I think I can speak for many when I say that foreclosures have many of us pulling out our hair, assuming we have any hair left to pull out. Houses simply are not meant to be vacant for extended periods without the utilities or anyone to maintain the home.
Yet many first time buyers are attracted to the bank owned foreclosed homes because they are priced under market. The first hurdle is getting the utilities back on. I've had inspection after inspection cancel because of difficulties getting the utilities restored. Vandalized plumbing, stolen appliances, mold and deterioration of major systems abound. Many buyers don't know that these homes often need major investment.
Vacant houses don't do anyone any good and getting these properties fixed up and sold remains a huge problem for our nation. As always it is buyer beware. Get a good home inspection. www.ashi.org