There are a lot of things that you need to consider in buying a foreclosure, just as you need to consider in buying any home. First, you need to get your financing in order. Some banks will not give you a regular home loan for a foreclosure because they presume that the home will be in poor shape, others will. You will need to find out what your buying power is, determine how much money you can bring in the way of a down payment, and what your expected closing costs will be. You will also need to determine what areas you want to look at and what you want in a home. Then work with an experienced agent to find the right short sale, foreclosure or regular home sale home (sometimes the regular home sale home may actually be the better buy - both in price and condition). You need to keep in mind that if a home owner hasn't been able to pay the mortgage, they typically haven't been doing any home repairs or maintenance. Often they have taken anything that they can sell out of the home in order to get money to put food on the table so the home may not have light fixtures, appliances, etc. I've even seen where the a/c, water heater, stove, and toilets were taken. Some municipalities require an inspection before they will allow you to move in, if the home isn't up to code and "liveable" they won't give you an occupancy permit to move in and it is up to the buyer to fix the home to code (the bank is typically selling the home "as is" (though a few banks have started doing a few repairs in order to get the homes sold). This is not all foreclosures - I've seen some where the homes were in immaculate condition and were recently updated, but it is the history of the majority of them. Often you may get a good initial price, BUT you will have to put money and time into fixing them up before you can move in. In addition, please note that you are working on the banks timetable not yours. Some banks will give you an answer in 2 days and want you to close in a week, others will take 6 months to give you an answer. Through it all, you need to have a Realtor who is experienced in working with the banks and who has a lot of patience working with you.