Orlando is more than a hot tourist destination, it’s also a great place to buy a home. Consistently rated among the top ten Florida cities in which to live, it’s no surprise that you are interested in buying property in the City Beautiful. And with the area’s median home value of $250,000, you’re likely looking at every cost-cutting measure you can take.
Buying a home in foreclosure is one such option, but it will only yield savings if you choose the property with care. Make sure to take the following steps before you make your decision.
Visit the Property With a Home Inspector
Viewing a home before purchasing is always a good idea, but it is especially necessary when buying a foreclosure for the following reasons:
BANKS DO NOT PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONDITION OR HISTORY OF A PROPERTY THEY HAVE FORECLOSED ON. If there are repairs that need to be made, or long term issues that require extensive, and expensive, solutions, the only way you will know is to check for yourself.
PEST INFESTATIONS ON THE PROPERTY MAY NOT BE READILY VISIBLE IN PHOTOS. Ants are the most common pest in Orlando, but they are hardly the only one. Viewing a home remotely, even in real time, is likely to miss the presence of insects. You’ll have to check the attic, basement, and the entire yard for telltale signs such as termite mounds, ant hills, and hornet’s nest. Check inside for signs of droppings along baseboards, in corners, and within cupboards.
FORECLOSED HOMES ARE SOLD “AS-IS.” That means no repairs of any kind will be made beforehand. Nothing will be cleaned, and no property left behind will be removed for you. It is common for previous occupants to deliberately do damage to a home that they lose to the foreclosure process, as well.
Many problems will be readily visible and identifiable even by a layperson, but there are others that may escape your notice. This is where the inspector comes in. They are trained to discover lurking structural problems and foundation issues, along with electrical, plumbing, or HVAC concerns. Water damage is of particular concern in Orlando’s climate. It’s worth the cost of the inspector to avoid a far more expensive surprise down the line.
Take the knowledge gained from your thorough viewing of the property and determine how much it will cost to fix any problems you encountered.
The inspector will give a detailed report of their findings, which is likely to contain the most urgent points of action. Prioritize safety issues on your repair timeline. Small cosmetic issues can wait, but they should still be factored into the overall cost to give a real figure for how much you will spend on the property.
If you reach a total that exceeds the savings gained from buying the house at its reduced foreclosure price, it may be time to scour Orlando’s housing market for another likely bargain.
Try to Negotiate for a Lower Price
If you’re convinced you’ve found the house of your dreams, but the repair estimate takes it out of your price range, don’t be afraid to approach the bank about lowering the price. They are attempting to make money on the property, after all, and having it unoccupied isn’t in their best interest.
Share with them the findings of your inspection report. Use the most costly and serious issues as leverage. Anything that renders the home unlivable has a good chance of swaying the bank to offer a discount, maybe even enough to cover the cost of the repairs.
Be Ready to Move In
Once you’ve found the right place, at the right price, you’ll want to be ready to move in right away. We can help with that. We offer professional moving services in the Orlando area, and are ready to get you settled into your new home. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.