Foreclosures, or bank-owned homes, continue to offer buyers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a dream home. But not always. Before you decide on a foreclosed property, be sure you know what you're getting into. Some things to keep in mind about buying a bank-owned home:

  • Foreclosures are generally sold "as-is". It's imperative that you order a home inspection before you commit to buying a foreclosure so that you know exactly what repairs are necessary. This can save a lot of money and huge headaches down the road. You'll also need to have money set aside for necessary repairs.
  • Don't expect perfection. Foreclosed properties can be in rough shape, although not always. Be prepared to look beyond surface issues to the diamond in the rough.
  • Don't be afraid to ask. Although banks don't often agree to repairs or other concessions, sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask.
  • Research, patience, and persistence are important ingredients when purchasing a foreclosure. The help of an experienced real estate agent never hurts, either, since a good agent should be well-informed about the local real estate market and the foreclosure process.

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