October 3, 2012
Thinking about buying a foreclosed home for sale and see its potential? Is the price too good to be true? Does it need cleaning up or should it be torn down? Could this be the site of a murder? Is someone buried under the home? Was the home a meth lab or drug house? Air fresheners can mask odors from drugs, pets, mold and mildew, or a past fire in the home.
To be cautious, talk to your potential neighbors before buying a home. Make a free call to the fire department and local police or sheriff. Check the online registry of sex offenders. Type the address in a Google search and see what comes up. Visit the home at all hours before buying.
Some possible issues with foreclosed homes:
If the people living in the home couldn’t make the payments, how much went into maintenance?
There is no disclosure from the bank (they didn’t live there).
If the home was a meth lab, it may result in trouble breathing, headaches, nosebleeds or worse.
There may be chemicals in the walls that could poison you. Removal of walls can cost upwards of $5-10,000. In the case of methamphetamine, it’s an invisible toxin, so it’s not something that can be or discovered by a home inspector. There is a kit you can buy to test for chemicals, but. Google it and there are several places online.
Check the DEA’s National Clandestine Laboratory Register. I have inspected an El Paso home where a murder was committed and half of the floor tile and carpet was missing. Parts of the drywall in the bedroom were also missing. I asked what happened, and got an earful.
Be sure to get your El Paso home inspected. We find interesting things every day. Many of these are life-threatening, some are funny.

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