Surprise defects may derail REO purchase

Most banks won't make repairs, though there are exceptions

DEAR BARRY: We are buying a foreclosed home from a bank and are concerned about three issues: There is a plumbing leak in the upstairs bathroom, with water dripping from the garage ceiling; the previous owner agreed to leave the window treatments but took them, as well as the kitchen range, when she moved; and there are numerous holes in the drywall in several rooms. What can we do about these problems? Do we have recourse against the previous owner? –Cyndi

DEAR CYNDI: When you buy a bank-owned property, it is usually an as-is sale. Banks are interested in cutting their losses by getting these foreclosed properties off of their books. But there are exceptions, depending on the kinds of defects involved.