10 Things You Must Know When Buying a Foreclosed Condo


Are you looking to buy a new home? Do you have a specific budget or are you just looking for a home that may be available at a good deal.? If so, you may be interested in buying a foreclosed condo. While you can get a very good deal buying this type of accommodation, here are some things you should know beforehand.

1. After Effects of Water

Sometimes a foreclosed home may require extensive water damage cleanup. The foreclosed condo may have succumbed to leaky pipes. It may have had moisture exposure from when there was a storm and there was poor sealing or caulking around the windows. Whatever the reasons for water damage, you’ll have to deal with it before into your new home.

It’s not healthy to live with ongoing water damage, as water can be a breeding ground for mold. Part of water damage cleanup involves mold remediation. According to Qipa, mold can grow on a wet surface in as little as 24 to 72 hours. The slimy substance can cause various health-related problems such as asthma, emphysema, lung infections, skin infections, watery eyes, and other allergic reactions. Some mold has even been linked to cancer. You could have many health expenses on your hands if you move into a foreclosed condo that didn’t have mold remediation services done beforehand.

2. Get Legal Assistance

Buying a foreclosed home can come with more legal concerns than a regular home. Getting legal expertise can make you aware of your state’s local foreclosure laws. There are many complexities involved with this type of property and you don’t want any surprises. A foreclosure lawyer helps protect your general interests and can even negotiate a sale on your behalf. They can review any existing documentation and see if there are any liens or other legal issues against the property you should know about before buying.

3. Clear Those Drains

Having a healthy drain system in your home is vital for a sanitary environment. Your foreclosed condo may have backed up or clogged drains depending on how long it’s been sitting without proper plumbing maintenance. Drain repair can involve clearing out old drains, replacing drain covers, and checking that pipes are functioning well.

When it comes to drains, the first solution should never involve using over-the-counter chemicals. People often do so because it’s considered an easy solution. However, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Using chemical cleaners in your drains not only damages the pipes but can also damage the septic tank over time. Matter of fact, it can cause those chemicals to burn through the septic tank and cause sewage to leak out of the ground, contaminate it, and further put the local water supply at risk.

A drain repair professional knows what to look for to check if your drains are healthy. After all, your drains shouldn’t take long to clear water. For example, when you take a shower or wash dishes at the sink, water shouldn’t pool for a long period and take forever to go down the drain. If the water is taking so long to drain or stops draining completely, it can turn into sitting water. Then you would have a major sanitation issue on your hands. Dirty water sitting in any part of your home is a nuisance that can attract pests such as mosquitoes. According to the EPA, mosquitoes can lay up to 100 eggs in one sitting. Therefore drainage repair is essential to keep a clean home, whether it’s a foreclosed condo, single-family home, or mansion.

4. Check Your AC

Summer has just passed, and if you’re like most people, you probably had your AC on full blast. After all, who wants to sit inside their home sweltering when it’s possibly a hundred degrees outside? The good thing about proper AC services is that your home will always have a comfortable environment, even if there’s a heat wave going on outside. Speaking of heat waves, according to the CDC over 11,000 Americans have died from heat-related illnesses since 1979. So, AC Services aren’t just convenient, it’s vital for you and your family’s health. Thanks to global warming, it’s no secret that the Earth continues to get hotter and this summer set some records in terms of temperature.

Don’t be surprised if you need repairs or replacement. Your foreclosed condo may have been sitting there for a while. There’s no telling how long the AC has gone without proper service and maintenance even before foreclosure. If the AC has not had regular service, it may now have a buildup of dirt, mildew, and mold that can make it a health hazard when you turn it on. Your AC doesn’t just cool the air in the home but also filters and circulates it as well. If the filter or other moving parts haven’t been inspected and fixed as needed, you may be breathing in dirty air.

5. Don’t Let the Septic System Overflow

A healthy septic tank is a must for any home. Septic tanks are the holding place for all of the wastewater that leaves your home. There are many signs to look out for regarding problems. Are there gurgling noises when water is emptying? Have drains completely stopped emptying? Are toilets not flushing the way they should or have they stopped flushing altogether? When the septic tank can no longer hold any more wastewater, there’s simply nowhere for the dirty water from the toilet, showers, and washing machines to go. As a result, you may end up having a backup in your foreclosed condo. Plus, a malfunctioning septic tank could make your home unlivable due to the nasty smells associated with waste matter not emptying as it should. According to Bob Vila, septic tank pumping should occur at least once every three years. If you’re having problems before then, don’t hesitate to call a professional to check things out.

