What to Beware of when Buying a Foreclosed Property

People want to buy foreclosed properties because they want to buy a bargain, but often a deal that looks too good to be true, is too good to be true. There may well be a reason that a home is selling for a fraction of its supposed market value. That’s not to say you can’t get a good deal, just that you need to be careful and look for the potential hidden pitfalls.

Often when a property goes through the foreclosure process the home is vandalized. This can be done by the home owner, who feels frustrated and thinks that if they can’t have the property then nobody can, or it could have been vacant and then broken into by thief’s or vandals. The home can all sorts of damage, ranging from graffiti on the walls, damage from someone deliberately leaving on the water, to been completely stripped of all valuables (copper, kitchen cabinets, faucets, light fixtures, molding, furnace, air conditioner, hardware etc.). In fact, that happened next door to our home in Daybreak, it was completely stripped, they even took the yard fence.

Even if the property had not been damaged the chances are that the previous owners had not kept up with routine maintenance, after all what incentive did they have for spending money on a home they were going to lose. This of course can lead to problems ranging from a dripping faucet, out of control landscaping, to something more serious like a leaking roof.

Because the chances are the property has been vacant for some time, it is going to be dirty. While this can be relatively easily taken care of with a good clean, it can lead to other problems. As well as been dirty, the previous occupant could have left some personal property behind, including food, which can lead to mice, rats, ants or other kinds of infestations.

Banks will often turn off the electricity and water in foreclosed properties. This makes life difficult when you are viewing the property, especially in places like the basement. You may also find that the bank is unwilling to turn the utilities back on for a home inspection, making it very difficult to identify possible problems.

Last but not least there may be judgments and liens from people who are owed money; these may have to be paid off has part of the purchase transaction. So, while foreclosed properties may seem like a bargain, you have to be careful, take your time and do the groundwork, otherwise that so-called bargain may not be as good as you think.

This post was written by;

Trela Bird Realtor
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