Signs of Good and Bad Foreclosures

by Dusty RogersOctober 2, 2014

Buying a foreclosed home could be the real estate deal of your dreams… or a money-draining nightmare. While it is recommended that you should always have a professional home inspection done prior to purchasing a foreclosure, here are a few things for you to consider during your foreclosures search.

How long has the home been vacant?

Houses are built for people to live in them – not to sit empty. Homes function best when their plumbing is used regularly and the interior temperature is kept within reasonable degrees. The longer a foreclosed home has been sitting vacant, the greater your risk of plumbing problems due to lack of use, cracked drywall due to extreme temperatures, and mold due to lack of humidity control.

Has the home been vandalized?

Vacant homes are common targets for thieves and vandalism. In addition, disgruntled owners may damage or strip their home of all valuables prior to foreclosure. Some vandalism, theft, or rage may be obvious during a walk through (holes in walls, graffiti, missing appliances and fixtures, etc.), but other infractions might be harder to spot, such as missing copper coils from an AC unit or cut tubes and wires from appliances. Ensure your home inspection is done by a professional with foreclosure experience who knows what to look for.

Will the bank allow all utilities to be turned on for an inspection?

Foreclosed homes that have been vacated have also had all of their utilities turned off. A proper and thorough inspection of the home’s water, gas and electric can only occur if the bank will allow the utilities to be turned back on for the inspection.

Any signs of uninvited guests?

A vacant home is a welcoming spot for rats, possums, raccoons, squirrels, bats, termites, etc. As you walk through the home, look for signs of animal inhabitants, such as chewed wood, holes or animal droppings.

How do you like the neighborhood?

Foreclosures can be an opportunity to move into a great neighborhood at a lower price – or a sign of neighborhood deterioration. Explore the area at multiple times a day to assess if it’s generally well-maintained, has desired amenities, and is safe and well-lit. Check city records to assess crime in the area.

Have there been any renovations to the home?

Major do-it-yourself home improvements, additions, and decks completed by an inexperienced homeowner may not be up to code or legally permitted. These renovations can be costly to remedy.
Purchasing a foreclosed home may be a great option for you and your family if you’re looking for a low purchase price and have a comfortable budget for repairs and contingencies. Carefully considering these factors will help you differentiate good foreclose options from the not so good.

Visit to start your foreclosure search today!

Shares 0
About The Author
Dusty Rogers
Dusty Rogers is the blogger, mother, maker, decorator and drinker of the wine at All Things G&D - a lifestyle blog where home décor, DIY and organization, healthy meals and kid-friendly snacks, party planning and entertaining all happily play together in the sandbox. Dusty lives in Madison, WI with her husband Greg and their daughter Kate, and she spends her days balancing high maintenance tendencies with a desire to keep things simple.