Over the years we have helped many clients to buy properties through the foreclosure process. We have always made a point of telling them how important it is to do your homework. Every property has a group of loans and or liens that are recorded by date in the title chain. Knowing what this chain looks like helps you confirm what will remain after the auction, if it happens. It also helps you decide when NOT to buy a property at auction because of things that you don't want to see. This knowledge defines how you proceed.
This is your basic concept of foreclosure homework... knowing the bad stuff to avoid.
But what about the Good Stuff? Consider this... A loan can be against more than one property. So paying that loan off at auction can buy you not just one property, but two, or even more. Just a few days ago, a buyer at auction got two duplexes for less then the cost of one in a normal transaction.
That is an amazing piece of good fortune. I didn't say luck, because you can bet this person did their homework.