When it comes to buying a foreclosure in San Diego, you should always be aware of the cost of repairs.

Because of the nature of foreclosed homes, repairs should almost always be expected.

This is because a lot of foreclosures can stand vacant for a long time, or because typical auctions or buying procedures don’t let you see the home beforehand.

Also, most foreclosures are sold “as-is” and “sight unseen”.

Because of that, it can be hard to know what you’re getting into, but repairs are almost always a factor you should take into consideration, to play things safe.

Let’s take a look at some things you can first expect with foreclosures:

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If you go through an auction, as mentioned, you will not be allowed to see it beforehand and won’t be able to get a good idea of the value you are getting, or the costs that may be associated with repairs.

Pre Foreclosure periods allow the owner an opportunity to sell the property or pay off the owed amount before it goes to auction or is repossessed by the bank, meaning you might be able to negotiate a chance to see the property.

Bank-owned homes will typically allow you to set up an inspection and do a walk-through before you commit to buying, though some banks may require you to purchase the house after conducting an inspection, so make sure you know the terms.

If you do get an inspection on the property, be absolutely sure that they are a professional.

The prices that typically come with an inspection are between $300 and $500 dollars, but are well worth it if you want to get a good estimate for the cost of repairs beforehand.

It is a good idea to evaluate the surrounding neighborhood of the foreclosure as well.

This will let you get a good idea on the state of the neighborhood and compare it to the property you want to purchase.

It is important to note that most investors put an estimated 10% towards repair costs, but every situation and foreclosure is unique.

Some common problems with foreclosures can include weather issues, vacancy times, vandalism and other factors.

With weather, a cold spell or heavy storms or floods can cause significant damage to your new property.

It is important to inspect pipes, walls, and other areas that are vulnerable to leaks and cold weather before turning on any utilities.


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If the pipes froze and you turn them back on without inspection, this may cause a leak to seep into the walls which can cost you some major mold damage.

You can typically hire an electrician to do a safety check if you are concerned about the utilities or pipes for between: $150-$250.

If you have the know-how, you can also fix cracked or burst pipes with tools that cost between $20-$50 dollars, as a general estimate.

The weather can also play a factor in damage from trees and bushes, or any kind of plants in the vicinity.

Trees can fall and damage the foundation or roof in a major storm, if not properly taken care of.

Bushes and roots can grow under siding and also cause major foundation damage, which can cost between: $300-$1,000 to fix.

Another huge problem when it comes to cost repairs is vandalism.

Vandalism can come from previous owners or local thieves, depending on how long the property has stood unguarded and vacant.

It is typical for angry owners to rip out cabinets, fixtures, expensive piping (typically copper) and anything else they can take with them.

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They also tend to put holes in walls and tear up flooring, which can definitely be a pricey fix.

Local thieves are more prone to take copper tubing and ripped out air conditioning units, which can contribute heavily to mold in more humid areas.

Speaking of mold, it is the #1 problem for foreclosures in humid areas - even around San Diego. 

Properties that are infested by mold can quickly grow to an almost overwhelming problem, as mold grows and spreads quickly and can be deadly to occupants.

While it may not be as severe in less humid areas, mold is still a massive and expensive problem to fix.

It can be hiding in nearly any corner of the foreclosure, making tracking it down and treating it excessively difficult as well as costly.

How costly?

Well, a mold removal and the house repairs that may be needed because of it can range from: $200-$400 all the way to as high as $20,000 to 30,000.

This is another reason why seeing the house beforehand is so important.

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Really, any cost repair is going to need to be taken into consideration if you are planning on purchasing a foreclosure.

Whether it is damage from wild animals, damage to the roof, the electrical system, the foundation or any other part of the home, it can end up costing you a fortune if you are not careful.

Take this article into consideration when looking into foreclosures.

Keep in mind you can get San Diego foreclosures delivered via email daily to your inbox. 

What do you think?

Leave a message in the comments section below - or call or text me at (760) 297-4539

Your Foreclosure Insider,


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