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Short sales: Don't make these mistakes in South Carolina

Some common mistakes people make when completing short sale purchases in South Carolina can result in serious debts later on. The foreclosure you purchase might seem like a good deal, but is it really? In one man's case, he spent $40,000 just on renovations despite a home inspector saying there was just a little termite damage. In his case, he ended up having to replace an entire wall of the house and do more work just to make the home livable.

Some things you can do to make sure the property is what you really want to buy is to make sure you understand the problems with the property. Neglect due to an empty property can lead to mold, mildew, leaks, termites, thieves and other issues. Know how long the property has been vacant, and you'll have a better idea of what to expect in that light. Your short sale could also take longer than expected to be finalized, so make sure you understand the length of time you're likely to wait; another six months left empty could make an impact on the home.

Banks also don't have to tell you what's wrong with the property unlike normal sellers. So, you'll want to have someone come look at the house. If the property is 15 to 30 years old, it probably needs expensive maintenance that hasn't been done. Don't skip the home inspection, because this will give you a much-needed idea of what the home is really like. Also ask for repair estimates; if the estimates are cheap, then the home may be worth a second look even if it needs work. On the other hand, if major problems are a huge expense, the purchase may not be worth it.

Remember to look up legal and insurance information about the property, too. You need to know if the property has had flooding, problems with crime or other related issues in the past.

Source: Bankrate, "5 buyer mistakes in a short sale" Lora Shinn, Sep. 04, 2014

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