You can always have a trusted contractor "look over" the house before you make an offer. They will be able to give some idea of what you might have to spend to get the home ready for move in.
It is important that you don't perform any formal inspections until you have a binding contract on the property and all utilities are on. Once you are in your due diligence period you are able to conduct any and all inspections you need, including, HVAC, septic and well (if applicable), and general home inspection, etc. All the costs are your responsibility as the buyer.
Foreclosures can be great buying opportunities, but you have to be thorough in your research. If I can help you in any way, please let me know!
Harry Norman, Realtors
120 Peachtree East Shopping Center
Peachtree City, GA 30269