For many reasons this is a good time for potential home buyers to purchase Mobile Eastern Shore real estate, and the large number of foreclosed homes available holds the promise of bargain prices.

foreclosureToo good to be true? Perhaps. Buyers of foreclosed property, especially if it has been unoccupied and not maintained for some time, must be acutely aware of possible problems and trouble spots involved in such a sale and may have to realistically face some unpleasant facts.

A cautious buyer should look for signs which indicate that all is not well with a piece of Mobile Eastern Shore real estate.

1. The presence of mold. Once mold takes hold, it is almost impossible to get rid of. Look for places which have been excessively painted in an attempt to cover up mold.

2. Lack of heat for months in a home not properly winterized. Result? Burst pipes and water damage.

3. Hints of water damage. Peeling, bubbling, or discolored paint may occur as a result of moisture. Other evidence of water damage includes swelling in walls/ceilings, stains, and             a musty odor.

4. Blocked drains or pipes may lead to sewage problems.

5. Evidence of vandalism or break-ins. Signs of such activity include holes punched in walls and broken windows. Theft of appliances, fixtures, air conditioning/heating units,             pipes, and electrical wiring is also of concern.  Were the stolen items properly removed or carelessly ripped from their location?

6. Indications of furnace malfunction or soot damage. Telltale signs include black cobwebs, greasy grey residue on walls, or an oily odor.

7. Renovations in an older home. You would be wise to check to see if permits were issued. Was the work performed by a professional? Does it conform to required Mobile Eastern Shore real estate building codes? Was asbestos disturbed during construction?

8. Debris dumped in the yard. You will be required to remove such refuse in a timely (and possibly expensive) manner.

9. Occupation by uninvited critters. Wild animals often live in abandoned structures. Look for snakes, rodent infestation, and unexpected “nests.”

Obviously, you must insist on a thorough inspection of your Mobile Eastern Shore real estate to avoid buying a badly flawed foreclosure filled with unpleasant and costly surprises. Be sure to request air quality and surface testing; it is well worth the little extra it costs. You should also inquire about any corrections that have been made to address damages and talk to the company who performed the repairs.

By diligently doing your homework and actively anticipating problems, you may just find the foreclosure which fits your needs and is indeed a bargain!

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