I agree. Renting a foreclosure home is fraught with risk for a third-party renter. From the headlines, you can appreciate that there are foreclosure problems. In California, there have been plenty of foreclosures and there will be more.
The foreclosure crisis that produced federal and state investigations has left many questions in its wake. Many homeowners are fighting foreclosure by attacking the lender's right to foreclose. In short, there is a problem with establishing that the lenders in all cases have title. I don't know if it has happened, but the risk is there. You could find yourself locked out if the homeowner returns. At least one lawyer has been recommending homeowners break in to reclaim their homes.
If you want to get in the middle of the crossfire, this seems a course that could accomplish that.
Until the picture becomes clear, the banks have a problem. The other agents have noted banks don't want to become landlords. However, with 2 million potential foreclosures to come, banks might entertain a change of policy. An occupant with income might be a temporary solution. After all, homes don't are for themselves. Someone living in a home that has been seized won't let it become infested with snakes like the Seattle home that was in the news recently. They use the plumbing, which in colder states means pipe freezing doesn't become an issue.
You are better off if you can swing some financing to buy a home. The likelihood mortgage rates are going to get better is remote. There is risk that home prices could slide. But there is a risk that rents will go higher.
PML of Longmont, CO