Posted by GL - ON on July 11, 2003 at 07:32:30:

Don’t listen to all the bullroar. Go to headquarters and find out the absolute facts.

Call your local tax office. Ask if they ever take properties for back taxes. Ask what they do with them. Use your head and feet, look at some properties, find out what is going on.

I heard of a guy years ago, who lived in New York and had a hobby of going around to tax sales and buying properties for under $100. Some he paid $10 for, $20 etc. None over $100, if they went over that price he quit bidding. This was in New York City! And he owned dozens of properties.

They were all little odds and ends. Pieces 1 foot wide between buildings, landlocked corners etc.

But every once in a while someone would want to build a new building or something and would have to come to him for the last little bit of land. Do you suppose he made money? Yes he did.


Posted by Rodney Walker on June 09, 2003 at 09:20:11:

Im sure you all have heard of John Beck, and I seen the info commercial for the first time last night. John says that he has purchased 1000’s of properties for pennies on the dollar. Such prices as 350 bucks for houses, 500 bucks, even 5 or 10 bucks. He claims that this is do to government tax sales. I guess that means that people have not paid there taxes , and the home goes up for sale for whatever is owed on the taxes. Lets be realistic, im not doubting this course because i know nothing about real estate, but i really want to get into it. He says 1 home he bought for 72 bucks. Are you freakin tellin me that someone only owed 72 bucks on there taxes and could not come up with it for there home. That, I find hard to believe. If i can purchase homes for this cheap, why do i need cash down payments , or credit, or creative financing for a home. I could just work 40 hours a week brining home 8 bucks an hour, and each week find me a home on this tax sale for about 300 bucks or under, and then flip them and get rich. If its that simple, why does everyone not have his course. Who would even think to get cs course and learn it, why would there be a cre online? Since this sale is in over 3000 counties, and they have thousands of homes for sale like this in each county, then we would all be into john becks course. Maybe im missing something, but i would sure like some people to kick me in the butt about my ignorance. Im broke, have bad credit, and feel like if its that simple, i need to order his course. I have cs, but it totally confuses me. Are these tax sales auctions, or is this something i can just go to the county building, pick out homes i want from a list, and buy them? From what i heard here in detroit, they auction off homes in this situation, or hud/fha takes over. Please help or respond.

That’s nothing. - Posted by GL - ON

Posted by GL - ON on July 11, 2003 at 07:20:03:

A neighbor of mine bought 7 town lots for $1. That’s less than 15 cents each.

The catch was that the site was a former junkyard.

It was abandoned about 15 years ago. The town took it for taxes. Then they tried to sell it for the amount of the taxes (about $30,000).

When they were no takers, they sold it to my friend for $1.

He has had it tested and removed the contaminated soil (only 2 spots had to be dug out, each about the size of a house foundation). Total cost, $50,000.

Now he has a good site for his driveway sealant supply business, complete with a giant cement block garage/office/storage building. Worth at least $500,000.

Well, listen to a man who does it. - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on June 13, 2003 at 15:25:42:

Rodney Walker----------------

Well, I just got back yesterday from OK state and the county tax resales there. These are the deed auctions where one gets title to properties, not just certificates.

I worked hard for two weeks and all I was able to do was buy four houses for a total of about $22K. Then there was the aproximately 4000 square foot, two-story brick commercial building I purchased for $212. Admittedly, it is vacant and not in the best of shape. If I can make a few thousand dollars profit, however, I will be happy.

Oh, wait there are about 120 vacant lots also, for an average of about $300 each. Those I plan to sell on the internet like John Beck does. I know that he makes a lot of profit reselling the vacant parcels he buys.

A couple of the houses are occupied. I hope they are renters, so I can just start collecting rent checks. One needs clean up, as the renters just moved out. One is in rough shape and I may just resell it instead of fix and rent out.

Now, the infomercial is a little dishonest, in my opinion. First, part that is honest. The houses that John shows were bought through tax liens and the people got the deeds to the properties. We don’t know their condition when purchased, although John told me that he only took pictures of houses which had been deeded within a few months before he took the pictures–four months I think. So some of the properties might have been fixed up since being bought, however, I doubt that all of them were.

So that part is honest. What you don’t know is that those buyers may have held the liens for three years or so before they were able to get the deeds. Also, probably, if those were professional investors, they got only a few of the houses that they had liens on. I bought some liens in OK state last year and the year before. Most have paid off. I will probably only end up with four or five houses from the approximately 30 liens that I bought. I expect the auto parts store to pay off too, once I mail a copy of my certificate to convince the owners that I am serious about taking away their over $200K-value building from them.

