The real question to ask yourself is this: do you want a great deal on a property?
If the answer is yes, then drop the idea of buying "only a foreclosure" or "only at auction". You're giving yourself fewer options and setting out on a more difficult, slower, and riskier path.
A regular seller - someone with a job transfer or trying to retire or any other of a million reasons they HAVE to sell and sell now - will negotiate with you directly (unlike a bank) and give you a great deal.
Plus you'll buy a house that is in better repair than a neglected foreclosure, along with all the disclosures & protections that go along with a regular RE transaction.
So remain open to all the possibilities. You may be pleasantly surprised.
(In the meantime, visit my site for Best Buys, which includes under-market-value homes, fixers, & foreclosures - hand picked each week: http://www.angelabennetthomes.com