Budget Carefully. Make sure you have the cash not only for the purchase but for any repairs required after you close—these properties are often distressed and require extensive repairs. Plus, traditional financing may not be available. Don’t let a small price tag lure you into a quick deal.
Here are some tips for buying a foreclosure
* View the house in person and get it inspected. Find out how long has the house been empty? The longer the vacancy the more damage there is, in most cases. The plumbing seals dry out, sewer gases back up, and bugs that are in the sewer get a chance to get into the house.
* Check if the house is ready for winter? Don’t turn on the utilities until you know the condition of the pipes. If the pipes cracked during a cold spell, water will leak into the walls, and mold could take hold when you turn the water back on.
* Look at the landscaping. If the house has been neglected, untrimmed trees, vines and bushes contribute to the deterioration of the house. Vines crawl into the windows, and tree seedlings send roots down into the foundation. The trees and dead branches can crash into the house.
* Hire an inspector for a private inspection. Banks require a home inspection when lending money for a mortgage. Even if you are paying completely out of pocket for a cheap find, it is very important to get an inspection.
* Don’t make an unreasonable offer. Depending on the location, because of the multiple offers the banks are getting, your offer might be rejected before you have a chance to increase it. It is very important to get a title search. Hire a real estate professional, it is essential to work with an experienced agent who can negotiate for you.