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What you need to know about buying foreclosures

Buying a bank owned property can seem like a great idea. You can often buy them for significantly less than the market would otherwise require, because the bank wants to get them sold and recoup some of its losses. They may send the property to auction, or they may list it with a Realtor. Either way, you can get some great deals when buying a home that has gone to foreclosure. There can also be risks, though, so you need to make sure you know what you’re looking for and what parts of the house to have checked out before you make your purchase.

Especially in a place like Maine, where the winters can really be hard on houses, you should check for things like damaged roofing, foundations, and plumbing. You can examine these things yourself if you know what to look for, or you can hire a home inspector to do the job for you. That can get expensive, though, if you’re trying to decide between several places and want to have them all inspected before making your decision. The other thing to consider is that most banks won’t make repairs. The inspection will be to give you information, but not to be used as a bargaining or negotiation tool.

Some foreclosed homes come with serious problems, and others are in good shape, but it can be hard to tell from a cursory inspection. You’ll want to get a good look at things, and also consider some of the cosmetic damage that may have been done by the previous owners. There are people who buy Maine foreclosures sight unseen, but that is extremely risky and probably not something you want to do unless you have significant reserves to absorb losses. If you’re just looking for a home for yourself or for family vacations, being more careful about what foreclosure you buy is an excellent choice.

The finishes and other more minor issues in a bank owned property should be considered the same way you’d look at any property. When you’re buying a home those things generally matter, but they shouldn’t be as important as the foundation and systems of the house, such as plumbing and electrical. Those are more significant because they are more costly, and they can mean significant repairs for you whether you buy the house at auction or go through a real estate agent to get the Maine home you want.

As with any housing purchase, make sure you consider location when buying your foreclosure. No matter how nice the house is, if it’s in the wrong place you could end up with a home you’re really not comfortable with. That could also affect property values, the district where your children go to school, resale value, and a number of other things. Choose your home carefully, and you’ll love it for a long time. When you find the right place, it’s even better when you can get it for a great price because it’s a foreclosure. By doing your due diligence, you’ll have a great home.

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