Foreclosure Fix-Ups

[This article originally appeared on AOL Shopping in June 2008.]

ForeclosureAs everyone is well aware, the housing market has been in a steep decline this year. This is bad news for current home owners, but good news for potential home buyers. There are many great deals to be had in the housing market today – and none more so than foreclosed homes.

While many folks are scared away from buying a foreclosed home – due to the damage they might find within them – in most cases, the previous owners of the property simply lacked the funds to maintain ownership and make necessary repairs or upgrades to the home. Some damage can be severe, but most damage is very easy to fix.

You should always hire a professional home inspector to examine any home you plan to buy. They will let you know how extensive the damage is (if any), and how much it would cost to fix.

Typical minor damage includes overgrown weeds in the yard, missing appliances, missing light fixtures and switches, and missing plumbing components. Some of the more major damage includes mold (due to moisture intrusion) and Dry Wood Termites. Other potential wear n’ tear includes drywall damage, flooring material defects, bad electrical wiring, leaking plumbing lines and swamp-like swimming pools (due to abandonment), which are a haven for mosquitoes.

Here’s how you would tackle some typical home damage…

  • Missing appliances, light fixtures, switches, and plumbing components are easy to replace. Shop for the best prices on these at AOL Shopping and have them delivered directly to your new home!
  • Yards that are overgrown and full of weeds are easily remedied with a good lawnmower, weed-eater, or chemical spray.
  • Minor damage to drywall can be fixed with a self-adhesive drywall patch.
  • You’ll need to call in a professional to deal with termites, mosquitoes in the pool and other bug problems – but if an abandoned pool just needs a little cleaning, get yourself a Verro from iRobot, which will clean the pool, while you work on other things.
  • For plumbing issues, you’ll want to stock up on all the essential tools, like a sink and toilet plunger, augers, caulk remover, Teflon tape, and a pipe wrench.

When it comes to buying a foreclosed home, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. The amount you save on the cost of the home is well worth making a few minor repairs and aesthetic fixes before moving in.

Be sure to compare prices before making your purchases on AOL Shopping!

For more information on foreclosures, visit AOL Real Estate.