Most of my gold nuggets were found at RTC (Resolution Trust Corp) and HUD auctions. The rest have been negotiating REOs/OREOs with banks ... helps when they have special financing (a full point lower) to move the stuff off thier books.
The problem with the auctions was the cash in 30 days requirement .. at least with the REOs you could use a little leverage (all required 20% down though).
Are you implying that you might be buying to make money?
I picked up a couple SFH which were REOs a few years ago ... still believe the big sale is years away (the economy is still doing well; liquidity still too high).