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Nov 03, 2015
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Hazards of Buying a Vacant Home

The social media website, Buzzfeed.com, keeps viewers engaged with its constant stream of hilarious posts that often go viral.

One of our favorites are videos of those that attempted acts described as seemingly good ideas, such as going off a diving board while riding a kayak or sitting on a chair with a leaf blower.  (Let’s just say that hindsight proves to be 20/20 in all of the scenarios.)

If you’ve reached adulthood in the game of life, you understand that the consequences of your actions aren’t always black and white prior to making a decision.  One area where you can save big on the overall price or spend a lot more than budgeted on repairs is buying a vacant, and oftentimes, bank-owned home.  Here’s what to consider before moving forward with this kind of a purchase.

Home Inspection Challenges: It’s routine to have a property undergo a complete inspection prior to it being sold. However, if it’s unoccupied because of the previous owners’ finances, the utilities are likely shut off.  That means an inspector does not have a way of completely analyzing appliances, HVAC systems and plumbing.  This leaves you vulnerable to pricey repairs after your closing date that you were unaware of.  Do note that in some instances, you can get a property’s utilities turned on, but it will be at your expense, regardless if you purchase the home.

Maintenance Issues: Homeowners that are not able to pay their mortgage rarely have the funds to invest money in home maintenance.  As a result, projects such as deck staining, roof replacement or winterizing the sprinkler system can be neglected.  It’s unreasonable to think that no repairs will be needed on a home that’s been vacant for an extended period of time.  Another problematic situation could arise if homeowners took on home improvement projects outside of their skill set and either didn’t complete them or completed them incorrectly.

Homeowners Insurance Complications: Many insurance companies will decline to insure a home that has been unoccupied without having one of their representatives comb through the property first.  If they determine some areas require maintenance, they may refuse to issue a policy until their concerns have been satisfied.

Backyard Jungle: One of the first items to fall into disrepair on a vacated property is the landscaping.  A backyard jungle can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, mice and other pests.  Be prepared to allocate funds to get it up to snuff.

Mold: Believe it or not, the amount of time and moisture required for an unoccupied home to have mold issues is minimal.  Condensation is all that is needed for the process to commence. A home with improper heating or cooling measures in place during extreme temperatures can soon become infested with mold.

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Lino Lakes, MN
June 9, 2022

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Minnetonka, MN
November 11, 2021

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Brooklyn Center
October 22, 2021

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North St. Paul, MN
October 22, 2021

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Circle Pines, MN
October 21, 2021

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Shoreview, MN
October 21, 2021

"Work was great. Crew did great work, fast, clean up was very good. Could not believe how fast that they did the job. When beyond what I expected. Very good work, great crew. Thank you."

Charles G.
Roberts, WI
October 14, 2021

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Carol K.
Bloomington, MN
April 2, 2021

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Claire C.
Shorewood, MN
March 12, 2021

"We would like to thank you for helping us get this project done. All of the work has been done and we are very satisfied with the results.  The Lindus crews were great to work with and kept us informed throughout the process."

Claude & Brenda S.
Oakdale, MN
February 3, 2021

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Plymouth, MN
December 28, 2020

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Inver Grove Heights, MN
December 12, 2020
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