Foreclosed homes that are up for auction can be appealing to homebuyers who are working on a strict budget and seeking out more affordable properties. However, there may also be some caveats that come with buying a home that has been in foreclosure, so it’s important that prospective buyers get all the information about the property and surrounding neighborhood that they can before making a bid.

According to CNN Money, there are a few steps buyers can take to protect their new investment and avoid future financial issues.

View the Home and Neighborhood
it’s important that homebuyers take a close look at the home they wish to buy, as well as the surrounding neighborhood, to get an idea about insurance and repair costs. By viewing the home up close, buyers can set a more informed budget that not only includes the final cost of the home, but also how much upkeep and maintenance may cost them in the end. The appearance of a home, and the landscape around it, can also tell buyers how long the house has been vacant and whether possible damage or deterioration of the home may have occurred during this period. For example, homes that have been neglected during the winter months may have incurred water damage or other types of costly issues, so it’s important to be prepared for these types of issues.

Further, it’s imperative to conduct research and do a walk-through of the neighborhood. The health of a neighborhood – including crime rates, average income and the condition of surrounding homes – may have an effect on overall property values, making it crucial for potential buyers to secure all the information they can.

Hire an Inspector
Inspectors seek out possible problems or damage that may not be visible to the naked eye, such as structural problems or piping issues, so experts encourage potential buyers to shell out the money to enlist the services of a professional. In doing so, individuals may become abreast to issues that could influence their purchasing decision or be resolved in advance to prevent further damage. While an inspector may charge between $300 to $500 to thoroughly review the property, the long-term savings may work to the homebuyer’s advantage.