Buying a Foreclosure – What You Should Know

foreclosureA foreclosed home, also known as an R.E.O. (Real Estate Owned) property is a home that was repossessed due to the owners inability to pay the mortgage.

Buying a foreclosure can be great. It can save buyers a lot of money as long as they do their homework.

Know What to Expect From a Foreclosure

Once a foreclosed home finally reaches market it may not be in the best of shape. Foreclosures can often take several months or even a year to complete. In that time the home probably will not have been kept up at all. Also, the previous homeowners may have intentionally caused damage to the home. They may damage walls out of anger or simply to get at copper piping and wiring within the walls. In some cases the bank may perform simple home maintenance and repairs but the home may sit for months as the banks decide to sell the home and set pricing.

So What Are The Advantages?

Potential homeowners may be asking,”So what would be the point of buying a broken money-pit?”. Well, they have to remember that the previous paragraph was outlining some, “potential”, worst case scenarios. By performing due diligence and doing a little research, buyers are sure to find perfectly good homes in the foreclosure market. The new home will probably need a little work. But with some effort a homeowner can turn foreclosure into a home and see some appreciation in the properties value.

Is a Foreclosure The Right Choice For Me?

As a potential buyer ask yourself.

  • Am I prepared to invest the money and time needed to bring this house back to a habitable condition? Do I know all the problems the house presents?
  • If the utilities have been turned off for months, do I know what works in the house?
  • Have I been given enough time to get the house professionally inspected so that I have detailed knowledge of how badly off the property may be?

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

If you decide that a foreclosure is the right choice for you. Be sure to contact Ralph and Robyn to help you negotiate a great deal.

Why You Need A Real Estate Agent

Why You Need A Real Estate AgentBuying or selling a home can be a costly and somewhat difficult task to do on your own. The consequences of making a mistake can be detrimental to your pocket book and a poor decision can leave you unsatisfied with your new home. Real Estate agents are here to help you navigate the sometimes confusing waters. Here are some reasons why you need a real estate agent.

Simplification of the Process

Agents are trained to understand the process and generally will be experienced. With experience comes stream-lining. You could save money by selling the home by yourself. But realistically most people don’t have the time or the knowledge to market a home or to research new home. Real estate agents save you time which in the long-run will save you money.

Helping you Find The Right Home

Again this is what real estate agents are trained to do. Find the right home for their customers. They have access to information on several thousand listings with all the necessary information on the conditions of the seller, the home and any legal provisions that might stand in the way of a smooth process. This can prove quite helpful.

Paperwork

The process of buying or selling a home can include a massive amount of paperwork. It can be confusing and without prior experience. You are open to making potentially time consuming costly mistakes. By hiring a real-estate agent you can close a deal almost entirely over the phone.
Some home buyers and sellers do not think they need a real estate agent. They feel confident that they have an understanding of the business. And that they can handle the the process on their own. This is an unfortunate and misguided mistake that could be costly in many ways.

Do you self a favor. When you decide to buy or sell a home. Contact Ralph and Robyn

Foundation Issues and How to Avoid Them

crackHomeowners rarely think about foundation issues until they see a crack. This can be a major mistake. Lets face facts. California is sitting on the edge of the ring of fire. I system of faults circling the pacific coast north up to Alaska, south as far as Peru and all the way up the east Asian coast. The ground here moves frequently. Thanks to modern engineering in many homes the damage caused by these frequent movements can be minimized, barring a major earthquake. But there are several other factors that can cause foundation damage and knowing what to look for and what causes the damage can help maintain your homes foundation and repair it when something goes wrong.

Sinking Foundation

California is in an epic drought. And with drought two possible problems can arise. As soil dries up the water, now turned into gas, can more easily escape from under homes. The left over pockets allow the house to settle. Settling happens naturally over time. But in a drought this may happen fast uneven. Uneven settling can cause foundations to stress in unusual ways that my crack. The solution is unfortunately to water you lawn. We are in a drought. But “occasionally” watering the lawn to help the soil keep its integrity is acceptable. The second issue is less likely but could be a problem all the same. Deep under our homes water exists. It’s the reason why wells get tapped. And if the water dries up. Then much like the setting of your soil. The land may settle. This is what we call a sink-hole. Much of California is hard stone and even if the water does dry up its unlikely a sink-hole will form. If you are concerned. It would be a good idea to consult your home owners insurer about what your policy covers and whether a risk even exists.

The Root of All Evil

Plants and tree surrounding homes are beautiful, provide shade and fresh air. But plants are survivors. Large trees in particular near the home in search of water can disturb the soil opening air pockets that can cause the home to settle irregularly. Or worse did you know plants can split concrete. Its true. A large tree near a home not only can damage the home. But in a large storm, or eventually when the tree dies. It could fall on the home causing more damage. Its unfortunate. I always like large trees near the home to provide shade. But sometimes you have to weigh the good with the bad.

DIY Repairs

If damage to the foundation does occur. It will eventually spread to the house damaging drywall, warping or breaking the wooden structure and allowing air and moisture into the home. These leaks can cause high heating and cooling costs or lead to mold. So what can you do?
There are a few options available. One option is an epoxy injection that fills the gap. This helps keep moisture and air from passing through. This option however, is sort of band-aid. A newer option, which costs less than half as much and winds up almost invisible, involves spreading epoxy in vertical strips and then pressing on carbon-fiber mesh to lock the wall in place.

Honestly, once the damage is visible. Self management may no longer be an option because, there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.