Looking for insight for the Fort Wayne, Allen County IN Tax sale

9 Replies

Hey all,

This year, I am looking to attend, and very likely invest at, the Allen County Tax lien sale in Fort Wayne (Ft. Wayne), Indiana.  I attended last year, just to observe and learn.  I have the basic concept, but I am curious:

1)  If any BP members have gone and invested?

2)  What's your strategy?  Do you look for properties that you'll likely eventually procure?  Do you look for properties, not b/c you want to own them, but b/c of the note?

In short - I plan to go, but would like to hear what successes you've had, and what you would suggest for someone heading into it if they had, $5k, $50k, $100k to spend.


@Drew Wiard let me know if you want to chat, I have bought some over the years, I bought vacant lots, so it was a little different.

it depends on what you want. If you have very limited funds then start with lots or low end houses. I have easily sold lots on ebay with a Quit Claim deed. I try to buy as many liens for as cheap as I can. So try not to get emotional and bid too much for one property.

Try and research as many properties as possible so you have many options of most of them are going for too high a price.

Make sure you drive by all the ones you narrow your list down to. If you skip this step you will be sorry. 

I spend hundred of hours doing the research and fine tuning my list.

If you have the list in Excel get rid of the properties with a FMV of higher than 75k and lower than 20k. The higher ones will be more likely to be redeemed by owner or mortgage company. The lower FMV ones have a higher chance of being junk. Try to maximize your time and dollars on properties you have a better chance of getting.

House that have an occupant will cost you less in the long ring than ones that are boarded up and vacant.

Stay away from the war zone areas also.

Look at what it sold for last. If it was less than $100 then it was just being transferred, but if it was 7000 then there might be something wrong with property.

Driving by the properties will keep you from making a huge mistake.

Good luck.


Hi Drew,

Is there a user friendly site for researching the Indiana Tax Lien properties? I've been looking in Michigan because their site is so well done for a research ahead perspective.



Www.sri-tax sale.com

They run most of the Indiana county auctions. Also, if you register on their site you are registered for all the sales. 

I do a lot of John mentioned above.  We attend between around 10 a year in Indiana and I look at 100 houses and end up with those that are fairly inexpensive.  for example I looked at about 120 houses in St. Joe county last month worked the list down to 37 and bought 7 liens for a total of $28K.  I purchased two this morning at the Starke County auction for $6650.  Tomorrow I am looking at houses in Elkhart County for the auction on Wednesday. 

Then we will do the same in Laporte County the following week.

I did attend 3 auctions before I ever got a house, because it takes a while to pull the trigger on spending lots of money on a house you have not been inside of  :).  We do occasionally buy something more expensive (20 - 30K) but I can buy houses in those ranges through other channels.

also FYI in the past even though I was registered at SRI, I was not registered at each county.  Make sure you are as I missed an auction that way.

@Greg Carrier - Have you ever been to the Delaware County, Indiana tax sale? Do you have any idea how many people I can expect to attend? Very excited to be buying my first tax liens!

Never to Delaware, but in Elkhart County which is similar in size we have 75 - 100 people at the auctions. A lot of people will only be bidding on one property and all of the expensive ones will have multiple bidders on them, We bought 4 in Elkhart yesterday. One really rough for 2400, one small but okay for 9600 one needing cleanup with and ARV around 55K we paid 20K for (a little high on that one) and one with an ARV of around 110K we paid 20K for but will required 20-25K in updates and repairs. That is typical for us although I buy low end stuff in multiple counties. did you got the Fort Wayne auction?

I have been to 3 of the Delaware County tax lien auctions, but I have never purchased a lien. I would say that Greg's estimate for Elkhart County is about the same for Delaware County. There is a mix of some out of town hot shots with bags of money representing institutional investors. And there is one particularly well-known brother tandem that purchases lot of liens in Delaware County. From what I hear, financially they have been very successful (and have outbid me on more than several times on properties).

I will be there again this year, but I have not really had the time to do all of my due diligence. So, my list of prospective properties will be quite small (as well as my budget).

They start out the auction by having bidders call out if they are interested in just one or two properties and get those out of the way. That reduces the crowd by at least half. Then, they systematically go through the list, page by page. If you are interested in a property, you call out the sale number and they will start the bidding. It usually lasts until the early afternoon. And you are required to pay the lien amount by the close of business that day. So make certain you have the accepted form of payment. That can probably be found on the SRI website. 

Good luck!

@Timothy Hollems Thanks a bunch! I will see you there

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