Foreclosure auctions aren't for the regular home buyer- they are really for investors, or for those with liquid assets they don't mind gambling with for the reasons already mentioned. You do need all funding available at the time of auction. After attending auctions I quickly found out that most homes that do go to auction are bought back by the lender to either become "Shadow Inventory" or a REO (lender owned home for sale).
There are still ways to get a bargain on a home. The trick is to find one that will qualify for a loan, assuming you will need financing as most purchasers do. Cosmetic fixers are the best as they just need updating and will qualify for a loan. You get to pick what and how it is updated. And it will qualify for any loan! Next up is a more challenged home- it needs a roof, sewer is bad, siding is falling apart, etc. This will take a special loan product, such as a FHA 203K (or similar) that will allow and finance repairs.
There is a whole curve to home pricing as well. Prices go up for the warm months, and down for the cold months. Investors will buy in the dead of winter as they know prices won't get lower. Most home buyers do so in the summer when school is out.
Also worth mentioning is the type of home to get a bargain on. Distressed property, whether REO or a short sale usually sell at a discount. HUD homes also sell at a discount, sometimes substantial. Another possibility is finding a home at auction (not a foreclosure auction). I see more and more homes selling this way, and you can still retain the normal sale aspect (disclosures, inspection period, financing and appraisal).
There are still programs out there to help you get the most for your money. You have to qualify though, so they aren't for everyone. Mortgage Credit Certificate, Urban Renewal areas, and Tax abatement for 10 years are all possibilities.
I have knowledge in all the above areas. If I could be of any assistance feel free to contact me.
There are many amazing homes in the Westmoreland, Sellwood & Woodstock neighborhoods competing with shortsales and foreclosures (1/3 of the Portland Market); in turn, home owners have been forced to reduce their prices and you receive the benefits even on traditional sales. For example, my listing on Evergreen is priced $10,000 less than a sold shortsale directly across the street with similar features, year built & sq/ft. However, if you have the cash and handy with "As-Is" construction an investment in an Auction property can be very rewarding.
Let me know if you would like to schedule a Property Tour - I'm in the neighborhood.
Galen @ 409-7164
Let's chat about these options and see if we can work something out?
Best regards, John Hatch