Know Your State's Foreclosure Laws
Depending on which state you live in, there can be added obstacles to purchasing a foreclosure property. Some states make lenders go through a complicated judicial process in order to foreclose. That process, designed to help people facing foreclosure, can take up to 12 months, or even longer in states like New York [source: Fulmer]. States that require those extensive proceedings are called "judicial states" in real estate circles. Other states are more laissez-faire with their foreclosure laws. In these "non-judicial" states, lenders can seek foreclosure more easily and quickly [source: Fulmer]. For example, in Texas, it takes a lender only about 60 days to file for a foreclosure [source: Fulmer]. Find out how your state handles foreclosures, and when you find a house you like, ask your agent to determine how far along the property is in the foreclosure process. You might have a long wait in store.