appreciation for a condition or conditions that really should be taken seriously.

Anyhow, here’s a good exercise for any new buyer. Let’s presume you have made a conditional offer on this house that your real estate agent estimates is $25,000 below its comps in the market. During due diligence, I inspect the home for you and provide the inspection report. How would you proceed? Would you: Buy the house; try to negotiate with the bank for repairs or a reduction in price; walk away? There’s no right answer that is universal for every buyer. My recommendation: review the report with your real estate agent, discuss your concerns, ask me for any clarification you may need, and then make the decision that’s right for you!

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WHAT IS A FOLLOW-UP INSPECTION?

 

By far, the most popular of the value-added services offered by OZ Home Inspections, is the ‘Follow-Up Inspection.’ But what is a follow-up inspection, exactly, and why is it worthwhile to to have an inspector revisit a home that he or she previously evaluated only a few weeks or months ago?

Very often, home inspection reports are used as a bargaining chip by homebuyers and their real estate agents to negotiate for the repair of deficiencies to a home that were not disclosed and not obvious to the buyers when their contingency offer was made and accepted.

For example, I recently inspected a house only six years old that I determined had defective double-pane window seals in almost every room – a burdensome expense that would have fallen on the buyers if I hadn’t brought the problem to their attention, before closing. I mentioned in my report – for the mutual benefit of the buyers and sellers alike – that the windows were possibly still under warrantee, which happily turned out to be the case. My follow-up inspection assured the buyers that all of the affected windows had been repaired and were functioning as intended, prior to the buyers taking possession of the home.

A follow-up inspection focuses on specific areas of concern that were identified in the original home inspection and were subsequently addressed. The buyer or agent typically provides a punch list of conditions that were negotiated for correction, and I go back to make sure the specified repairs, replacements, or/and maintenance issues were completed satisfactorily. I append notations to the original report, updating my observations and providing appropriate documentation.

Roof repairs, water heater replacements, the remediation of structural deterioration and settling – these are all other high-ticket expenses that I’ve recently helped homebuyers avoid by providing timely follow-up inspection services. It’s well worth the nominal ($125) charge for the service.

Oz is licensed (NC Lic. #3579), insured, certified by AHIT (American Home Inspectors Training) Institute, and has gone beyond state requirements to pass the National Home Inspectors Exam, used by 22 states to assess Home Inspector competence. We pride ourselves on the thoroughness and accuracy of our inspections. We take our time, on-site – like no other inspection service in the greater Fort Bragg market – and get the job done right.

Call Eric ‘Oz’ Schult at 910-876-7770 for an appointment, or email him at oz@ozhomeinspections.com.

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Recommendations

Most of our business comes from referrals by agents and brokers, lenders, and other professionals in the residential real estate market, as well as by home buyers and sellers shawn_testimonialfor whom we have provided home inspection services. We value comments by our business partners and customers, and work hard to earn and maintain their trust.

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About Us

At OZ Home Inspections, we strive to provide would-be homeowners with an unbiased, independent and practical assessment of the overall condition of their future home, so that when they sign on that dotted line, they are doing so with a realistic understanding about what they are getting themselves into.

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‘Oz’ at work …

Our methodical approach to evaluating a property, and the technology we use to capture our observations, ensure a thorough report that fulfills the purpose and scope set forth in the North Carolina Home Inspector Standards of Practice.

Beyond that, however, our lead inspector is a professional communicator who can articulate in words, pictures and graphics a report tailored to the needs of its audience. We don’t use obscure acronyms and trade jargon, or make recommendations our clients will find confusing or unintelligible.

Also, we understand only too well that our reputation is on the line with every interaction – face-to-face, on the phone, via email, and within the context of our pre-inspection agreements and inspection reports. We take very seriously our partnership with our clients and their designated agents.

Eric ‘Oz’ Schult
Owner / Inspector
(NC LIC.# 3579)
OZ Home Inspections, LLC
oz@ozhomeinspections.com
910-876-7770

  • 25+ years professional experience overseeing plumbers, electricians, mechanics, HVAC technicians and maintenance workers;
  • Certified by industry-leading American Home Inspectors Training Institute (AHIT);
  • Passed the National Home Inspector Examination®, used by 22 states to assess home inspector competence.
  • Licensed and insured to practice in North Carolina (NC LIC.#3579);
  • Lifelong practitioner and proponent for doing home improvements right.

 

 

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