You found your dream home. It's in the perfect neighborhood, has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, an updated kitchen, spacious family room and sprawling backyard. The only negative: it's a water damaged house.
Buying a House with Water Damage: Important Facts to Know
You don't have to give up your dream home just because the house has suffered water damage or currently has water damage. You do need to determine some facts before making an offer on the property.
Schedule Inspections Before Buying
Begin by scheduling a home inspection. A home inspection before you purchase any property is wise and especially important when dealing with known water damage. Only work with a certified home inspector who can provide a comprehensive water damage inspection including the extent of the mold problem. The inspector needs to be able to find any hidden damage, including structural issues, leaking windows, foundation cracks and bad pipes. You also may opt for an inspector who specializes in foundations or a roofing expert depending on where the mold issue is concentrated.
Request written copies of all home inspection reports.
Consult a Contractor
A contractor can provide an estimation on how much it will cost to repair the damage caused by water, including any repairs needed after mold removal. It's important to factor in the cost of water damage repair and mold remediation (if mold is present in the home) before placing a bid on the house. The mold experts at ServiceMaster Restore� can provide full mold remediation for any type of mold issues.
Evaluate Repair and Remediation Costs
Water damage from a leaking bathtub pipe may have effected more than what can be seen. Water can seep through the walls, soaking the back of drywall, structural supports and insulation, especially if the leak had been undetected for some time. Flood damage to a basement can create significant mold issues that need to be treated by professionals. It's essential to factor in full water damage repair and mold remediation costs before making an offer on the house. Thoroughly read all inspection reports and don't be afraid to ask questions of the inspectors, contractors and other experts. Get all the facts and then sit down with your real estate agent. It may be possible to work the repair costs into the offer or to have the seller cover the costs of repair and mold remediation. Be sure your realtor includes the water damage repair costs in writing in the bid presented to the seller.
Everything in Writing
Negotiations may go back and forth. However, once a final deal has been agreed upon, double-check to ensure the agreement regarding water damage costs is correct. A real estate attorney can be consulted if any of the contractual terms need clarification.
Homeowner's Insurance and Flood Insurance
Work with your insurance agent to secure the right amount of homeowner's insurance for your new home. With a water damaged house, a comprehensive policy may be the best choice. If your new home is in a flood plain or other high-risk area, consider additional flood insurance as most general home insurance policies do not cover floods.
has information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program and how it works. If your new home does suffer additional water damage, contact
for full water damage mitigation services. Remember, it's essential to act fast after water damage hits. Mold can develop as quickly as 24 to 48 hours after a flood or other water event.