Tucson, Flagstaff, Kingman, Maricopa County, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Anthem, Ahwatukee,
Apache Junction, Avondale, Buckeye, Carefree, Casa Grande, Chandler, El Mirage, Fountain
Hills, Gila Bend, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Laveen, Litchfield Park,
Maricopa, Mes, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Sun City, Suan City West, Sun Lakes, Sun
City Fiesta, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, Youngtown, Queen Creek, Waddell, Yuma, Quartzite,
Payson, Globe, Gold Canyon, Prescott, Cottonwood, San Tan
Are there environmental risks when buying a foreclosed or short-sale home?
The most obvious risks involve the condition of the structure prior to being placed on the market. A typical owner going into distress on their mortgage will most likely forgo maintenance as a matter of economics. They just don’t have the money to do proper and timely repairs. In the case of a water damaged home – this means letting impact remain until it’s a prime source for microbial growth (molds & bacterial). Once in place these contaminations will only spread if not remediated properly.
The second concern comes with how the property was dealt with by the owner (bank) after damage. Many lenders are using “recovery” teams to clean up and visibly “beautify” damaged properties. These teams go in and clean out any debris left by the displaced homeowner and clean everything up to be visually appealing to a potential buyer. These teams deal with ONLY the visible. They are purely a “band-aid” step in making the property visually appealing to the prospective buyer. If is damaged – paint it. If it’s dirty – clean it. This does nothing to eliminate any microbial impact that may be already present in the property.
I’ve seen cabinetry painted to cover mold growth, dry wall replaced or painted to cover water intrusions, flooring replaced or reglued, and carpet replaced or cleaned to remove any visual signs of previous flooding from a plumbing or roof leak. These actions will not protect the buyer from the problems they were meant to cover – it only serves to hide the obvious problems that will deter a prospective buyer, and are sure to cost a buyer later.
Without a full inspection of these “beautified” properties, a buyer may have no indication that problems exist in the property that may be hidden. Hidden damage can cost thousands in unexpected repairs later.
Using visual evidence, building science, and our vast experience (over 4500 environmental inspections alone) Westlife can ferret out the damage that has been “beautified” and save our client possible thousands in hidden repairs after the purchase of an “as-is” home.
If you have any questions about what we cover in an inspection project Give us a call – We’ll be happy to explain the process for your specific structure.