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Buying Foreclosed Homes: Deal or No Deal?


HouseMaster educates savvy homebuyers on how to safely buy a foreclosed

Anchorage, AK (Grassroots Newswire) January 10, 2011 - When the real
estate market is in flux, buying a foreclosed home can be one of the best
deals around. And while now is a great time to buy a home, especially for
first-time buyers, Karen Crawford, owner of the local HouseMaster
franchise and part of the first and oldest home inspection franchise
system in North America, is encouraging homebuyers to remain cautious of
the many issues that lurk below the surface.

According to Crawford, not all foreclosures are a great buy and if
consumers are not fully educated on the property or the process, a buyer
could potentially make a poor investment decision.

"Properties in different stages of foreclosure represent opportunity but
also danger for the unwary buyer," said Crawford. "While potentially lower
asking prices draw possible buyers to these homes, each property has its
own challenges that can come from abuse, neglect or deferred maintenance
from the previous owner. Consumers must do their homework to help them
know whether a property is truly a 'good deal.'"

Prospective investors should be familiar with three main types of
foreclosure properties and their respective structural and physical
attributes. They are:

* Short sales – A home sold shortly before foreclosure proceedings, a
short sale closing can take months to materialize during which upkeep of
the property may be neglected.

* Real Estate Owned (REO) – A foreclosed home is now owned by a bank.
These homes are prone to issues not prevalent in other resale homes,
generally due to lack of use and vacancy. Often sold “as is”, a
professional home inspection report that lists defects can leverage a
lower price from the bank.

* Auctions – One of the riskiest ways to purchase a home, auctioned
properties are sold “as is” and auctioneers offer little time for either
personal or professional inspection. Access to the attic and crawlspace,
among other areas, is often restricted.

"Education is key when buying a foreclosed property," added Crawford. "It
helps the buyer understand their options allowing them to ensure their
dream doesn’t become a financial nightmare."

According to a recent study conducted by HouseMaster, there are five main
physical conditions that are often found in a foreclosed property. They

* Moisture related problems
* Defective gaskets, valves and hoses that are leaking or have the
potential to cause destruction
* Vandalism, especially if the property has been vacant
* Insect and rodent infestations
* Blocked or damaged waste and sewer lines

"Now is a great time to buy a home, especially for first-time buyers,"
added Crawford. "But, if buyers are considering properties in various
stages of foreclosure, the necessary inspections are very critical in
making a good investment and getting the best deal."

For more information and home maintenance tips, please contact your local
HouseMaster franchise: Karen Crawford, HouseMaster of Anchorage, at
907-346-9190 or housemaster@alaska.com.

For more information about HouseMaster and franchise opportunities in your
area, please visit www.housemaster.com or call (800) 526-3930.

About HouseMaster
Headquartered in Bound Brook, N.J., HouseMaster is the oldest and one of
the largest home inspection franchisors in North America. With 371
franchise locations throughout the United States and Canada, HouseMaster
is the most respected name in home inspections. For more than 30 years,
HouseMaster has built upon a foundation of solid leadership and innovation
with a continued focus on delivering the highest quality service
experience to their customers and providing HouseMaster franchisees the
tools and support necessary to do so. Each HouseMaster franchise is an
independently owned and operated business. HouseMaster is a registered
trademark of DBR Franchising, LLC.

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