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Macomb County MI Real estate

Macomb County MI real estate blog

Bank owned homes and lack of disclosures

October 3rd, 2010 · No Comments · macomb county mi real estate market, tips for home buyers, tips for purchasing a foreclosure

This is one of those “just when I think I saw it all…” kind of posts.

Last week I took buyer clients through a foreclosure (bank owned) home in north Macomb County.  The home has been on the market for quite a while, considering the low price for a large newer home in that area.  That was the first tip off that it needed more than cosmetics to make it desirable.

When we went in to the home the odor wasn’t strong (no pet smells, not too much of a musty “closed up” smell, etc.)  The main floor was semi-clean, so we ventured on down to the basement.

Upon first glance we all knew something was not right about this home.  A less than 10 year old home should not have surface rust on every steel beam, nor on the copper plumbing.   I’m not a home inspector and neither are my buyers, but seeing all that rust leads to one conclusion:  Humidity had been high in that basement for quite a while.  If humidity had been extremely high (from the home being closed up for a long period of time, and/or the sump pump not working because of the electricity being turned off) then that lead us to believe that mold may have been an issue in the home as well.

Looking at the walls in the basement as well as the underside of the ceiling made the suspicion of previous mold in the home even higher:  All of the exposed areas had been recently painted.  Very recently.  In fact, the 2 large empty buckets of paint were still in the basement, tucked away in a corner.

That prickly uneasy feeling you get when something isn’t quite right only intensified in to the “thought so” argument in our heads when we peered closer and found areas that the painter missed:  Dark, fuzzy and moldy looking substances were still in the home.

As we left the home (which by the way my buyer clients want no part of) we discussed disclosures (or rather, lack of) by the bank owners.  In Michigan a seller of a home is required by law to fill out disclosures for the potential buyers. The bank owners however are exempted from this law as they did not live in the home.

For the life of me I cannot understand why this law has not been changed to mandate that if a bank owner paid for an inspection of their asset that they don’t have to disclose what they saw and cleaned up.  Makes sense doesn’t it?  Just because they didn’t live in the house they should still have to disclose:  “Upon inspection we saw mold, had it cleaned up and painted the walls, and advise a buyer to have their own home inspection.”  Simple.  Oh so simple.

~Kris Wales~  A partner for you real estate needs in Macomb County MI
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Important copyright information: All photos were taken by Kris Wales. Do not copy and use photos for your own use, whether it be for personal or commercial purpose. All articles were written by Kris Wales. Once again, do not copy and use for your own purposes. Important disclaimer: Views expressed on the blog by the author and commenters do not express the views of Keller Williams Realty. All information contained is deemed to be reliable at the time of posting but not guaranteed.