Always remember that you are dealing with the low end of the gene pool in these cases. These are folks who let their property run down and didn't pay the taxes - do you really think you will be successful in getting any restitution from them afterwards.
Keep in mind when you are bidding on such properties that these are some of the pitfalls you might encounter. Don't assume that because the assessed value of a property is $200,000 that is what it is worth. The Assessment system does not take into account the physical state of a property, it simply takes the dimensions and type of construction then compares that to what similar structures might have fetched in the area. The ones that sold on the open market were likely in pristine condition as their concientious owners wanted to attract the highest and best value they could. On the other hand the owners of the tax sale properties generally don't care what the assessed value is since they have no intention of paying and therefore they don't usually take the time and effort required to appeal their assessment and get it down to a more reasonable figure which reflects the condition of their asset.
Thanks for the info..
Now this is what I truly think. I think this family might find away to settle their property taxes as this home is in a very nice area and the home itself looks well kept from the exterior. The minimium bid is roughly $19k so I might put in an offer of $25-$30k as the assessed value as per the city is $134k but with the way the market has dropped I could see this home selling for at least $100-$110k. So basically you take a risk at maybe sinking $10k-$15k in renovations just incase the destroy the inside (could be more). Total investment might be around $50k plus legal fees if you have to evict them. My dad figures the lot itself is worth $50k alone. The family also drives a newer van and an older truck and they have children's toys outside.
Would some of you be willing to put in a bid in this scenario? Remember it also looks like you might have to evict someone.
Also in this case would you want to talk to the owners of the home and explain that you know that their home is up for tax sale and see how they react? Hopefully they won't shoot you or punch you..hehe!!