When purchasing your home you should explore all the options available, bank owned, short sales & traditional sales. Bank owned and short sales are now a much smaller part of the real estate market in our area than a couple of years ago. Bank owned (foreclosures) are not always a good value, the Buyer gets no history of the property and many times has to pay for repairs & reports, transfer fees that in a traditional sale may be picked up by the seller. Work with an agent that can help you evaluate the pro & cons of each property. Low interest rates means still a good time to purchase for most Buyers.
(If you were thinking of purchasing foreclosures at the Trustee Sale -"courthouse steps", that takes cash on the spot)