If you have decided to start investing in real estate, one of the first properties you may want to buy is a foreclosed home. These houses can be acquired at a steep discount, making them attractive investment properties. However, it is critical that you keep the following tips in mind so that your investment is a good one and you can avoid any problems.

Investigate the Cost of Repairs

You may be buying a foreclosed home to get a bargain, but be aware that many foreclosed homes need a number of repairs. Depending on how long they've been on the market, they may have been left in a state of disrepair. Never buy a house without seeing it for yourself and getting an estimate of the repairs you'll need to do in order to make it inhabitable once again. You might find that the house you're considering is not such a great bargain when you factor in the cost of repairs.

Check Out the Neighborhood

Before you think about buying a foreclosed house, you should be aware of the neighborhood. Certain neighborhoods command higher selling prices; buying a foreclosed home in a bad neighborhood may seem like a great investment, but if you may be unable to sell it for much more than you bought it. 

Instead, talk to a local real estate agent to get an idea of how prices in the area have been. Talk to the local police department about the crime in the area. Do all you can to get an idea of the type of neighborhood you would be buying into.

Enlist the Help of a Real Estate Lawyer

While it is not legally required that you retain a lawyer's services to buy a foreclosed home, it is a wise idea. Real estate lawyers can help you investigate whether a house has any liens against it, and they can help you make sure that any contracts you sign are in your best interests. If there are any tenants living in the house you're thinking of buying, a real estate lawyer can help you analyze their leases so that you know what you're dealing with.

With the tips in this article, you will be better able to make smart choices about the foreclosed home you buy. Keep in touch with real estate lawyers in the area like Kasman Sheldon L & Associate LLP for even more advice on how to make buying these types of homes work for you.