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What to Know When Buying a House with Water Damage

What to Know When Buying a House with Water Damage

House hunting can be an overwhelming project, especially in this market. If you stumble upon a beautifully landscaped home in a safe neighborhood with all the features you’re looking for, you may be tempted to make an offer right away. But if the asking price seems too good to be true, look closer—the home could have hidden water damage.

Upon discovering this news, you may assume the house is a lost cause. However, don’t write it off just yet. With the right water damage restoration services, you may be able to salvage your home purchase after all. Here’s how to tell if buying a water-damaged house is a wise investment.

Hire a Professional Inspector

Homebuyers and sellers are not required to conduct an inspection before the sale goes through. However, it’s always wise to hire a professional inspector, even if you don’t suspect anything’s wrong.

An inspector looks for issues that could cause water damage, including foundation cracks, old plumbing, lack of gutters and downspouts, or poor soil grading. The inspection also reveals existing structural damage, mold growth, and cosmetic problems caused by prior water intrusion.

Get a Water Damage Restoration Estimate

With a thorough inspection complete, you’ll have an idea of what problems exist. The next step is to hire a water damage restoration company to evaluate the needed repairs and provide an estimate. Complete restoration may also include recommendations to prevent the problem from happening again, such as installing a sump pump, sealing cracks, or replacing outdated plumbing.

Assuming you’re still interested in buying the house, it’s time to negotiate with the seller. Start by showing them the estimated cost to restore the water damage. You may request that the seller lower their asking price below market value so you have money left to pay for the repairs. You can also insist that the seller complete the restoration before closing the deal. If you choose the latter option, be sure to schedule a follow-up inspection to ensure everything has been adequately restored.

Explore Your Homeowner’s Insurance Options

The final step before buying a house with water damage is to make sure you can get homeowner’s insurance. Reach out to various agencies for quotes, knowing that some companies consider water-damaged homes high-risk. Depending on the cause of the flooding, you might end up with sky-high rates or be unable to get coverage at all. If this is the case, it may be wise to back out of the deal before it’s too late.

At DKI, we have nearly 50 years of experience cleaning up the messes water damage leaves behind. As North America’s largest disaster restoration company, we have a location available near you. We’re confident we can salvage the water-damaged house that’s caught your eye, whether bursts pipes, stormwater, or a backed-up sewer system is to blame. For more information about our services or to request a water damage restoration quote, please call us at 877-533-0210 or contact us online today.