Absolute real estate auctions

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Friends,
I am looking for absolute real estate auctions in the Atlanta (Cobb County), Georgia area. Since many of you seem knowledgable about the new tax credit for first time buyers, I will ask if any of you know where to find information about absolute real estate auctions that are not one of those "free" web sites that only charge you if you want usable information.
I'm looking for an investment property for my 87 year-old mother. I need to maximize her income since she is obviously retired.
Any ideas?
Thanks
Juanita

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I can't help you with sites that you can access for free--all the ones I'm aware of you do have to pay for. Although to be honest I would never buy a property that way so I haven't really looked very hard for free sites. You might check your local paper, it's possible they would advertise auctions there.

But I'm not sure that buying a property at auction is necessarily the best way to find investment property for someone who's retired and probably can't afford to take a lot of financial risks. With auctions, properties will sometimes get bid up to the point where they're not really that great of a deal anymore so you have to really do your homework on the value and be disciplined about not bidding over that. Also the properties are often not in good condition and are sold as-is, and I'm not sure that the title is always free & clear. I'm also not sure how easy it is to get in and do a detailed home inspection before you buy, so you may not always be fully aware of all the problems with the property. And you're typically expected to pay cash. All in all it can be a somewhat risky proposition--there are real estate investors who find properties this way and flip them for a living so they've figured out all the ins and outs of doing this and getting a good deal (although even they will get a "loser" sometimes), but if you don't have experience doing this then I'd recommend looking for properties some other way. If you do want to pursue this, I would recommend doing a LOT of homework on the process first so you know what you are getting into.

Another option to look into which is a lot less risky is I bet there are a some bank-owned properties in your area, those are often priced below market value so you can get a good deal, but they work just like a regular home sale in that you can work with a realtor, have a home inspection, get the title checked, get a mortgage, etc. Only catch is since you're dealing with the bank instead of a seller they are sometimes less willing to negotiate things and can also be a lot slower to respond to offers than a seller would be. And at least around here they're typically listed on MLS along with all the other homes for sale so you can look at them for free.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

ecrane3,
Thank you for taking so much time to answer in detail. I may well have to go the more conventional route to find the right property. I'm not finding a lot of absolute auctions.
Let me explain why I want a property at absolute auction. Until eighteen years ago I was a realtor. I dealt mainly in relocation and foreclosure properties. The foreclosures I sold were repaired and sold at market value. They were not good values for investment property. I know better than to buy at retail for an investment.

I did market properties for one company that owned several townhomes that were available for sale and that were simply not moving. They decided to do them at absolute auction. I handled the realtor part of that. At the auction, the first townhome, that was valued at $50,000.00, sole in the low $30K range. The buyer was another realtor who was delighted that she walked away with the property and took some cash out as well. The next two sold for around $25K and 18K respectively. The final unit, the worst of the lot, sold for $12K. I asked the man who bought it if he was going to rent it. He said, "No, I'm going to run ads and sit here unitl I sell it on owner finance "as Is"'. He was from Florida.
That was one smart man. He had $12,000.00 cash, a plane ride, and some weeks in a motel invested, and could likely sell on owner finance for at the very least $40K.
I would like to make a smart investment for my mother. I have not found any ads for absolute auctions in the paper yet but will continue looking. The ones I've seen on the internet are not in our area, and I don't know any areas but my own.
I am hoping to find someone out there who knows of a local absolute auction so I can do the research you know will need to be done.
Wow! This took a long time to explain. I was cryptic in the request because it does take some explaining. I hope someone out there has some information I can use. The price of the property I am seeking will be under $90,000.00 and I do not want to spend that much if I can avoid it. It can be more that one property, but the total cost will need to be under $90,000.00 At her age, 87, my mother does not need to own mortgaged property. If she holds a note on property it will be ok since it will go into a trust. Income will be helpful even when my mother has left us.
Thank you again,
Juanita

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

OK, sounds like you do know what you're getting into then. Sorry for my long explanation, I assumed that most people don't have experience in auctions and it is not something that's advisable to try unless you really know what you're doing. Hopefully someone else will know of some other resources for you. Do you still have some connections in the real estate world? They might be able to point you in the right direction.

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

ecrane3,
I do know a woman from my church who has been a realtor many years. We volunteer at the same homeless shelter on different days in in differnet capacities, but I know her to be a precious person and would feel very comfortable approaching her by email. I send a prayer list to her weekly and have formatted and sent out requests that she has made. Thank you for suggesting that; I had not thought of it.
I have little trust in financial advisors at this point. My mother lived with my late brother near New Orleans for a couple of years and he had been advised to invest half of her capital in AIG, and the other half in Met Life. The AIG money is tied up for two more years, and the Met Life unitl June, before I can get it out without penalty. I feel like I need to free that money and reinvest it also, but will ask my accountant, who has lost big in the crash himself, and who is a friend of sorts, what he things I should do. I don't know if anyone has a handle on the economy these days. That is why I feel most comfortable investing in what I know, real estate (but never retail).
Thanks,
Juanita

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I don't know if I'd feel good about real estate either--everything is just so uncertain these days! It can't be worse than AIG though, plus it's definitely better to invest in an area you know. Hopefully your realtor friend will be able to help you--even if she doesn't do much with auctions I expect she'll know where you could go to get the info you need. Good luck! Hope you're able to find a good property for your mother!

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thank you ecrane 3.

Sherrie In, NH(Zone 5a)

Try this as occasionally there is real estate auctions put here to get more people. Just put in the zip code and then miles.

www.auctionzip.com

Marietta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thank you.

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