Hi Cris, just to add to what some of the other agents said, as the local RealtyTrac representative, I strongly recommend to the people that contact me about foreclosures that you do all of the things well outlined below but also, look at everything in your criteria. Dont limit yourself to only bank owned property. About 75% of my buyers purchase a foreclosure or preforeclosure but that other 25% created value with a "regular" seller. Also, while we all hear about bargains, I really stress for people to look for a value because most are not just buying an investment, they are buying a home. Please contact me through my Trulia profile if I can help you with your home search, I have a lot of experience with foreclosures, if that turns out the be the "status" of the property that is the right fit for you.