Everyone loves a bargain. That’s why stores advertise sales every week. But, when it comes to shopping for a new home, looking for a bargain comes with several pitfalls.

First of all, a low price tag (compared to similar properties in a neighborhood) may indicate a multitude of issues. For example, the home may have several needed repairs, structural problems, missing roofing shingles or HVAC equipment that require replacement soon. These can quickly transform your “bargain” home into a money pit.

That said, low-priced homes that need work can also be an opportunity. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into and are prepared to invest in needed repairs and upgrades.

Another downside to “bargain home shopping” is missing opportunities to buy a home that is ideal for you. The fact is, the majority of properties sell for at or near their current market values. So, there are a significant number of listings you could potentially miss. You stand a better chance of getting into a home you’ll love at a fair market price than you do finding one that’s a low-cost deal.

And when you do focus on bargain shopping, you might have to sacrifice some of the items on your new home wish list. For example, if you’re hoping for a stunning front window view and a spacious kitchen with an island, all at a below-market price, your chances will be slim.

Finally, bargain-priced homes are often found in less desirable locations. If the area is important to you, it’s worth asking yourself: “Should I risk waiting until a bargain-priced home comes up in this neighborhood? After all, that might never happen.”

The bottom line: A much better approach is to create a list of the kind of home you want, find out the current selling prices for those types of properties and then, if those homes fit your budget, start shopping!