Property damage can be the scarlet letter in the history of your home. Even after being fixed, major damage in your home’s past will come out during the buying process. It may even deter homebuyers who are otherwise interested in your home.

Don’t get us wrong, you’ll likely still be able to sell your home. But in the eyes and minds of a lot of buyers, they’ll choose a home without the baggage serious property damage brings.

If your home is seriously damaged (or even condemned), the best route is likely to sell to a real estate investor like Columbia Redevelopment.

Whether you’re looking into selling a home with property damage or are interested in buying a home, there are certain types of property damage you should be on the lookout for.



Water damage

As water brings us life, it also brings us pain. One of the most common property damage issues we see is extensive water damage. Invariably, extensive water damage leads to mold and dry rot.

Dry rot affects the structural integrity of your home and often requires extensive renovations just to make it safe again. Even once the problem area has been repaired with new wood, if old spores have been left and even small levels of moisture reintroduced, new damage can propagate and cause a whole new round of repairs to be needed. Wowza!

In addition to mold affecting the structural integrity of your home, mold affects the air quality. Black mold in particular is a silent killer. Commonly resulting from home water damage, black mold can sit under floors and in ceilings and wreak havoc on your health. Prolonged exposure can even lead to death!

Some common causes of water damage in homes include:

  • Frozen pipes: When pipes are not insulated and exposed to below freezing temperatures, havoc can ensue. As water expands when frozen, pipes burst, spreading water in the pipes throughout the house. This often can happen in the middle of the night when you’re sleeping, leading to hours of unchecked flooding and extensive water damage.
  • Roof leaks: Leaks in a roof, be it due to age, weather damage, or anything else, lead to water damage in your home. Sometimes it’s not as dramatic as a waterfall in your upstairs bedroom, either! A slow leak, with moisture trickling into your attic for years, is just as (if not more) damaging.
  • Plumbing issues: Issues with old pipes, incorrectly installed home features, or failing appliances can mean bad news for your home. These water sources are often in crucial parts of your home, such as your kitchen, where a lot of things can be damaged.

Foundation damage

A home’s foundation may be the single most overlooked area when evaluating the value of a home. It simply needs to be in good condition for a house to retain maximum value.

Foundations are very often damaged without anyone knowing until the home inspection takes place! We’ve seen this cause entire home sales to fall through given the expense of fixing a damaged foundation. Usually the damage takes the form of a large crack that lets in water and lessens the stability of the home.

Most foundation damage is caused by water damage of some sort, including damage caused by…

  • Flooding around your home due to improper drainage or plumbing leaks
  • A lack of water due to hot weather or foliage sapping up water from the ground around your home
  • Improperly installed foundation or poor soil surrounding the foundation

Given the age of many homes in Oregon and the amount of moisture we receive every winter, foundation damage is very common in the Portland area.



Smoke & fire damage

Fire and smoke damage are among the most expensive types of property damage to correct. The structure of a home is almost always in serious jeopardy. Fundamental pieces of your home’s structure generally need to be replaced, not to mention the many features that make your home a “home.”

Often, the entire home will need to be torn down given the electrical, structural, and other safety issues common with fire damaged homes. Even if your home has been remodeled and “fixed” after experiencing extensive smoke or fire damage, there may still be problems with your home affecting it’s value.

Fire damage is most commonly caused by:

  • Lightning: Though not as common as it is in the Midwest and East Coast, lightning striking your home can cause it to go up in flames.
  • Electrical issues: Faulty or damaged wiring can cause a small but fast-growing fire.
  • Homeowner error: A knocked over candle or forgetting to turn off the oven can lead to an unmanageable fire
  • Wildfires: You never know how close a fire can come to the Portland area.


Wind damage

Nothing can stop the weather. When Mother Nature gets her grip on your home and decides to wreak havoc, there is just not much you can do.

While wind itself will likely not do too much damage by itself, the chain reaction of damage it causes can lead to expensive issues with your home. Let’s play out the scenario now!

  1. A windstorm rushes through the Oregon Coastal mountain range, making its way to the Portland area from the mighty Pacific Ocean.
  2. An old tree next to your home in St. Johns is creaking more than you think it should. Heavy winds reach your home and cause the tree to fall onto your roof.
  3. Thankfully, everyone in your home is okay. Your roof, however, is not. It is now wide open and letting in the rain and weather into your home.
  4. Water is now spreading through your home and there is not much you can do about it.
  5. This causes water damage throughout your home, leading to excessive structural and air quality issues that will be hard to fix.


Pests and wildlife damage

The great outdoors is beautiful and one of the reasons why the Pacific Northwest is such a magical place. The flip side? Wild animals and bugs can seriously wreak havoc on your home, destroying value and forcing you to incur costly repairs.

While you may just be thinking a small ant problem can be dealt with, some issues that can’t be dealt with so easily include:

  • Carpenter ants: Unlike smaller species of ants, carpenter ants literally eat through wood. This can compromise the structural integrity of your home and it may need to be demolished.
  • Rats, mice, and bats causing insulation damage: Vermin love nothing more than a warm wall to call home for the winter. The problem? They need to dig holes to get there. They’ll go through siding, wood, insulation, or even electrical wires.
  • Possums and racoons getting into your home: These wild explorers love getting into homes and setting up shop. They’ll do this by going through your roof and setting up shop in your attic.

Does your home have significant property damage?

Selling a home with property damage is not easy. You’re basically put in a position to either take significantly less money than what you’re home is really worth or deal with buyers who may become skittish at the last minute.

Instead of dealing with these issues, work with a buyer who specializes in buying homes with property damage.

Columbia Redevelopment has experience buying and selling homes with property damage. We know the risks and the value in these homes and can give you a fair price.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Contact us and tell us about your home and property damage.
  2. We’ll schedule a time to come for a home visit.
  3. Within 24 hours of visiting your home, we’ll extend an all cash offer. If you accept, we’ll draft all the necessary paperwork and contracts, including a $10,000 earnest money deposit.
  4. We close on your schedule — in as little as 2-3 days.

It really is that simple!

To get the process started, contact us today. We can work together to get you good value for your home.