Most persons looking foreclosures are either looking for a good investment or looking for a below market price on a home. When looking to buy foreclosures here are some tips on what to watch for:
It's not always a good deal. Many foreclosures are priced higher than what they should be, so always work through a knowledgable and competent real estate agent to discover what the value of the property is before making an offer.
Foreclosed properties are exempt from having to provide property disclosures of condition. There could be many things that don't work, are missing, or are dangerous. It is extremely important to have a thorough due diligence inspection to look for less than obvious conditions. We've seen furnaces, water heaters, plumbing and electrical removed from foreclosed homes. Know what you're buying.
Generally speaking, foreclosed properties won't drop their asking price drastically. If it's not already a good price, don't waste too much time pursuing a 20% price reduction.
Foreclosed properties many times come with their owner document requirements, be sure you know what rights your waiving prior to signing any of them.
Depending on how long it's been since it was occupied, taxes may have gone up either by loss of a homeowner's exemption or by an increase in the valuation of the property. Always check with county records to determine what your property taxes will be post acquisition.