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Are short sale homes always a good deal?

Prospective home buyers in Florida want to find a house that has all the amenities they need at a good price. Therefore, when a short sale home that has all the features they want comes their way, it is awfully tempting to snatch up that home at a price that is much lower than it would normally be. However, there are some things to look out for before purchasing a short sale home.

First, don't brush off problems with the home. Sometimes the previous homeowners, who had to resort to a short sale, no longer had any incentive to keep up the home or may even have intentionally damaged it. Be on the lookout for issues such as a leaky roof, mold in the walls, or bug or rodent infestations, especially if the house has been sitting vacant.

Second, while prospective buyers may be in a rush to purchase a short sale home before someone else does, they should make sure to have the home inspected, and they should go along on the inspection if possible. Inspectors can uncover problems with the home and may be able to give the prospective buyer an estimate on what it would cost to fix these problems.

Third, normally in the home buying process, disclosures about any potentially unlawful issues must be made. However, when a bank is selling a home in a short sale, the home is sold "as-is," meaning that the home buyer may not know important things about the home's legal status, such as whether a home was renovated without a permit.

Fourth, it is important to remember that short sale homes take more time to close upon than traditional home sales. The seller's lender has to agree to the price the home is being sold for if that price is less than what the home is worth. Because of this, lenders may not be very quick to act upon requests.

Finally, look at the purchase of a home as an investment. It can be easy to fall head-over-heels for a short sale home. Instead, it is important to keep all the aforementioned issues in mind and determine whether the home really is a good deal. By looking at the long-run when it comes to residential real estate, buyers can objectively consider whether a short sale home is right for them.

Source: Bankrate, "5 common errors when buying a short-sale house," Lora Shinn, Sept. 5, 2016

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