Buying a House with Water Damage? Know What to Look For and Who to Call For Estimates
Okay, you’ve found the house of your dreams, it’s everything you could have wanted, perfect location, perfect design, everything but there is one little problem. You’ve seen some water stains on the ceiling or along the drywall, which as we all know means a sure sign of water damage. Is this a deal breaker? Or do you plow merrily ahead and use it as leverage to get the price down, hoping that it won’t take too much to repair after you have moved in.
Buying a water damaged house is risky, to be sure, but if you know what you are doing, you can reduce the potential threat to almost nil. Remember that water damage may be the source of other serious problems in the home, such as soft walls and mold.
Firstly, schedule a home inspection, which if you’re buying a house you’ll do anyway. Determine the source and extent of the water damage before placing any sort of bid on the home. If possible, get a quote for the cost of the repair.
Secondly, have a contractor or two look at your water damage report and give some estimates. If the contractor can actually have access to the home, that is a plus. Having more than one estimate lets you know if your repair costs are accurate. Subtract the repair costs from the cost of the home before making your bid.
Submit your bid to the seller, and make notes in the proposal about the water damage and be willing to make negotiations and counteroffers. Once the proposal has been accepted, get a copy of the sales contract and make sure all terms are correct.
At this point, you go through the normal process of securing a loan mortgage and closing on the best terms available to you. You should obtain homeowners insurance quotes, especially those providing coverage against water damage and other loss to the home, as well as water removal and repair services. Be advised that you may not be able to get a full comprehensive policy on the home until the water removal process has taken place and the damage repaired.
Once the deal is done and everything is closed, begin the water removal and repair process, preferably before you move in. Moving in prematurely won’t be very rewarding for anybody, and you want to make sure that the home is in tip-top condition before moving your stuff in.
One last thing, when it comes to water removal and restoration, don’t skimp and try to do it yourself. Most of us don’t know where to look for all the hidden problems that tend to crop up in cases such as this. A water removal job done wrong or incompletely will only serve to make a made situation worse, and the repair estimates you got early on may end up skyrocketing once you figure out that you need to reverse course and bring in some professionals.