I agree with Grant and Joe below,
Here are some specifics in regard to what we as home inspectors run into on foreclosed properties that are special to those types of properties:
1. It's common that the services are off at the property so we show up and cannot do a full inspection because of a lack of water or gas or electricity. Be sure to verify that the services are on before the inspection to avoid wasting a visit to the site and paying for an inspector to return another day.
2. Poorly maintained and deteriorated properties are found commonly. This is usually because the previous owners had run out of money and had no choice but to allow their property to go into a state of disrepair.
3. Sabotage and vandalism to the property are found many times. It is common to find holes deliberately made in the walls, torn up carpet, damaged kitchen cabinets and appliances, broken windows, doors, etc. Additionally toilets, garbage disposals, drains and sewer lines have been found to be deliberately clogged with concrete, gravel and other debris.
4. Components have been removed from the property. Costly items such as light fixtures, appliances, toilets, cabinets, decorative tiles, water heaters, air conditioning systems and pool equipment are taken. Copper water pipes and electric wiring have been stripped out of houses, apparently to sell for scrap.
5. Houses left vacant create special issues. Faucets in sinks, tubs and showers can become clogged with rust flakes and debris restricting the flow of water. Also, the rubber washers and seals in unused faucets tend to dry out and crack, so they often leak when turned on after sitting for extended periods of time. Sewer lines can clog soon after a family moves in because the hair, debris, toilet tissue and roots in the line that normally remain soft due to the daily flow of water through the drainpipes become hard and dry from non-use which causes slow draining and clogs when they are put back into service. Mold also is a common problem found in these homes.
I hope that this gives you some insight to the type of issues that you may run into. Keep in mind, that we do not find these in every case, but they are more and more commonplace.
feel free to check out my website to find out more about LaRocca Inspections and give me a call if you have any further questions that I may be able to help you with.