I actually just made an offer on a foreclosure myself this week, so I have first hand experience with the process, and not just as a Realtor.
As already stated, the amount of your down payment depends on the loan you are getting. Most loans do require at least 2.5%. The home I was looking at had exposed wiring and other issues, and was going to require a rehab loan. If you plan on buying a "fixer-up-er", you need to know that it may be harder to obtain a loan.
My other piece of advise would be to have a Realtor working for you to find these properties as soon as they come on the market. I waited a week before decided to make my offer, and I was too late. They had 7 offers before mine, and the property had gone "pending" right before I faxed my contract. Even in a slow market, good buys will go fast.
One last thing, don't get too discouraged if you don't get the first property you make an offer on. In many cases you will be going against investors who can offer cash. In most cases, a cash offer will always beat out a financed offer, so have some patience.
The down payment amount will depend on the type of loan you get. When you sale auction I'm assuming you mean sheriff sale. In Butler county you will need 10% at the time of the sale. But could get a loan for more when you do purchase the property. I deal with alot of short sales, and other properties. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.
Patrick J. Canaan
As we see it, you require two things to be able to see you way in purchasing a "foreclosed" home.
First, find out what price range you can afford to but. To do this contact several loan companies to determine how much of a loan you can qualify for. They will also tell you based, based on your loan amount, what you will have to put down as a deposit..Ask for a "good faith estimate" that is written proof of their committment to you.
Secondly, with this done you are ready to find a Trulia real estate professional tha can support you interests in purchasing a home and lead you through the process step by step.
This is an exciting time....best wishes with your journey.
The "Eckler Team"
Specifically, congratulations on having 3% to put down. Many buyers don't have that much and almost all 100% financing is over with at midnight on Sept. 30th, 2008.
Good luck, but in the meantime keep putting money aside each week to go towards purchasing a home. In these economic climates you simply can't go wrong by purchasing real estate - as long as it's at the correct price vs. value of the area.