If you are looking for a deal you may be thinking about buying a foreclosure but buyer beware. There is a lot to know before putting an offer in on a foreclosed property.

Often foreclosures are sold “as is” and many times do not have a seller disclosure available for review. This makes it even more important to get a thorough home inspection.

Here are some issues to be aware of commonly found with foreclosures and not usually seen with the naked eye.

  • Roof damage
  • Damaged appliances
  • Damaged or missing plumbing
  • Faulty electrical systems and components
  • HVAC system problems
  • Conducive termite conditions
  • Water penetration and damage issues
  • Interior structural damage

A home inspection is essential not only to identify problems with the home but to also get a more realistic picture of the things that need to be repaired to make the home livable.

Got stains? Store bought stain removers can be expensive and loaded with chemicals. You don’t need to buy those anymore because a trip to the drug store will get you everything you need to get the stains out.

Here is the recipe for homemade stain remover:

Ingredients

3% Hydrogen peroxide

Dawn dish soap

1. Combine 1 teaspoon Dawn and 2 teaspoons peroxide in a small bowl.

2. Mix the dish soap and peroxide together.

3. Apply to the stain with a small brush and rub it into the stained area.

4. Let it set for a couple of hours.

5. Launder in the washing machine.

If your credit score could use a boost it isn’t as simple as just changing bad financial behaviors. Increasing your credit score is a process that takes time. The time it takes to improve your credit history can vary.

Late payments can remain on your credit report for seven years, but typically if you clear all past-due debts and pay on time from then on, your score can begin to recover quickly.

One late payment doesn’t hurt you that much but a pattern of bad payments will really hurt you.  If you have a few late payments continue to use credit and pay on time every time. Demonstrate that you are managing your fiances well and your scores will begin to climb.

If you have suffered a bankruptcy the effects can be long-lasting. According to myFico.com, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can linger for seven to more than 10 years on your report. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or total liquidation, can affect your record for 10 years.

It is vital to constantly monitor your credit report and review it for accuracy. You can obtain your report for free once every twelve months from annualcreditreport.com.

The last thing you want is a smelly house. When you are trying to sell your home the presence of household odors can affect the sale-ability and the bottom line price. Some of the most common offensive odors are cooking odors, particularly fish and curry odors, smoke from cigarettes or oven fires, pet odors or the odor from illness or incontinence.

In order to remove stubborn odors you will need to give the home a thorough cleaning. Here are some tips to get you on your way to a fresh smelling home.

1. Open windows and doors. Place a large fan in a doorway or window. Have the fan where blow fresh air in. Use a second fan to exhaust the odors out.

2. Believe it or not the smells could be coming from your attic insulation. Odors from cooking rise in the heat and are trapped in the attic insulation. The insulation cannot be cleaned or effectively deodorized so it must be replaced.

3. Clean carpets and upholstered furniture using a steamer. A commercial steam extractor can be rented from an equipment rental place. Things like mattresses and foam pillows will most likely need to be replaced as it is almost impossible to get odors out.

4. All clothing, bedding, and drapes in the home will need to be laundered or dry cleaned. Odors get trapped in these are can linger. Check labels for care instructions and follow the directions.

5. Odor causing particles can get trapped in the duct work. You may need to have the ducts professionally cleaned to remove the particles. Before you do that, you might consider changing the furnace or air conditioning filters once a day until you no longer smell offensive odors.

7. Wash all the ceilings, walls and floors. Use a cleaner designed for this as you would not want to damage the paint or wood floors.

8. Wash your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer inside and out. Don’t forget the back of the stove and the coils of the refrigerator.

9. Place small dishes of vanilla extract, baking soda, sliced lemons or potpourri throughout the house to capture the odors and replace them with a better alternative.

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