Felicia, I would like to weigh in as a lender. There is nothing wrong with the idea of "taking over the payments". I think the thing that must be said is make sure that the person's lennder who is servicing their loan (company they make their payments to) is involved and approves the transaction. Not having their approval puts anything you pay at risk (you loss your money) and the seller/owner can have their note called/accelerated. Lenders will approve an assumption if the owner/seller's note allows for it and is a better situation for them than taking the house back.
I agree with Sean P and Patrick. Without knowing more about your reasons for wanting to take over the payments, I tend to want to discourage you from doing that. Just out of curiosity, were you planning on using the services of an agent or try to buy without representation from a FSBO? Unless you are an experienced investor, I would highly recommend that you do not go that route.
Don't do that. If you take over the payments you are not on the loan. You have to make your payments to the person on the loan. What happens if you send them the money, and they don't send it to the bank. What if they decide to go out to dinner in Vegas?
You need to find a Great Realtor, and, or Loan officer. To see what you can afford to buy on your own
Stop watching late night T.V.
I know there are assumable loans, is that what you are trying to ask about? If so, make sure the terms are good. That would be the only reason I can think of. My first home had a 4.34% low interest arm and was assumable. This would be a good reaon to conider. Otherwise, I agree with the others. Too risky.