Watch Out For These Red Flags When Buying A Foreclosure In Calgary

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Watch Out For These Red Flags When Buying A Foreclosure In Calgary

Foreclosed properties can be a great deal for homebuyers, but they can come with risks. While foreclosed properties can be priced very low, some of them may not have been well cared for or may have sat empty for a while. Older homes that have been foreclosed may not have received the updates they needed and have old pipes or out-dated wiring, but issues such as these often come with warning signs. While some wear on a house is expected, some seemingly small issues that you may not know to look for can be indicative of larger problems. If you see any of the red flags listed in this article within a foreclosed home, you might end up with costly repairs.

What To Avoid In Foreclosed Homes

Extension Cords. If you notice an abundance of extension cords, the home may have an out-dated electrical system. If this is the case, the home may need to be rewired and have a new electrical panel installed, which can be costly. 

Low Water Pressure. If the piping is old, it may be galvanized. That is, the pipes may be made of steel with a coating of zinc to prevent rusting. The coating on galvanized pipes will eventually break down and the pipes will begin to rust and corrode from the inside out, reducing the flow of water and leading to decreased pressure. If left untreated, old galvanized pipes are likely to burst and cause flooding. Low water pressure may be due to other causes, but the pipes should be inspected to understand the degree of corrosion and the risk for future damage.

Horizontal Cracks In The Foundation. While vertical cracks are not as indicative of structural damage, horizontal cracks can be caused by unbalanced soil and hydrostatic water pushing against the foundation wall. The repeated thawing and freezing of water during Calgary winters can exacerbate these cracks and cause further structural damage. To fix these cracks and future structural problems, the wall will need to be repaired and the foundation may need to be excavated, depending on the severity of the cracking. Drainage should also be checked, as improper drainage advances foundation degradation.

Stains. Smoke stains around the chimney indicate draft problems or poor ventilation. While this is sometimes remedied by trimming a tree that is blocking the chimney, other times it requires structural repairs to the chimney itself. Water stains can indicate leaks, and other stains may be a result of mold and you should have a qualified inspector assess the damage.

Poor Water Drainage. If the driveway slopes toward the house make sure there is adequate drainage, otherwise the house will be prone to flooding and structural damage. If the porch or deck is sloping toward the house it is an indication of damaged framing that may be due to rot caused by insufficient drainage.

Damaged shingles. If the shingles appear to be curling, lifting, or several are missing, this means the roof needs repair or replacing. If the shingles are damaged and have been letting in moisture, this can cause rot and poor temperature regulation within the house. If the fascia near the shingles is damaged, check that no pests have entered the house.

Have A Mel Star Team Calgary Realtor® Help You Find The Right Home

Don’t let these potential issues dissuade you from looking into bank foreclosures in Calgary. It is more than possible to find a great home in the foreclosure listings, you just need to ensure that your real estate agent is fully aware of how to protect you. To make sure you’re getting a quality foreclosure that does not have signs that the property needs high levels of maintenance, partner with a Realtor® from the Mel Star team. The experienced and knowledgeable team at Mel Star can professionally guide you through the whole process of buying a foreclosed Calgary real estate listing to ensure you have the best chance of success at purchasing your dream home. To partner with top-quality Calgary Realtors®, call Mel Star at 1-403-861-9944 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: Can you finance a foreclosure property?
A: Yes, you can. However, banks may find all-cash offers more attractive.

Q: Why are foreclosure properties so cheap?
A: The bank wishes to sell the property as fast as it can to recuperate the lost money from the missed mortgage payments by the previous homeowner. This is often why foreclosure properties are listed for low prices to attract buyers.

Q: Do I still need a real estate agent to purchase a foreclosure?
A: Technically no, but it is highly recommended to use the help of a real estate agent when buying a foreclosure. The process is different from buying a home on the regular market, and it can be challenging trying to negotiate with a bank. A real estate agent knows the foreclosure process in and out and can guide you through the process seamlessly while ensuring you do not make any costly mistakes.


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