Buying property at the courthouse steps

1 Reply

Hi,

I'm a small investor with a handful of rental properties held over 10 years now. Now I'd like to get into flipping and are raising enough cash to buy one property at a time. I have been considering buying at foreclosures at the courthouse steps as my first source of deals (all my previous experience buying property has been from the MLS).

So my questions to the community are:

1) where can I get a list of properties to be auctioned at my local courthouse?

2) What are the basic steps I need to take before the auction day in preparation to bid? (i.e. where to check for any liens etc.)

3) Do I need to have a title check on each property I intend to bit on? if so how do I get that, through an escrow company?

4) I can assess a property and the cost for repairs if I can have access to the property, however, how are the repair costs estimated when access to the property is not granted?

5) I understand that the main risks are that the title may not be clean, back taxes may be owed, tenant might not want to leave.  Aside from these, are there any other significant risks that could go unnoticed and found out about them after the purchase?

Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you all. 

This depends on your state and county, so take this as a general perspective.

1. It changes within hours before the auction. auction.com lists some of them in my area. Smaller lenders might not appear there.

2. Drive-by, at least. Checking the title records seems like a good idea.

3. Buyer beware, no you don't have to.

4. You can't get in. It all depends on whether you want to guess from the exterior, or break laws by trespassing and door knocking.

5. the usual unexpected repairs seems like another thing to add.

Are you opposed to wholesalers? There you at least get to walk the property before buying, if not have a due diligence period. Good luck!