October 3, 2012
Thinking about buying a foreclosed house for sale on the street and see its potential? Is the price too good to be true? Does it just 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 prior to 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 prior to 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 seen or discovered by a home inspector. There is a kit you can buy to test for chemicals, however. Simply google it and there are several places online. Check the DEA’s National Clandestine Laboratory Register. In the search for Jimmy Hoffa, this last week, investigators were looking for his body buried in or under a concrete slab. 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 just funny.

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