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Buying a Flood or Water Damaged Property
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
When most of us buy big ticket items such as houses or cars, we tend to be somewhat cautious and anything that even remotely looks like serious damage, say by water or flooding, automatically kicks the home out of the running and we move on to greener pastures. This shouldn’t always be the case. If the proper steps are taken and the correct decisions made, buying a water damaged house may actually turn out to be a plus, resulting in a lucrative deal that may hold handsome payoffs later on.
First Things to Look For
For starters, make sure that you have a comprehensive water damage inspection done, performed by a professional who knows all the different places to look for potential water damage problems. In many cases they may be able to spot problems that most of the rest of us would overlook. Such problems may include structural damage in odd places, faulty pipes, or other problems. In some cases, walls may need to be opened to look for any problems inside of them and there are non-invasive procedures that may be used to gather this information.
It is important to determine whether or not the home is mold-free and this should take top priority. The presence of mold changes things considerably. In an ideal situation the seller will have either already taken care of the problem or will be willing to do so. In either case, get the agreement in writing; since mold presents a number of health risks, it is nothing to risk.
Dry rot may also be a problem, as it is a fungus that thrives on timber, the basic makeup of most homes. The home should be checked thoroughly for any signs of dry rot. This problem may spread from one surface to another, putting the integrity of the entire house at stake.
Negotiating Any Repair Issues in Your Favor
Once any and all problems have been determined and documented, you should make them factors in your negotiation. Use them as leverage against the price of the home or secure an agreement with the seller to properly take care of them as a condition of the purchase. In most cases, a price reduction is the end goal and sellers are likely to take you up on it simply because they do not wish to have to deal with the various issues that accompany a water damaged home.
In that case, it ultimately will fall to you to make sure the water damage is properly repaired and any mold problems remediated. Insurance providers may stipulate that you have to correct the damage before any coverage can be written, so bring in a qualified, certified, water damage restoration professional to perform the work for you.
By making the right decisions, you may be able to pick up a property at an excellent price as long as you are committed to taking the steps needed to rectify any problems that are found.