A foreclosure is typically the last type of house a buyer wants to consider when shopping for a home. Although there are some great deals to be found among foreclosures, there are also plenty that have some considerations before buying.
One of the biggest issues surrounding the purchase of a foreclosure is the condition of the home. Unlike a traditional sale, buying a foreclosure is far less flexible. In most cases, lenders require that the buyer purchase the home “as-is”, meaning they will not make concessions for damaged items or the need for repairs. Most buyers understand this risk when purchasing a foreclosure and some have found that the home needed very little work, if any. Anyone interested in purchasing a foreclosure should take caution to review a few essential steps to keep from buying a lemon.
First, look for visible signs of damage to major appliances and structural elements. Although not all potential damage may be visible, obvious signs of damage typically mean there is more beneath the surface.
Next, check underneath and behind surfaces when possible. Mold problems have become more of an issue as foreclosures sit for longer periods of time. Pull back a piece of the carpet in a closet to see if there are any signs of mold or mildew. Often times the walls will also be infested if the carpet shows signs.
Last, check basements and attics thoroughly. Even though you may order a more thorough home inspection down the road, looking into the state of a basement and attic can reveal much about the quality of a home. It is best to know as much as possible about a home before you put in an offer to buy.