Property Owed By The Sheriff's Department

3 Replies

I have found a house in a neighborhood I am interested in that is owned by the local sheriff's department.  I looked into the background of the house and it turns out that the house has a large barn/shed that was being used to grow and distribute marijana.  The sheriff department now own's the property.  My first question, mostly out of curiousity, how did the sheriff's department become the rightful owner?

Next, the sheriff's department is accepting sealed bids with a minimum bid of $75k through June 22nd. The neighborhood houses go for between $120-$150k. I feel this one is worth about $125k in good condition. Though it is far from. It will need new carpet though I am hoping to find hardwood under the carpet, some updating in the kitchen, shutters are missing, windows are old single pane, and lots of paint to start. I forgot to check the HVAC condition. Has anyone had any success with these kind of sales and do you have any advice? My husband and I are thinking about offering between $83k and $86k which with repairs will put us in at about $100k which will be 80% of ARV.

We plan to make this our  primary residence for now and either sell or rent it out later.

Updated over 3 years ago

Title correction** The property is owned by the sheriff's department not owed.

Civil forfeiture laws allow local law enforcement very broad powers to confiscate property, including real estate, with even a hint of drug related crimes being committed.  If there was a grow operation, it was likely confiscated because of that grow.  I could say more about the abusive application of these laws, but that's a political discussion.

You may have some toxic substance mitigation to do.  Even if they were just growing weed, there may be some mess with fertilizers and such.  That's not really specific to weed, but rather any commercial agriculture operation is a lot messier than you would think if you've not been involved.  I grew up farming.


My first fear was meth lab. If they were making meth, it was a strict no!  

My husband and I went out to the property Friday and looked it over. Either he was a very clean pot grower or the cops did a great job of removing the evidence.  The house is more run down than anything.   I should probably have a contingency though in case there is some lingering toxic substances.  

Doesn't sound like a bad deal with the numbers you have listed. I would definitely add in some additional costs associated with cleaning though. I wouldn't risk having major chemicals in a place I had to reside or rent out. Too risky. In this case, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. Best of luck to you.

I have my undergrad in Agricultural Business, so take it from me, the chemicals and pesticides that could potentially been brought into or around the home is enough to be extra safe. Keep us posted on the update!

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