As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally. The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.
This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering. Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of times. When you start walking down into the basement repeat the process. The goal is to have whoever is inside hear you and not panic and do something stupid. I hope you never need this advice, but keep it in mind the next time you visit a foreclosed home.