You can check out crimereports.com to see the crime for the area. Also as mentioned before you should drive by it during different times of the day/night and on different days. It might look different on a monday morning at 10am then it does on a saturday night at 8pm.... more
You could ask a real estate a agent to assist you with your bid as your paid representative. I believe Auction.com will allow a small representation fee to paid to your own agent out of the proceeds of the sale.
You can find an agent right here on Trulia at the top of this screen there is a button: "Find an Agent"
Or respond to one of the earlier posters in this thread: James Tan, Teri A , or Elizabeth W.... more
There are many "cash" investors that can purchase a home of your choice for cash and put you in a lease to own situation where part of your monthly payments would be put into an account to be used as a down payment when you are ready to take out a conventional loan. You can get into a house you really want now and have an exact date and price for when you are ready to own. Most investors can set you up with a great deal for a win/win situation if they know what they are doing.... more