Very Very Smart Question!
"Iam looking to rent a single family home. How do I know if the house that I want to rent is on foreclisure?"
you can ask a local realtor to look it up for you keeping in mind their info is outdated by a week or two. it takes the county a week or two to update their info online.
you can go down to a county office they usually have computers, and you can look it up, on your own.
Many homes in Foreclosure or about to go into foreclosure, become abandoned, others pop on a new door knobs and list it on craigslist, or some online classified location, yes even Trulia, get a deposit from someone, collect rent for a couple of months, and then go on to the next one. This happens all the time. So it is imperative you find out who the owner is, ask for ID before you hand money to anyone. Never abandon your home, stay there short sell it and move on when the transfer takes place.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992