With so many Foreclosures in and around Orange County, Sullivan County, and Ulster County NY it is important for buyers to proceed with caution. Even if a property says "As Is" a good home inspection will allow you to decide whether the house is worth the risk. Sometimes a lower price brings a higher cost in repairs later on. This third post in the series of articles will provide people interested in Bank Owned Homes some idea of what surprises might be found in the mechanical systems of the house. Thanks to Michael Thornton for his expertise:
In Part I of the series Inspecting Foreclosures, I talked about the importance of conducting the inspection and in Part II of Inspecting Foreclosures, I touched on the subject of lack of maintenance.
Mechanical issues surrounding the heating and cooling systems, water heaters and kitchen appliances are a huge concern for many potential buyers. If the property is less than 12 years old, one can generally make the assumption that the major appliances will be about that same age. The home inspector will take a look at the serial numbers and guesstimate the age of the units based on the manufacturers data. Generally speaking, most kitchen appliances and HVAC systems are at or are approaching the end of their service lives when they reach 12 years. Professional servicing and budgeting for age related replacement is a must. Generally speaking, replacement of these systems will cost anywhere from $1500 - $2500 per ton of unit.
Water heaters have a very short 6-8 year life expectancy. Most manufacurers will have a warranty of 6 or 8 years on the glass lining. When the water heater has surpassed that time limit, the water heater is living on borrowed time. Another issue with water heaters I find is rust or bacteria build-up.
When a water heater has been setting unused for some time, bacteria can build up in the pressure vessle giving that "rotten egg" odor when you open the hot water tap. Rust from the tank can leech into the storage area due to deterioration of the glass lining. If either of these issues are present, a new water heater is in order. Depending upon the manufacturer, size and type these can run from $600 to $1500 to replace.© 2009 michael thornton | complete home inspections, inc. | brentwood, tn | 615.661.0297 | www.completehomeinspectionsonline.com
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