6. Keep a Cozy Condo

When it comes to keeping a comfortable home, it isn’t just your AC repair you should worry about. A foreclosed condo may also need an upgrade with its heating elements. Call your local heating service to check out the existing heating tank. You may need to purchase heating oil depending on the type of furnace your foreclosed condo building has. Luckily, heating oil is eco-friendly and a cheaper type of heating source to use compared to other types of fuel.

7. Call Your Neighborhood Plumber

Plumbing companies will play a major role in making your foreclosed condo more comfortable. Depending on the climate your condo building is in, your pipes may be at risk of freezing in the winter months, which can cause them to burst. Pipes can be susceptible to cracking which can create leaks. If any of your piping has even the smallest leak, that’s plenty of water that can be wasted over a year without detection. A small crack in a pipe can turn into a big crack that could end up flooding your condo space. So, before you move your items, call a local plumbing professional to do a thorough inspection and make any necessary updates.

When it comes to plumbing, pipes aren’t your only worry. You may also need to update the fixtures in your condo space. Updated fixtures help you save on your water consumption and make the bathing and relieving experience more comfortable. Did you know that Americans use as much as five gallons of water with each flush on a standard toilet? However, when plumbers install dual flush toilets, you’ll have one option for liquid waste and another for solid waste. Plus, these high-efficiency toilets only use a little more than one gallon of water per flush. Let’s not forget about showering. Your plumbers can install better shower heads that come with better output options. Those shower heads reduce your water use and related bills. You’ll still be able to take a shower with good water pressure but have the relief of not wasting tons of water that harms the environment.

8. Renovate Tired Floors

Don’t be surprised if the floor of your foreclosed condo doesn’t look pristine. The previous owners may not have been in the situation to keep up flooring as they should. So there may be dirty and unkempt carpeting that needs replacing or thorough cleaning. You can always call a carpet cleaning service to steam clean the carpet and try to make it look new again if it has the right material or to completely replace it.

Maybe you don’t like carpeting and want something more solid like wood. There’s a reason why hardwood is so popular with homeowners. Hardwood is beautiful, durable, and adds a touch of nature to your home. In addition, a wooden floor can last as long as a hundred years with good maintenance. Unlike carpet, hardwood flooring doesn’t need vacuuming and steaming. You usually just keep up with it with a broom mop and occasional waxing.

However, if a hardwood floor installation is too expensive for you, your flooring contractor has another beautiful alternative such as vinyl floors which can often mimic the appearance of wood while also supplying a slip-resistant surface. You could also consider to use of tiles. That’s right, tiles aren’t just for the bathroom. You can use different types of tiles throughout your condo flooring whether it’s your bedroom, living room, or kitchen to create incorporate designs or colors that may be hard to replicate with carpeting or wood.

9. Hire Some Muscle

As you prepare to move into your foreclosed condo you’ll need to get all your stuff there safely. Instead of over-exerting yourself by moving things on your own, enlist the help of local movers. Local movers can reduce the stress that often comes with moving and can manage the moving project for you. They’ll load and unload your items into the moving truck and make sure they safely get to your new place. They could even help you with packing and the necessary supplies available. If your foreclosed condo is far away from your current residence, it may be a long drive to bring your stuff there. Why risk renting a rental truck and moving all things on your own when you have movers who know how to navigate those streets and travel long distances?

10. Ask About Tree Safety

As a condo owner, you’ll have to answer to the HOA board. You may even be a part of that board if you decide to join. When you live in a condo, you may have a stand-alone condo with its backyard and some trees. In most cases, a condo will be in an apartment-like setting. Understand when you live in a condo, it has different rules from living in a detached single-family home. If there are issues concerning trees, it’s not your decision to make alone. You may have a tree that’s near your window causing you a problem. Or maybe you feel the need to plant one. Either way, you’ll have to make your case to the HOA board.

You may need to request tree removal contractors come out of the property if a tree is too close to the property and looks like it’s about to fall. If you live in an area with inclement weather, a tree can easily fall through a window and damage any nearby property such as your condo apartment. So, if the presence of a tree is too close to your apartment entrance or window, you have a good reason to request tree removal contractors to come. After all the HOA board doesn’t want any liabilities between you and other owners.

As you can see, there are many things to consider before buying a foreclosed condo. While your condo can end up being a good purchase you can do a lot with it so be prepared to make certain updates and inspections. After all, you got such an apartment at a good deal, so make sure you do what you can to increase its value and live in a safe environment.