Generally if you are looking at Trustee Sale Notices or a service such as RealtyTrac, you are looking at default amountsâ€”and only on that particular loan. There could be HOA liens, garbage liens and/or unpaid taxes.
Having been to the â€œCourthouse Stepsâ€ and working both pre-foreclosures (short sales) and REOâ€™s (foreclosures), my advice is NOT to buy at an auction unless you really know what youâ€™re doing. It is unlikely that you will even see the property and many people getting foreclosed upon trash their homes and remove every item of valueâ€”or vandals do!
Buy BEFORE or AFTERâ€”not during.
There are seconds and private loans that don't always show up that can bit you at the end. You might be better off trying to buy REO's. Properties that didn't sell at the court house and are now owned by the banks.