Buying a Foreclosed Home: Do's and Dont's

Foreclosed homes can be a great deal, but there are some things you need to know before you buy one. They may not necessarily have everything listed in the description or pictures posted online, which means if something breaks down, you will have to pay for it yourself unless it’s under warranty. Additionally, most foreclosed homes come without appliances which means you will have to purchase them yourself. Foreclosed properties also tend to go fast, so if you want to buy one, it is best to make an offer ASAP.

It’s essential to do your research before buying a foreclosed home. There are many things to consider, and if you’re not careful, you could end up with a money pit.

Please read our guide on buying a foreclosed home. We’ll tell you what to look for, what to avoid, and how to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Top 5 Things To Do When Buying a Foreclosed Property

1. Do find out what you are getting

The most significant mistake people make when buying a foreclosed home is not checking it before buying. It’s essential to go through the house with an agent to know exactly what condition the property is in. You don’t want to be surprised after purchase, which will ensure there aren’t any unpleasant surprises.

Some things you’ll want to check for specifically:

  • Are there any significant structural damage?
  • What is the condition of the roof?
  • Are the windows and doors in good condition?
  • What is the state of the plumbing and electrical systems?
  • Is anything missing from the property, such as appliances or furniture?

Make sure you have a realistic idea of what needs to be fixed and how much it will cost. This can help you negotiate a better price with the seller.

Also See: Things to check when Buying an Old house

2. Do get a home inspection

Just like when you’re buying any other property, it’s essential to have a home inspection done on a foreclosed home. The previous owners may not have taken care of the property correctly, and there could be damage you can’t see just by looking at it. A home inspector will tell you what needs to be fixed and give you an estimate of how much it will cost.

This is especially important if you’re buying the home as an investment property. You’ll want to know what kind of shape the property is in so you can make an accurate estimate of how much money you’ll need to put into it before you can start making a profit.

Having a home inspection will also help you negotiate with the seller. You’ll be able to see exactly how much it will cost them to fix all of these problems, and they may decide that your offer is more attractive than someone else’s if you’re willing to take over responsibility for repairs.

The inspector can also give you an idea about how long the repairs will take so that you can factor that into your decision-making process.

If there are any significant problems with the property, you may want to reconsider buying it. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a money pit that will cost you more in repairs than the home is worth.

Also See: Mandatory Fixes needed after Home Inspection

3. Do get a loan pre-approval

It’s essential to know how much you can afford before looking at foreclosed homes. You don’t want to fall in love with a property only to find out that you can’t afford it. That’s why it’s essential to get a loan pre-approval from your bank or credit union. This will give you an idea of how much money you can borrow and help you narrow down your search.

If you’re not sure where to start, a mortgage agent can recommend a lender who will be able to help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Pre-approval is essential if you’re buying a foreclosed home as an investment property. You’ll want to make sure you have enough money to cover repairs, and you may also need extra funds for renovations so that the property is ready to rent or sell.

If you’re not pre-approved, you could miss out on your dream home because someone else offered more money than you did.

The seller may decide to go with the other offer because they know you cannot borrow as much money. This can be frustrating, but it’s better than getting yourself into financial trouble by taking on more debt than you can afford. Your payments must be affordable so that you don’t end up losing this investment property along with your other assets.

4. Stick to Your Budget

It’s important to stick within a budget when looking at foreclosed homes, but it can be difficult if you don’t know how much money you have to work with. If the price seems too good to pass up or this is what you’ve been waiting for all along, make sure that it’s the right price for you.

You may be tempted to offer more money than you can afford, but this could end up putting your finances in jeopardy if something goes wrong with the property or repairs are more expensive than they expected. It’s better to stick with a budget that works, so things don’t get out of control when it comes to your finances.

If the property needs repairs, you may want to offer less money than the asking price so that you have some room to work with. You can always renegotiate once the seller has accepted your offer and you’ve had a chance to do a walk-through of the property.

Just because a home is a foreclosure doesn’t mean you have to pay less for it. In some cases, the seller may be asking too much money because they know that there’s a shortage of foreclosed homes on the market. If you’re not comfortable with the price, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal.

There are plenty of other homes out there, and you don’t want to end up with a property that’s going to cost you more in the long run than it’s worth.

Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent for advice if you’re having trouble sticking with a budget. They can give you an idea of what other homes are selling for so that you have something to compare the price against and see whether this property is actually in your range or not. Your agent will also know how much you can afford to spend on a home, which will help narrow down your search.

Suppose the foreclosure is being sold as-is, and there’s no inspection period or financing involved. In that case, it might be best not to offer more money than what you’re comfortable paying because these types of foreclosed homes often have hidden problems that may need extensive work.

On the flip side, you may have to offer more money if there are multiple offers or another buyer is willing to buy it as soon as possible. It’s also important not to fall in love with a property because of its location. If you’re not comfortable with the price tag, then walk away, even if this means looking at other homes that aren’t in your neighborhood.

