Court House Steps Tomorrow!! HELP! - Posted by Emmett Whitten

Posted by Emmett Whitten on May 04, 2004 at 13:21:31:

Thank ya’ll for the quick emails and advice,
which I took!

I went to the auction and listened, and learned!
I also met several REI and had a good conversation.
Turned out there was a lien on the property that had
to be resolved.

I am now a subscriber to the local county legal organ
and have an appointment with one of the foreclosure
attorneys to do some introductions.

Thanks again!!


Court House Steps Tomorrow!! HELP! - Posted by Emmett Whitten

Posted by Emmett Whitten on May 03, 2004 at 23:22:05:

I need some URGENT help!

I have located a property that is to be auctioned at the county court house steps in the morning (Tuesday)at 10am. I have the tax assessors report, land and home values. I inspected the house this evening.

My first question is this?
I have not gotten to the point in my readings and knowledge to know about property auctions at the county court houses in GA. What is required? Do I need cash, a cashiers check, or are you given time to acquire the funding? What is the process in GA???

Second, this is a description of the property. I would love some advice about bidding at such an auction!!

This is a Foreclosure Sale at the “steps of the court house”

Single Family
2387 sq ft
1.78 acres, in an established quiet neighborhood and good school zone
Masonry siding is about 1/3, the rest is brick
Master bedroom w/ master bath and two walkin closets
Great room w/ fireplace (woodburning)
Kitchen and oversized breakfast nook area
Laundry room
Game room w/ upright grand piano (enclosed garage-looks good)
1/2 bath downstairs
Two upstairs bedrooms
Upstairs bathroom
Upstairs Study/Game room
Another bonus room over the garage area; access through study
Covered patio
Inground pool w/ rock waterfall
Privacy fence
Chain link fence in the rear of acerage for dog/animal

No garage or carport, put could easily add one if necessary.

Needs cleanup inside and out, including pool. No structural damage or water damage noted. Definitly new paint and carpet would help. Yard is overgrown, but could be very nice. Would probably use vinyl siding for exposed masonry siding (only about 1/3 of house)

Tax assessor value as of 2003 - $133,100

Checked comparable home sales in area and all range from $127,000 up to $187,000.

Again, subdivision is well established and home to many affluent citizens of the area.

So, any ideas about bidding price? What is too high to pay, figuring in rehab? Initial exit strategy is to rehab and retail or lease with option to buy, unless someone has a better suggestion!!


I can acquire the funds without any problem, this just came to my attention at about 6pm today!


Where’s the “Public Outcry” - Posted by Dan - GA

Posted by Dan - GA on May 04, 2004 at 13:26:32:

There are several things that go on at the county court house steps on the 1st Tuesday of every month throughout GA. They include Sherrif’s sales (confiscated stuff from drug busts etc…), Tax Sales (which in GA are done by an Ex Officio Sherrif who is really a tax commissioner or collector that has the authority of the law, but doesn’t carry a gun) and mortgage foreclosure sales. Since you didn’t list where you are, I’ll tell my story from the Fulton County (Atlanta) Tax Sale.

Since the Fulton Cty web site said that you needed cash or certified funds, I arrived in the City and went to the Bank of America closest to the court house on Pryor St. I got several certified checks and some cash and headed down the street to the court house. I was interested in 5 or 6 vacant properties that were listed in the Judicial Tax Sale, and would be able to sold and/or built on in 60 days if the owner didn’t “redeem” them by paying the amount due plus interest and fees.

When I arrived at the courthouse it was 9:45. The sale was supposed to begin at 10:00. The court house has 3 large double doors and about 12-15 steps going up from the street. There were 100+ people there already. At 10:00 a woman came out of the left hand doors, “very quietly” announced that she was holding a Sherrifs sale and proceeded to start taking bids. By the time the crowd realised that something was happening, she had already closed the biding on the first item without a sale. By now I was about 10’ from her in the 5th or 6th row of people. She proceeded to take bids on something else and sold it for $890, and then she announced that the sale was over, and she went back inside. All of this was done without any type of microphone or PA system. While people were still talking, someone came out of the far right doors, and help up a sign saying that the Non-Judicial and Judicial tax sales had both been canceled. Again, there was no PA or microphone and I didn’t hear him say anything, I just saw him holding the sign. Since this is what I was interested in, I went through the crowd and asked why it was canceled, and the responce was it was “administrative”. Since this is a monthly scheduled sale, I asked what that meant. In true government double speak he said it was administrative, and he turned and went back into the building.

Since this was my 1st time at the courthouse, I thought we were done, but everyone stayed put, so I did too. Soon another lady came out and proceeded to sell a house for 67k. I never heard the property address, or the description. This was a foreclosed mortgage. Some people had computer lists and others had booklets of listings that were going to be sold. This process happened several times, all so quietly that you didn’t know it started until you saw people moving toward a different area of the steps to hear the person speaking.

Eventually another person came out and started reading a list of names and minimum bids from the mortgage companies. This list was broken down into 5 different piles and 5 individuals started (simultaneaously) reading addresses, legal descriptions of the property and the mortgage(s) and then asked for a bid above the previous minimum bid. They then sold the property to the bank for their minimum bid.

It was a long morning for nothing. I hope you did better.

Re: Court House Steps Tomorrow!! HELP! - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on May 04, 2004 at 24:09:18:

None of us could possibly answer the questions you ask, unless we were familiar with the GA foreclosure sale process AND had knowledge of the property in question.

Since you are not sure of the process, my advice would be to attend the auction, watch and listen, but don’t open your mouth to bid! There are too many unknowns here; do you know the status of title? What other liens are involved and their positions, and how the foreclosure affected them? Does the previous owner have an IRS lien? The comps you mention have a range of $60k. That’s too wide; you’d need a much better idea of what the property is really worth.

Bidding at foreclosure auctions is not for the newbie. While it’s true that bargains can be found, in most areas those are the exceptions, not the rule, and an inexperienced investor can get taken to the cleaners by overpaying before they know what hit them.

While it may appear that this is a “deal of the century” it just isn’t so. Watch, learn, and another one will come along when you’ve gained more knowledge and experience. I strongly suggest that you not risk your financial future by making a big mistake here and going through with this.

Brian (NY)

Re: Court House Steps Tomorrow!! HELP! - Posted by gerald(tx)

Posted by gerald(tx) on May 04, 2004 at 24:08:58:

Emmett, with your level of experience and the questions you have about the whole process, it would probably be unwise to try to jump in and buy tomorrow. I would attend the auction, but leave funds at home, and make the whole experience a learning vehicle.

It is typical of beginners to think that dream property is one you just have to have, but mark my words – next month’s auction will probably have one you will want just as badly.

After a while, you will realize deals are like streetcars, miss one and there will be another right behind it.

Create Some! - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on May 04, 2004 at 14:46:49:

Post it on every board here and on other sites. Let everyone know of the work that is done from the people WE pay to perform a function. It’s funny how people quit work as soon as they find a job!!