Get a Professional Home Inspection
Any time you purchase a home, you need to have a thorough home inspection. That inspection becomes even more important when you're considering a short sale or a foreclosure, because these types of sales are always "as-is" [source: Max]. Unlike typical home-sale situations, the seller of a distressed property won't take responsibility for damages to the home at the time of the transaction. Instead, you as the buyer take responsibility for any necessary repairs once you sign the sale contract. Since the listing prices for distressed homes are already typically lower than comparable sales, banks usually won't give price concessions to account for any repairs [source: McQueen]. The inspection will give you an idea of how much money you might eventually have to spend getting the house move-in ready. You should probably consider getting specialty inspections done, also [source: Gibbs]. Specialty inspectors will go into more detail in examining things like mold, pests and septic systems. And if an owner or lender ever refuses to allow an inspection, you should immediately walk away from the deal [source: Gengler].