Sheriff's Sales (Courthouse Steps)

6 Replies

Hello all!

I have a quick question for those who are invested in the Northwest Indiana (NWI) market.  I have had many of my investor friends talk to me about the monthly tax sales at the courthouse in Lake County. I have not done much research on the topic, because I prefer to have an immediate transaction as opposed to investing and having money tied up for a year.

My question is, have any of you had a success story from tax sales?  It is my understanding that if you win a bid on a property your money is tied up in an interest bearing account until one calendar year has passed, giving the property owner a grace period to become current on their property taxes.

I realize that there are many deals to be found at these auctions, but I'm wondering if it is actually worth it.  My biggest concern in locking in liquid capital in an account for a year with the possibility of "no deal" and having the ability to invest it somewhere else.

Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated.  I have no experience with tax sales and I know these kinds of sales can vary state by state and county by county.


Hi Jordan - the tax sales are in September and March. The monthly sales are the sheriff sales which are foreclosure sales. Those sales have no redemption period and you can take possession immediately. As far as tax sales, the September sale starts Monday and it's online bidding. If you haven't registered yet, it's too late. The sale is a tax lien sale. The current owner has 1 year to redeem. For the average person, it's 15-18 months before you get the deed because of the court proceedings needed after the redemption period. The March sale is the leftovers of Septmebers sale and the redemption period is 120 days. The risks are the house is damaged, torn down, burnt down, etc and your money is gone. Or like you me mentioned, they redeem and all you get is some interested paid back. There are deals on the mls and with wholesalers so if you're looking for a flip, I'd hold off locking up capital for 18 months.  

Hey @Jordan Falls - I agree with Adrian. Most Tax sale properties are properties you don't want anyways. You'd be better off looking at either Wholesalers or MLS for possible deals. Do your numbers though to make sure there is enough "meat on the bone" to make it worth your while. There are still deals out there, just harder to come by and the ROI is less.

@Jim C. @Adrien S.

Thanks for the insight!

I was pretty sure that the tax sales were not going to be something I was interested in, unless it was vacant land.

Have either of you tried sheriffs sales and had any luck? I know I can go the wholesale route, but I'm always looking for the best deals, no matter what the case may be.

@Jordan Falls I go to the sheriff sale every month. Last year I only got 3 houses there. This year I'm up to 4. I have several exit strategies which allow me to pay more than one flipping it. Saying that, I'm still outbid regularly by people flipping them. You'll pay 75-80% ARv depending on area. I would recommend going to 1-2 first before you buy. I can help with the title work before the sale of you need it. 

Thanks for the info! Always good to hear how it works out for others.. Sounds like Sheriff's sales can be a little discouraging. I think I may try to stay away from them for the time being.

How does one get insight on when the sheriff sales will be and how can one attend?

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