Posted by David on January 21, 2000 at 21:33:19:
I’ve been to many tax sales, but none in CA. Very interesting crowd and it varies a lot. The rules in different states vary a lot. Some states sell deeds and others sell certificates. Some sales are lien forgiven, while other carry the liens forward to the new owner. Many properties in deed sates are junk and not worth anything. I have seen people buy sides of cliffs, river bottoms, toxic waste sites, dilapidated buildings, wetlands, etc. I’m sure you get the picture.
Often it seems that these people never looked at the properties and assume that anything must be worth something. There is often a carnival atmosphere at the sales and people get caught up in the bidding and figure that its a gamble, like red on the roulette table. They expect to lose 9 out of 10 times, just like Vegas.
There are 4 basic rules:
- know what the local/state law is, redemption if any is a biggie.
- know what is your goal here?
- always go look at the property
- always do a title search
Joel Moskowitz’ book “16% solution” is excellent, I’ve also read Thomas Hendrick’s book, “Real Estate Tax Sale Manual” and Lin Stone’s book, “How to buy land at Tax Sale”. And of course John Beck’s stuff available here at creonline is excellent.