So you purchesed a foreclosed house, now what?

Home Builder with Rescue Concrete Inc.

As some of you know there is "smart" people buying up distressed and foreclosed homes at great prices.  They did all their homework, they listen to all the "flipper" CD's and now they have jumped into a foreclosed property with both feet.  So the next question is now what?


Foreclosed homes are bought and sold everyday in this market but what condition are they in?  Even the best home inspector misses stuff (no offence too home inspectors). 

So what about the concrete at the home?

 Concrete comprises a large amount of the materials that make up a house.  Some homes not only have a concrete foundation, but they have concrete walls as well.  Here in lies the problem, all concrete needs to be maintained and care for just like any other product in the home, unfortunately most people do not take the time to look at their concrete product that makes up a majority of their home.


To be a savoy buyer you should consider the following items 



    -Cracks in the drywall:

    There could be two things going on, the tile roof is settling or the foundation could be moving due to expansive soils or even tree roots.

    Most cracks are minor and not life threatening to the home, but they should be considered and mention on the walk though.

    I personally have seen cracks in foundation (not mine work) that extended from the foundation to the drywall.  This crack was almost 4" wide at the widest part! 

    -Stuck doors:

    -Over time due to settling of the concrete or moisture in the home can make the doors not move and stick. 

    A quick fix for that is a hand sander and a vacuum, just sand the door down (wear a mask) and after a minute or two you will free the door from its prison.


Exterior concrete:

Most people overlook the quality of the exterior of the concrete, however the exterior concrete is one of the first glimpse in what the quality of the home is going to be.  If the builder went cheep on the concrete, then he/she must of went cheep on the interior of the house.  How this is not always so, I have a lot of builder/homeowner that put a majority of their budgeted money into the interior of the home, without counting the cost of the exterior concrete work.  Then when it is time to finalize the concrete work at their home, there is not much money left over to install their custom concrete that they wanted, now they are left with a driveway that is "broomed finish dirt" in stead of nice stamp Bomanite concrete.

I really believe that concrete is the best investment in your home.  It brings value and beauty to your home, without a lot of fuss.


Here are some items to consider for Exterior concrete:

    -No joints:

In the past most concrete companies did not install deep joints (lines in the concrete) due to cost or ignorance.  This practice has caused a lot of driveways to fail, and most are in need of repair

    -Wood joints:

Another popular way in the past was to install wood joints.  Wood joints may look nice, however they fail, and caused a huge trip hazard, as well as lead to termite damage.  No who wants to put termite food in-front of their home, really?


-Displaced concrete:

 Overtime concrete can and will displace, either at a crack or at a joint.  This is caused by a multitude of circumstances:

    -expansive soil

    -heavy directed loads (think forklift)

    -Movement of adjacent structure (i.e. house foundation)

    -Most common is tree roots.  Tree roots are the a enemy of concrete, trees look nice but they are so     powerful that they can destroy concrete over time


-Concrete finish:

    -inconsistent broom finish

    -Crooked joints

    -Wood forms still left after the pour, pet peeve!!!! :(

    -Exposed rock in the concrete when you are not supposed to have a "exposed driveway"

    -Trowel marks


 If you are in the market for a foreclosed home, or if you have just bought a foreclosed home, take some notes and/or thought on what you are getting into especially if there is a lot concrete involved.    


You can also contact me if you need some help with any concrete issues you may have. 


Comments (2)

Lisa Lambert
The Law Offices of Elisabeth A. Lambert - Fresno, CA
Esq. 1031 Exchange Expert


Great information. Additionally, there are other issues as well to evaluate when buying distressed properties like foreclosures. There could be legal issues that affect the advisability of the investment. Investors investing in distressed property should make sure they understand all of the legal issues and the accompanying risks in buying foreclosed properties.


Mar 26, 2008 08:15 AM
Nicholas Winn
Rescue Concrete Inc. - Rancho Cordova, CA



Yes, the leagle ramifications on foreclosed homes and be trechurous. Like walking though land mines.  For example, here in Elk Grove, a builder built a number of homes, people bought and moved into the homes, then the new happy homeowners were hit with 100's of liens on their properties due to the builder going bankrupt afte the sale of the home! Ouch!


Your title companies are your best friends in this case, they are worth the weight in Gold!



Apr 04, 2008 06:59 AM