Loads of good advice by fellow Realtors. However I have to say that show a number of foreclosures that mirror the condition of short sales. The reason? Banks realize that their return on value is much better if they have taken the steps to make some repairs to the home. For instance STOP the leak that is causing the damage to the roof, ceiling and the floor and possibly the start of mold. In those instances often times they may have done at least patch work to the drywall or ripped out the bad ceiling and floors, so now its just up to the new home owner to do the replacement. When damage is more extensive and even when minor the resurgence of 203k loans has been a fantastic vehicle for my principal buyers to use to bring the home to liviable condition and get some the bells and whistles they have been dreaming of in a home. I work with a wonderful 203k team.
I am partial to foreclosures, my very first home was a fabulous condo in Reston VA that was foreclosure that had been on the market for 5 months. It looked fantastic and with some carpet and paint I was one happy 21 year old! Still have fabulous memories. ;-) Don't run from foreclosures just ensure that you have a really strong team who understands the process and can guide you through any pitfalls.
All the best!