So, you’ve finally found a home you love after months of searching, and now you’re all ready to sign on the dotted line – but there’s still one thing standing in your way. Water damage. Whether you know your home’s history and are aware of the water damage or discover it during a routine home inspection, not all hope is lost. But know that buying a home with water damage is a big no-no.
Yes, water damage can be bad news, but these tips will help you make a smart purchase so you can enjoy your home for years to come and not fall into a money-pit.
Don’t Skip the Inspection
No matter what you think you know about the home, don’t skip the inspection. Instead, work with a certified inspector who can provide you with information regarding the water damage and possible mold in your home-to-be. You’ll need someone who can find structural issues and problems that aren’t easily seen. You may want to hire someone who is specialized in foundations if you suspect the water damage was significant. Remember to get copies of all reports.
Photo by Amanda Bicknell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Get an Estimate from a Restoration and Mold Remediation Expert
Before you even consider how much you might want to offer on the house, you need to find out how much it will cost to repair any water damage. The quote should include any restoration and reconstruction needed, as well as how the company will deal with mold if present. This crucial step could make all the difference in purchasing (or not purchasing) the home.
Photo by Lamguy4330 (Public domain) from wikimedia commons
How to Find Hidden and Undisclosed Water Damage in a Home
There are some situations where the house, or a less than honest owner, hides the water damage well or the history isn’t known. This information will usually come out in the inspection, but some people don’t want to deal with water damage at all. The following tips will help you spot water damage before an inspection:
Use Your Eyes and Your Nose:
Look for signs of mold and mildew in the walls and floorboards. Use your nose and notice if you smell anything musty or moldy anywhere in the home.
Listen for Drips:
This is an unusual tip, but if you hear dripping from a leaking plumbing fixture in the home, consider it a red flag. The leak may be more extensive than you think or may have been going on for a while, causing water damage you might not be able to see. Yet.
Check the Doors and Windows:
You can do this before you even walk into the home. Do you see any peeling caulk, gaps in between, or discolored or softwood? This could mean water damage but isn’t usually a huge problem – just be aware of it and find out more information in the inspection.
Notice the Condition of the Roof:
If shingles are missing, loose, misshapen, or discolored, that’s a sign that leaks are already happening or will happen in the near future. Ask questions about the age and condition of the roof if you decide to move forward with a home inspection.
Taking the time to be aware of what water damage could mean for your potential home and how much it would cost to repair the damage is a necessary step when purchasing a home with a wet history. A water damaged home doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but you should be aware of what you’re agreeing to purchase.