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Dangers of Buying Vacant Homes

Unoccupied homes present a great bargain, since vacant homes often are listed for sale at a reduced price.However, potential buyers should beware: vacant homes can experience problems due to negligence, lack of maintenance, aging, natural and human damage, and other reasons. Below are three common issues that sometimes creep up with vacant home purchases.

1. Lack of Utilities Limits Home Inspection
Homebuyers have professional home inspectors evaluate a home's condition to help with the purchase choice. Unoccupied homes may have had their utilities turned off. If there is no way to check the water, electricity, gas, heating/ cooling systems, and appliances, a home inspector will be unable to evaluate the house. There could be major wiring problems, water or gas leaks, which would be very costly to repair.

2. More Maintenance May Be Necessary
After a home inspection, unoccupied homes still face further risk. If the previous owners abandoned the home or lost it to foreclosure, they probably neglected routine maintenance tasks. Costly repairs could surface up sooner than expected. Make every practical effort to increase the probability that there are no expensive problems needing correction. Furthermore, remeember to plan for imminent future repairs.

3. Obtaining Insurance May Be Challenging
Most insurance agencies will not insure an abandoned house without inspecting it. This is significant because the insurance company might require costly repairs before issuing a policy.If the agency issues a policy, the premiums usually will be higher for an unoccupied structure. If no one is watching over a home, it is more probable to suffer vandalism or other crime, and fire or other damage. Vacant homes can undergo broken pipes or leaking roofs with resulting water damage, stolen copper wiring, mold, rodents, termites, and damaged appliances.While the list price of vacant home may be attractive, potential buyers need to be thoughtful. The time to discover issues with a home is prior to purchase. With any home, you never really know what problems could be hiding behind the walls, unoccupied homes may have many skeletons in the closets.

May 27, 2014