The number of foreclosures or REO sales are not what it used to be back in 2009-2010, but there are still a few around. Currently, in the Barcelona Towers building, two out of the three listings at 625 S Berendo are foreclosures. Units 206 and 213 are bank owned.
Unit 512 is not a foreclosure, but the sliding glass doors and windows all face 6th St. So, whenever you open the windows, you hear traffic, which can become annoying.
Although given that home prices have been rising, even foreclosures can seem expensive. Both units need some work. Also, foreclosed homes are typically truly AS-IS. Banks generally are not in the business of negotiating repairs and credits. And, since banks have no knowledge of the home, many of the disclosures you would normally get from an owner who has lived there will be absent.
So is it better to just buy a place that's move-in ready? From my experience, saving money usually wins in making a decision. Keep in mind, many of the unknowns of buying a foreclosure comes from what you cannot see. What are your neighbors like? How congested does it get in the morning and evenings when you are coming to and from work? Can you hear cars honking their horns all hours of the night? Has the place had any insurance claims? Are there special assessments with the HOA? Has someone died in the home? This is information you can get from a homeowner on their disclosures. Of course, they can fudge the information, but some information is better than no information. But this information comes at a price. If the homeowner, or seller has maintained their home in good condition, is aware of the neighbors and neighborhood, their place may sell for more (assuming of course it is priced right too).
This is usually what I think about when I walk into a foreclosed home. But, what Barcelona Towers does have going for it is location. First, it's a mixed-use building, so if urban living is what you want, you can just walk downstairs to get your coffee fix, pilates workout and sushi cravings under control. You are also a few blocks from the Red/ Purple line at Wilshire and Vermont. If location, location, location is true, then being between 6th St and Wilshire in my opinion is one of the prime locations in Koreatown.
Are the foreclosure units worth it? That depends on you, but the location can't be beat for being on the eastern part of Koreatown.