My suggestion, don't. If you have already decided that you would, then the number one person you need is a very capable attorney who knows the real estate business inside and out AND specializes in these kinds of sales..
apparently, you love Pandora's box. if you do, remember you are bidding against people who may have inside knowledge about the properties, you need a team. People you will need, Attorney, Banker, Realtor, notary plus and not the least knowledge of what could be wrong with the property. An inspection would be great. However, it can be done but please seek knowledgeable people to help you if you decided to do it.
I wouldn't do it because of the hassle that comes with buying a house. Depending on which state you live there are laws that allow the original buyer of the house to catch up with there payments after it has been sold at auction and there is really not much you can do about it. I think they give the original buyer 3 years total in the state of Texas.
Good Luck !
Do your research: location, condition and general sale prices. Zoopla is a good place to start as you can check property prices and how much they have sold for in the past - see similar.
Make sure that you have a mortgage or funds in place. Remember to have 10% to hand for when the hammer goes down - this is to exchange contracts and you are then legally bound.
The key is in the buying. Consider your liabilites: revamp costs, solicitor fees, stamp duty and factor these into your top bid. Don't be tempted to go over your bid... let it go!
You need to look at the property. Research some basic structural information. For example, a crack on the outside wall in a zig-zag through the mortar is an indication of subsidance. Otherwise, get a survey done.
Take a pair of binoculars with you so as you can look at the roof line from the ground, any missing?
Check out enviromental factors... for example flood plain.
Keep your nerve!
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