Instead of looking yourself, hire a Realtor you trust to do the work and research for you. Foreclosures are sold "As Is, Where is" meaning that there is no guarantees about the current or future condition of the property. What you see (or don't see) is what you get.
Many times, Realtors who specialize in "investment properties" will have a list of foreclosures that they believe are really good deals. A good Realtor will know the area and do tons of market research for you. They will tell you if there is anything in front of the city that may affect your property. Maybe there is a warehouse going in next door and that is why the property hasn't sold. Or maybe the street in front of the house is being widened and you wont have a yard. A Realtor should know that and be able to give you a heads up. They will also do work for you after the property is under contract and help bring the entire deal to close.
The SELLERs pay the REALTORS! Most of the "bank owned" foreclosed homes are listed with an agent. They have an agreement with that agent to pay them 6% (or whatever). If you hire a Realtor, then the broker splits that commission with your agents broker. If you don't, then that broker keeps the entire 6%. It is the same to the bank either way, so HIRE A REALTOR - for FREE! If you don't know of a good one, ask around and do some research on who handles a lot of investment properties in your area.
These days, banks are even offering Realtors commission if they sell "pre-foreclosures" which is a win, win, win for everyone. The persons credit doesn't get destroyed and sometimes the can move. The bank doesn't take a huge it & the investor gets a GREAT deal.
It would be very smart to do some research on investment properties. Here are a few resources I like to use:
http://www.getrealrei.com - Podcast about Real Estate INVESTMENT
http://www.realestateguysradio.com - Podcast about Real Estate in General
http://www.daveramsey.com - great FINANCIAL plan for setting your self up to make BIG $ & 0 Debt. This is what my wife and I are doing! I strongly suggest purchase the book: Total Money Makeover or taking the Financial Peace University course.
BOOKS: FLIP: How to find, fix, & sell real estate & The Millionaires Guide to Real Estate Investing
Well, buyer72401, I hope all of that helped. READ READ READ & Research as much as you can. We have never had more opportunities for great investment properties than we do now, but there will always be good deals out there. Foreclosures are just a small segment of incredible real estate deals!!
Have a great day.
Bye for now,