Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on September 30, 2003 at 14:57:44:
The difficulty is that buying great deals at tax sales is dependent upon not facing much competition for a particular property at a particular sale. These days, as you allude to, the competition is much greater.
I have not been attending CA tax sales recently. The last one was here in Oakland in March. That was a complete waste of time, but that was no surprise to me, as that has been the case more than half the time in the last 6 to 8 years. Before that it was much better. A few years ago a partner and I bought a rundown little house in a poor part of Oakland for about $16K and sold it for three times that amount. Before that he had bought a couple of Oakland houses for extraordinary prices from owners facing the tax sale.
Last I knew, one could buy good houses in CA at tax sales for about 60-75% of market value.
Since I shifted my attention to buying houses in OK at their tax resales, starting a little over 4 years ago, I have had mostly what I would characterize as satisfactory results. In fact this year I bought two houses in one county for about $1200 each. One I had to spend about $2000 for a new roof. The property is probably worth about $18-20K, and I get $275 a month rent.
I also have some OK tax certificates which I bought over the counter and I expect to get a few houses out of those. I paid about $600 to $2500 for them. I don’t have estimates of value at this time, but I expect them to be worth more than I paid for them.
I suspect that if I lived in OK I could make more purchases similar to the ones that John Beck shows in his infomercial. But, I don’t know for for sure. The tax sales come up next Monday. One might be able to buy certificates there for good properties which one would end up with at very cheap prices.
The one major complaint I have about the “Free and Clear” infomercial, besides those exceeding chipper young man and woman who constantly finish each other’s sentences, is the statement that “John Beck has bought thousands of properties like this” at tax sales. This is said after showing pictures of houses. Now, John has bought houses at tax sales or from foreclosure of certificates. However, most of the “thousands of properties” he has bought were vacant lots and land. The term “properties like this” could legitimately be applied to “tax sales properties” however, I do not like it coming right after the photos of houses. It is too easy to assume that “like this” refers to the photos of the houses just shown.
However, I think he has the most information about tax sales which is available from any one package and it is at an good price.
Certainly I have found tax sales to be good for me.
Good Investing************Ron Starr***************