People considering a foreclosure property would want to contact the lender directly first and obtain as much information as possible regarding what range of bids are being sought. In cases where you are unable to obtain permission to enter a property in foreclosure, consider knocking on a few doors in the immediate neighborhood.
Explain that you will be bidding on the property and ask the neighbors if they had been in the house and when, as well as the general condition at the time of their visit.
Individuals also can do their own cost comparison through researching public records kept at local county recorder's and assessor's offices. Generally, most county recorder's offices have indexes to match street addresses and parcel numbers, so the interested researcher will want to have these numbers before going to the recorder's office. In addition, private companies, using records from county recorders and assessors, now offer property profile information.