If you're thinking of buying a foreclosed home - I don't blame you! If I had some extra money, I'd be tempted to buy one now as an investment. But what I've learned is you have to be very cautious buying one.
*Do your homework. There are some foreclosed homes that are in awesome condition. I just saw one online in Oaktree (of course it's still 655 thousand dollars - but that's reduced from the norm!) and it's in great condition. But realtor Fran Brooks was telling me that sometimes, homeowners are very upset that their home is going into foreclosure. They take it out on the lender - and the home - stealing everything from the windows to the crown molding!
*Foreclosure homes are great... if you can get the right financing. If it's a real "fixer upper", the lender may want it fixed before they finance it. So first time homebuyers (if you don't have cash for the deal) really need to talk to a lender first. Also, a lender is out money already, so foreclosure homes are sold "as is" (you can still have an inspection done and get out of the contract then.).
*If you're buying a foreclosed home from the sheriff's sale - watch out for other liens attached to it. That means other people or companies are owed money - and in many cases, you'll need to pay or settle that up before the property can be all yours. If you're buying a foreclosed home through a realtor who is listing it for the lender, those liens have already been cleared up.
*ATTENTION FLIPPERS: There's apparently a fairly new law that says a deed can change hands at the earliest - 90 days. This means the property is going to be yours for 3 months before you can turn around and sell it.
*Finding foreclosure properties: You can look in your local paper. Also some sheriff's departments have websites.
After that, lenders will put their foreclosed properties up for sale on the real estate market. You can call any licensee (or realtor) for help.