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Stay Safe When Investigating Foreclosures!

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By : Tina Fountain    99 or more times read
The foreclosure investor often has a lot of work ahead of them. While the homes they speculate in may be exceptionally low priced for the area and type of home, the nature of foreclosure lends itself to lack of maintenance, outright vandalism and opportunities for lawbreakers to "move in" and trash the place... or set up shop. Learn to minimize the risk with these suggestions.

Always bring someone with you, preferably more than one someone when you go to inspect a foreclosure, especially one that has had known problems or has been empty for a while. It is not uncommon for homeless people to set up shop inside a foreclosed home or for criminals to use it as a base of operations. Having people with you can make it less likely for you to be taken by surprise.

Take a self-defense course that will enable you to break free and/or momentarily incapacitate an attacker. Explain to the instructor your specific circumstances and ask for recommendations for moves/strategies that will be most helpful.

Carry a cell phone on you for emergencies. You may also feel safer with a whistle, pepper spray or other non-lethal forms of self defense. Carry a gun only if you have the proper training in its use and safety.

Announce your presence when you enter the house by knocking and calling your name and why you are there. If anyone is present in the house, this gives them the chance to leave instead of being startled. Startled people, especially startled people engaged in criminal acts can be dangerous. Let them leave the house unless in the unlikely event of being able to securely lock them in a windowless room until the police arrive. If you see any evidence that the house was used to store or manufacture illicit drugs, leave and call the police immediately.

A foreclosed house can be in any shape, from pristine to completely gutted. There are stories of former homeowners who rip the copper wiring out of the house to sell and who even set booby traps for the next person who sets foot in the place. Avoid anonymous puddles and keep doors and windows open while you inspect; you don't know what might have been spilled in the home. Be extremely careful in a foreclosed house and, if you are seriously thinking of purchasing one, get a thorough inspection done.

Foreclosure homes can be a great deal and buying one means that you are helping the neighborhood get back on its feet. However the inspection of foreclosures can be a risky business. Protect yourself first.
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