Buying a water damaged home is possibly a risky investment, but knowing what precautions to take helps limit your potential loss. Water damage to a house may be caused by many different problems, including flooding, a burst pipe or a leaky roof. Other defects and hazards may be present in the home due to the water damage, such as unsound walls and mold, and the cause of the water damage needs to be examined to ensure the problem will not continue once the existing damage is addressed.
Steps to Buying a Water Damaged Home
- Schedule a home inspection. The extent and cause of the water damage needs to be established by a professional before you consider bidding. The home inspector will note the estimated costs to repair the damage. Ask the inspector about the cost of repairing the source of the water damage if the problem still exists. Request a copy of the home inspection report.
- Contact a contractor who has experience in water-damage repairs. Give the contractor a copy of the home inspection. Ask the contractor about the cost of repairing the damage and cause, if applicable, for a second opinion. Have the contractor evaluate the home if possible. You need permission from the homeowner in writing if the contractor has to open up any wall areas or perform intrusive tests to check for hazards relating to water damage, like mold. Get opinions from more than one contractor to ensure the accuracy of the estimations.
- Review the home inspection and contractor reports. Write down the total estimated cost to repair the water damage. Get the market value of the home by contacting local real estate agencies and asking for sales data for comparable houses in the area. Subtract the repair cost from the home’s market value. Your bid should be around the resulting figure, but pick a lower bid to open negotiations with the seller.
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