After the big recession hit, many American homeowners found themselves in a situation of being unable to keep up their house payments. As you may recall reading at the time, some mortgages were approved for buyers who did not necessarily have good prospects of being able to keep up with their house payments, and unfortunately, many of them did lose their homes.

Some states and municipalities did try to help with housing grants for homeowners who were in trouble, but this did not stop the wave of foreclosures that followed.

As a result, there are many houses in the US real estate market that are foreclosure sales. You may have asked yourself whether this could be a good opportunity for you. Even if you don’t live in the United States, you may have been attracted by the idea that you could own a vacation home for a fraction of the cost that a comparable home would cost you in your home country. Especially in pricey cities like Vancouver in Canada, London, England, or Sydney Australia, the idea of something like a Florida holiday home may have crossed your mind. You’ve recognized the fact that there are bargains available as a result of the surplus number of foreclosures on the market.

In some cases, you can get a terrific deal and save a whole lot of money. In other cases, the cash you save initially can get eaten up by costly repairs. Although you can often get housing grants, or get a home loan that includes a repair allowance, you still may find yourself spending more money than you had hoped. Obviously, you need to have a good idea of the condition of the property and its true worth before you agree to a purchase. You may decide to buy a foreclosure that’s close to your area, or else target where the best buys are, whether or not that happens to be close to where you normally reside. If you’re buying a house that’s far away from where you live, this can present a little more of a challenge. Also, be sure that you know the residency requirements for housing grants that are offered where the property is located.

You may also be planning to use your own repair and remodeling skills so that you can renovate your fixer-upper at minimal cost (and for other reasons, such as the enjoyment of a hands-on project and so that you’ll know that things are done the way you want). In this case, it’s good to check out the terms of the housing grants that are available. Some of them may require that, to be eligible, the work be done by licensed professionals. Usually, this is to help ensure that the work that is done complies with local building codes.

The bottom line is, If you are careful about what you’re getting into, do lots of research, and have the property professionally inspected, you have a good chance of getting a great deal that you’ll love, and may be able to avoid buying a money pit that you’ll regret. Happy bargain hunting!