If you are thinking that you will get the jump on someone and find a great value before all the rest because you paid a few bucks to some national web site, you will be disappointed, as have thousands of others. Every day in our market, and I am guessing it is true of all markets, there are lots of people who get up early, scour the public records for new postings, walk and knock in neighborhoods, looking for those opportunities. By the time the casual investor.finds out about them, the opportunity is long gone. Those that are left are often traps waiting for an unsuspecting victim.
Buying foreclosures is not a game for the casual player. There are too many ways to get seriously burned if you don't know exactly what the rules are and what to expect. If you really want to become a distressed properties investor, find someone who is willing to take an apprentice, work with that person until you thoroughly understand the game, then get them to help you to do your own. There are many investors who would love to help a newbie get started the right way.
You can look these homes up in your own registry of deeds or county courthouse or can have a broker easily email you all the information you want on foreclosures in your area,
Please see my blog for more info on Realty trac and what they do
Charles Rutenberg Realty