The first step is always to get a Mortgage pre approval from a reputable lender. Then, working with a realtor you'll develop a list of criteria important to you, then find homes that match. Once a foreclosed home is listed for sale, it is virtually the same process as buying any other home, with some differences in paperwork etc. If its a Short Sale, not yet taken back by the bank, but the home is worth less than the mortgage against it, that becomes a little more tricky and time consuming.
Remember that to qualify for the Tax Credit, you must have a valid, signed contract to purchase a home by April 30th, and must close escrow by June 30th of this year.
My office is hosting a free Home Buyer seminar on Saturday January 16th. If you are able to attend, please email me and I will supply you with the details. It will be very helpful in understanding the Tax Credit and the mortgages that are available to you.
Barbara L. Smith ABR, GRI