#4 – Specialized Purchases at Tax Sale

Let’s move on to buying profitable properties at the tax sale, or liens that we hope will lead to profitable properties in the future.

Pretty Houses

Seriously – it’s too obvious that the pretty house down the street is going to be offered for a minimum bid of $10,000 next week. This will not be an opportunity because it will attract the attention of too many bidders.

These days, even serviceable properties in rough areas get attention from investors. You have to shift your attention to the oddballs.


Finding the oddballs on the tax sale list each year is actually part of the fun – a true treasure hunt. The rule of thumb is, if there’s a street address, it’s probably not an oddball!

These are the cryptic properties that have no address and only sketchy information on the tax sale list.

If you’re willing to put in the effort, the guys and gals at the county can help you pinpoint them – and occasionally you’ll hit pay dirt.

Oddball Examples

First, here’s what to look for most often – although don’t limit yourself to these:

-Abandoned Railroads
-Cell Towers
-Plots of land that seem out of place, and part of a larger valuable lot
-Land with only part of a building on it
-Anything else that seems unusual

The great thing about oddballs is that they often cost PEANUTS – so you can take a chance and see what happens.

Now, billboards, cell towers, and such have definite value if you can buy them at tax sale. Rents from the cell providers or advertisers can run in the hundreds per month with no little or no maintenance required for the rental.

However, for the abandoned railroad easements, partial buildings, and other “mistakes”, you have to be wiling to be a “thorn in the side” of the adjoining property owner.

Personally, that isn’t my cup of tea, but if I feel too guilty I could always let them buy me out for the two hundred bucks that I have in it, right? I’m in a position of power for very little investment and that’s never a bad thing.

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