Buying a foreclosed house can be a good deal for buyers who want to live there or those who want to buy and quickly resell the property. But they can also be money pits.
Angie's List (www.angieslist.com) went to experts to help buyers determine pitfalls. Here's some advice:
Inspect before buying. In most cases you will be able to inspect the property before buying. Hire a professional home inspector to inspect the house so you know exactly what you are getting into. Most foreclosed properties come "as is." Sometimes, tenants who get evicted retaliate and strip the house of everything, including doorknobs, pipes and appliances.
Do your homework. Make sure you find out if the property has any unpaid liens. If you don't, lenders could come after you to try to collect what they are owed.
Know the area where the property is located. If you see a lot of foreclosure signs in yards, it could be a sign that the area is declining faster than average.
Be patient. Great deals are out there, but you have to be patient and make smart decisions. A respectable real estate agent can help you get what you want for the price you want.