Now, John says that he has bought thousands of “these kinds of properties for delinquent taxes.” That is true. However, he makes that statement right after you see on the TV screen the houses bought for low amounts. It makes it seem he has bought thousands of houses. That is not true. Mostly, John has bought vacant land and lots. He has bought a few improved properties. That is the part that is somewhat misleading, in my opinion. However, John and Joyce say that they have sold over 2,000 vacant properties in the past three years and have made a profit on every one. I have no reason to doubt them. They acquired the properties at tax auctions, from governmental agencies and from people who have bought them that way and wholesale them to John and Joyce for a quick profit.

You can make very significant money with tax defaulted properties. And yes, there are thousands or properties out there that counties, school districts, and other taxing entities own which can be bought just for what the back taxes were. Or, sometimes for less. I saw a notice of one person who offered $5 each to a county for 75 parcels which probably have assessed values of about $400 to $1,000 each. That is not to say that the person will get them all at that price, as the confirmation of the sale is a “county commissioners” sale, which is a public bid auction. He may face some competition there.

I was in a couple of counties last week where many tax liens on properties can be bought over the counter. There were some properties with 5-30 acres and the lien could be bought for under $100. I don’t know the quality of the properties, and the county has some areas that are hilly. However, the advertisements in the newspapers for parcels of land for sale seem to be at prices of at least $200 or $300 dollars an acre. And some of the liens for those larger properties were already bought by some investors. So, I guess they figure the properties are ok.

But, you will have to learn what you are doing. A lot of the properties that go on tax sales are very poor parcels.

In cities often the opening bid is way above market value because of special assessments added to the tax bills, such as weed mowing and demolition of old structures.

You need to know how to figure out what properties are going to be resellable at a profit and which ones to ignore. This means some study on your part. The good news is that once you know what you are doing, you can continue to do tax lien investing for many years.

You will have to think about what you do. But, yes, you can make some extraordinary deals with delinquent tax liens and tax deeds. After all, I just bought four houses for less than $25K in two weeks time. Plus some other properties.

Now John has taken up with some infomercial people–high pressure sales folk. And it is difficult for him as he wants to give good education for the money. I have two versions of his “Free and Clear” course, the second an improvement on the first. For the cost of the course you cannot get better education on the topic, in my opinion. However, you still will have to do a lot of learning on you own. You will have to learn about which counties have good stuff to buy–not all do. You will have to learn which states have liens, which tax deed sales–that is in John’s educational program. You will have to learn to do research in county records. You will have to learn to evaluate vacant parcels. Or, if you concentrate on improved parcels, how to evaluate houses. You do not get someting for nothing. But, you can get properties for way below market value. If you know what you are doing and actively go after them. As long as you figure it can’t be done and don’t make any effort to do it, you will be right–it can’t be done by you. I do it every year at this time in OK state. Tax lien and tax sale buying can be done in every state, I believe, but I have only done it in six states, so I might be wrong.

Good InvestingRon Starr*


Posted by Linda Simms on June 11, 2003 at 19:08:32:

Rodney. You are essentially correct in your analysis. I have John Beck’s course and have participated in a bootcamp with him. It is not as easy as it sounds, but depending on the state, you can make some money in the Tax Certificate and Tax Sale business. You have to understand that any Guru, especially a Infomercial Guru is in the business of making big bucks in promoting his own products. John Beck is no exception. He used to be just a simple guy selling his own version of how to make money in the real estate business. He, like a lot of the rest of us, including myself, got blinded by the possibilities of making multi million bucks, so he went Infomercial to get his message across to the mass public. Now you and I will probably get a reply from Ronald Starr (Northern California) supporting John Beck. That is because he admitally is a friend of his and believes strongly in his products. John Beck being a Lawyer will not answer for himself. He may be right! But the point really is who do you believe and who will give you the best information in this business? You will probably find most of the best information here on Creonline which over the years I have found to be one of the best sources of good R.E. info… They in a nutshell know what they are doing. Their yearly conventions which I have attended are probably the most noteworty in the business for giving the most information to the neophite and experienced R.E. investors, for almost no or little cost, is unpresidented in this business. Stay in there and keep asking those very definitive questions.


Posted by George S. on June 10, 2003 at 16:10:15:

Tax lien sales are more involved than you think.
first you have to purchase the debt from the gov’t THEN the person that owes the debt has a period of time to pay you before you can yoink the property.
depending on state it can be anywhere from 1-2 years waiting period before the property reverts to you.
Also there are people who do this for a living, once you go to a tax auction you will be competing with very large bank accounts. small time investors are easily overrun by the larger check book carrying people.
This is a very hard segment of real estate investing to break into.

Good luck.

Re: OKAY, NOW IM CONFUSED!!! POST YOUR REPLYS - Posted by Rodney Walker

Posted by Rodney Walker on June 10, 2003 at 16:55:04:

ok, as i expected, another real estate king trying to sell books on tv and make everything sound so easy, and its totally not that way. He makes it sound like you can just run down to your county building or whatever, and people who have lost there home for not payng taxes, u can just buy the home for whatever is owed. All this stuff makes me sick