I have purchased many foreclosures & corporate owned homes personally. Typically they are winterized and all of the utilities are turned off. Most of the time the buyer is allowed to de-winterize and turn the utilities on at their own cost, but then they have to re-winterize immediately also at their own cost. Ask your agent to refer you to a home inspector who specializes in foreclosed properties. A good inspector can still help with foreclosed properties.
Have you considered purchasing a Home Owners Warranty such as American Home Shield, RS Andrews etc? While I typically consider these warranties a waste of money, in this situation it may provide you some peace of mind. I have had several buyers purchase these warranties and were happy they did.
No matter what you do, prepare for unexpected costs. These homes typically sit for awhile before they come on the market. Plumbing gaskets will dry up crack causing leaks, gutters aren't cleaned causing leaks, animals may nest or chew causing electrical or plumbing issues, etc. Additionally, the previous homeowner probably didn't maintain the house knowing that he was leaving.
Finally, none of the above will matter if you can get a good deal. Homes are a steal right now, and distressed properties can be absolute giveaways. Plumbers, Electricians and HVAC guys aren't cheap, but $10,000 will repair most of your typical problems. If you can save $20,000 or more on the purchase of this home, then go for it.