Ask the Expert

Buying a foreclosure

Q: Is it wise to buy a foreclosure? It sounds like a great deal, but could it be a risk? What do we need to know?

Great deals on foreclosures are easy enough to find, but it’s important to look at all the pros and cons before buying a foreclosed property. A benefit is that some homebuyers may be able to afford more home if the right deal comes along. But one thing to calculate is if the discount makes up for the cost of repairs. Every home usually has some items that need fixing, but when buying a foreclosure, it’s important to make sure the benefits outweigh the costs of bringing the property up to code.

I always recommend getting a home inspection before buying any property. As a homebuyer, you should be aware of any health or safety concerns that need to be addressed before securing financing. Also, foreclosed properties can take longer to close depending on the list of items that need to be fixed before closing.

It’s true that some foreclosures might be in great condition, but those are more likely to sell for a premium. And with the housing market in Anchorage being tight on inventory, if the home is priced right, it can sell very quickly.

Jason Baer is a Senior Loan Originator at Alaska USA Mortgage Company.