About this time every year we see lots of Metro Detroit foreclosed homes with mold in them. This house was a Canton Twp home. Why we see so many in the spring is because the water pipes burst in the house. What happens is the former homeowners up and leave the house ( the owners that have been foreclosed on) and shut the utilities off. They don’t want to heat the house and they most likely think it is the banks fault they lost the house. So they don’t care. So when there is no heat to keep the pipes warm, after a day or two in the Michigan winter the pipes burst. Many times the banks don’t even know the people have moved out.
Sometimes the banks can’t even take possession of the house because they think it is still occupied, and they have no legal right to the house yet. So what happens is the pipes burst, and the water runs and runs. I have seen a $4500 water bill. Can you imagine how long the water has run for that to happen? Until the Metro Detroit foreclosure becomes the banks property the water runs. Finally the bank will have a Metro Detroit Realtor secures the house. Thats when they find out the water issues.
But here is what has happened to the house by then:
- boards become saturated
- floors warp and rise
- the basement becomes flooded
- water is absorbed up the drywall and into the studs behind the walls
- the water runs from one floor down into the next floor by water way it can
- carpeting gets soaked
- paint peels
- the mold grows!
Sometimes this damage doesn’t start until the house is heated or the weather gets warmer. The house has become a huge petri dish waiting for all the mold to grow. The combination of warmth and the wetness provides the ideal conditions for mold to grow.
My opinion of these houses… are to run the other way. Unless you are a professional there are too many problems for an average Metro Detroit home buyer to deal with. With so many people with asthma problems you don’t want the issues that come with a water soaked house. The repairs are a big enough problem. But it is the hidden issues of the mold behind the walls and floors to become an issue in the future.
Remember you also are going to have to fix the plumbing system. There will be holes in the pipes. Many times the plumber has to cut holes in the drywall to find them and repair the broken lines.
Many times it is going to cost more than the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit you can get from Uncle Sam. Too, too many issues. So run, and forget about how cheap it is.
For more Metro Detroit home buyer tips and Livonia real estate information visit any of my websites
Russ Ravary your Metro Detroit real estate agent
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