A curious problem with properties that sit vacant for any length of time, is that the copper seems to vanish. Especially wiring or pipe in a garage or basement... the most obvious target being the coil in the A/C compressor on the side of the house. And often when that happens - serious damage starts to occur. Either from the renegade who turns the water on with a curb key bought from the local hardware store - or from the fact that the A/C has been off for the hottest months of the year. Houses literally come apart when they are not acclimated, and when it comes time to purchase, a lot of road blocks pop up. Unless this is a cash closing, it will more than likely fall into the 203(k) loan program - which is perfectly geared for such repairs. Outside of the Agent who will introduce you to the property, the next most important person to set foot in the house will be your HUD 203(k) Consultant... who will help you make sense of the road that lies ahead to put the place back together again.
The Consultant will work with you and your contractor to get the repairs defined, mandatory minimums met, and the HUD package in to the underwriter - as fast as possible. As the project moves forward beyond closing, they will also release progress payments to you and the Contractor -- and insure that the project is protected all the way to the Certificate of Occupancy.