Hi Brighton-- Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find foreclosure properties for free. The internet sites that you mention will continue to bombard you with their marketing materials. Many times, their information is outdated and by the time the information gets to you (the consumer) properties have already been sold. Perhaps you could visit the town hall daily or weekly to check on "lis pendis" filings on properties where foreclosure is imminent. However, As far as auction properties go, there are definitely risks involved. The auction process is tricky and the phrase "let the buyer beware" is the bank's mantra. You usually only have an opportunity to walk-through the property an hour or so before the auction and there is no allowance for home inspection after the purchase. You must bring a certified check for the amount specified in the auction notice (usually 10% of anticipated purchase price) and there is no turning back once you bid. There is no financing contingency (which means if you canâ€™t obtain a mortgage after your bid is accepted, then youâ€™ll forfeit any deposits). If there are outstanding liens against the property, itâ€™s possible that the new owners could inherit these liens. Keep in mind that homes that donâ€™t sell at auction are usually eventually listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a much safer way to go for most buyers because you can include home inspection and mortgage contingencies in your purchase offer. If you work with an experienced real estate agent, he or she can notify you of new short-sale or bank-owned listings as they become available and guide you through the purchase process. There are definitely some good buys out there and as a savvy consumer you should be able to benefit on the buy side. Let me know if you'd like additional information or assistance. Laurie Murray, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, (860) 212-8305.