You want to make sure you’re getting the best deal for what you can afford, and if the price is too high, then it’s not worth it. You should be able to find something else for a better price without having to settle on an overpriced foreclosure just because of its location or sentimental value. You can read our Article on Finding a Foreclosed Property to know more about this.

5. Get the Documents You Need

When you’re buying a foreclosure, it’s important to have all of the necessary documents ready so that the process can go as smoothly as possible. This includes your pre-approval letter from the bank, proof of funds for your down payment, and copies of your ID.

If you’re not familiar with the process, or if this is your first time buying a home, you may want to consult with a real estate lawyer. They can help ensure that everything is in order and that you’re not missing any paperwork.

The last thing you want is for the deal to fall through because of something as simple as not having the proper documents ready. Make sure to take care of this ahead of time so that you don’t run into any problems.

Top 5 Dont’s of Buying a Foreclosed Property

1. Don’t offer more money than you can afford

When buying a foreclosed property, don’t overspend on your budget. Stick to what you know you can afford, so there are no surprises down the road.

If the foreclosure needs repairs, try to negotiate a lower price with the seller. You can always work out the details after you’ve gotten a chance to see the property and know exactly what’s involved with the purchase.

Be careful when negotiating because if you’re not satisfied with the seller, there are plenty of other homes for sale, so don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal that isn’t going your way.

Please don’t get caught up in foreclosure property because it’s cheaper than other homes on the market. Sometimes, you may end up spending more money in the long run by paying for something that will need extensive repairs and costs too much compared to similar houses with lower price tags.

Don’t offer more money just because there are multiple offers or someone is willing to buy it right away. If you’re not comfortable with the price, walk away and keep looking.

You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re regretting your purchase because you paid too much for a home that’s not even in your budget.

2. Don’t Use the same method for hunting Foreclosure Homes

You don’t want to use the same method of hunting down foreclosures that you’d use on any other property. You need to know what properties are available and how much they’re going for so you can look at comparable homes in your price range before making an offer.

Properties in foreclosure often require a different type of research, and you need to know all of your options before making an offer.

Don’t just look at the foreclosure as a whole and think that you’re getting it for cheap because there’s work to be done on it. You want to make sure you know what you’re getting into before making any decisions about buying something that needs extensive repairs or improvement.

3. Don’t Let Go a Good Opportunity

Don’t let it get away from you when you find a suitable foreclosure property. If you’re not sure about making an offer, talk to your bank and see if they can give you a pre-approval for the amount you’re willing to spend on the home.

This will show the seller that you’re serious about buying the home and are willing to go the distance to have it. It also lets them know that you’re serious about making an offer on their property, so they don’t take offers from other buyers lightly.

You want to make sure you do everything in your power to get a foreclosure before another buyer can jump at the opportunity for it. If there’s competition involved, you need to know your options and how much money you can put down.

4. Don’t be overwhelmed with the process

Property auctions can be overwhelming, especially when several properties are being sold at once. When you’re buying a foreclosure, make sure to take your time and go over everything carefully so that you don’t miss anything essential or overlook something in the process of making an offer.

Don’t get caught up with all of the houses being auctioned off and feel like you need to decide on the spot.

Take your time when looking at foreclosure properties, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals. This will make the whole process more manageable, and you’ll be more confident about making an offer on a property.

Don’t let foreclosure properties make you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed because if that’s how it makes you feel, then chances are there will always be another opportunity for sale down the line. You can take your time researching these types of homes before making any offers on them.

Read Also: Home Buying Process

5. Don’t Buy without an Exit Strategy

When buying a foreclosure, you want to make sure that you have an exit strategy in case things go downhill. This means having a plan for what you’re going to do if the home doesn’t appraise at the price you paid for it or if something else goes wrong while buying it.

Don’t forget that buying a foreclosure is a significant investment, and you want to make sure that you’re covered in case something goes wrong. You don’t want to be left with a property that you can’t get rid of or one that’s going to cause you more headaches than what it’s worth.

Make sure you have all your bases covered before making any offers on a foreclosure property, and make sure you have an idea of what your exit strategy will be. This will help give you peace of mind when deciding about buying one of these homes.


When buying a foreclosure, you want to make sure that you’re aware of all the do’s and dont’s involved with these types of homes. This will help give you peace of mind about what your options are when it comes down to making an offer on one or not. Make sure that you consider everything before jumping in headfirst because you never know what could happen during the process of buying one.

If foreclosure homes make you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable, then chances are there will always be another opportunity for sale down the line. You can take your time researching these types of homes before making any offers on them to prevent stress and headaches down the line. Have an exit strategy in place before making any offers on a foreclosure property just in case something goes wrong!

See Also: Best Out State Moving Companies | Every First Time Buyer Should Ask These Questions | Myths about Home Buying

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.