Tax Sale Waiting Game
The purchase of the original Starter Home 2.0 Pleasant Ridge lot was a very traditional, straightforward real estate acquisition in which I found a property for sale listed on the Realtors' Multiple Listings Service, contacted the seller's agent with an offer, and after negotiations, an inspection period and closing, had the deed and ownership to the property immediately. Acquiring the SH2.0 Oakley lot, however, has been a bit of a different story.
The Oakley property was acquired through a tax sale held at the Hamilton County's Sheriff's office where properties taken back by the county due to unpaid taxes, are bid on with an opening amount being the amount of taxes owed on the property plus advertising costs. All properties are sold 'as is' and the purchase amount must be paid in full with a cashier's check within 24 hours of the sale with failure to pay punishable under law. This requires all due diligence be completed in advance of the tax sale auction, which is held bi-weekly at the Hamilton County Courthouse, and that you also have the funds lined up to pay the purchase price immediately. I made sure I had these bases covered going into the October 1, 2015 tax sale where the Oakley property was put up for bid and I also attended a couple auctions in prior weeks to get a feel for the process, which can be pretty intimidating for a newcomer.
On October 1, 2015 after a bit of a bidding war with several other interested parties, I came away with the property and was told the process to transfer the deed under my name would take upwards of 90 days to complete. Well, 110+ days later I am still waiting on all the paper work needed for me to be recognized as the owner of the property, but things are in motion and at least I've been able to keep track of the 'In Process' transaction on the Sheriff's Office website shown below. It sounds like everything should be wrapped up by the end of January and I'll be sure to provide more details on lot once that transfer is official.