REO buyers should expect the unexpected

Forgoing home inspection can be costly mistake

DEAR BARRY: I purchased a foreclosed home from a bank about four months ago. Since moving in, I’ve found many defects that were never disclosed. For example, the foundation has settlement cracks; the basement becomes flooded during wet weather; some of the upstairs walls look wavy; and some of the electrical switches have no apparent function. No one disclosed any of these problems when I was in escrow — not the bank, not my real estate agent. Who can I hold responsible for repairing this mess? –Nita

DEAR NITA: When you buy a foreclosed home, the sale is strictly "as is." Foreclosed properties are owned by banks or mortgage companies. The people at those institutions never see the houses they are selling. They have no idea what might be wrong with these homes. To them, each property is just an address in a long list of other foreclosed addresses. Each one is a faceless financial liability to be removed, as soon as possible, from the corporate books.