Home Buying in Oakland>Question Details

Cathy, Home Buyer in Oakland, CA

how do i buy a house on courthouse steps in Oakland, ca?

Asked by Cathy, Oakland, CA Thu Apr 14, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


It is actually simple enough. Go there with a lot of cash and bid on the property you want. That's it. Of course, there are plenty of "traps" to avoid, and you have to know how to go about preparing for this purchase offer before you bid. That is title search, physical search, liens, etc. Professionals get paid to do this, and I do not mean real estate agents. If you have no experience in this very dangerous game, do not play.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
Only 2 out of 10 experienced investors make money buying ALL CASH at the courthouse steps. You can do better buying Bank Owned Foreclosures.

David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure in Bank Owned REOs 20% below market. email or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 9, 2011

This is not a place for the timid or inexperienced. And you need cash. Don't recommend it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 9, 2011
Not for beginners.
Go there
Watch the pros
Talk to the pros
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Hello Cathy,

Just show up with cash in your pocket, enough to buy the home you are interested in. You will be going up against other seasoned investors so I would watch a few before you actually start bidding. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hi Cathy,
Please listen to the great advice and feedback below. As someone who specializes in Oakland, has lots of experience with foreclosures and distressed properties,, I can tell you I would stay away from the Courthouse steps! There are saavy investors who are there every single day, buying places and working to prevent others from buying places, via networking with other investors there. I know some good folks who "work the steps" as well, but the important thing to know is that if there is a deal to be had, you will have fierce competition from "pros". Critically important is your not getting any Title Insurance or guarantee about liens on the property. We all know of nightmare purchases where someone bought something with liens that were not easy to find in public records. This is very risky. There are plenty of good buys around Oakland without going the Courthouse steps route. You can get the info about the auctions online through Alameda County records, and you can get on the mailing list to see the auctions coming up, if you do want to check it all out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
I would strongly advise not buying a house at the courthouse or at any auctions where you don't have all of the protection that a regular sale offers.
This is a situation where the term, "buyer beware" can lead to some real life nightmares. Some people have purchased homes that way and later found out that there was a lien against the property or another loan they were not aware of, basically causing them to lose their "good deal." It's kind of a mine field out there with foreclosed properties and you want to make sure you're getting what you pay for and know what you're getting into, including knowing the condition of the house you're buying. Banks are not required to disclose some things about foreclosed properties.

As an agent who works a lot with investors, I scour the listings for foreclosures and work with my clients to protect them against unscrupulous agents from fly by night companies or banks where the addenda may include language that ends up costing the buyer money if they're not on top of all dates specified in the contract.. I go through inspections with my clients and I negotiate on their behalf, based on those inspections - often saving them more money.
Whoever you decide to work with, an agent who has walked with clients through the process of buying a foreclosed home is likely going to save you a lot of trouble.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
It's rather simple. Just attend a trustee sale/auction at the courthouse and be sure to have plenty of cash or a cashiers check in the amount of your purchase on hand.

The difficult part is making sure you're not buying a loaded gun that is pointed directly at yourself. Without understanding how to conduct title searches, you can easily end up purchasing a property with all sorts of liens against it. Additionally, there are no inspection or financing contingency clauses. If a tenant lives in the home, you also get to enjoy handling the eviction (if it's even allowed, as several cities have very strict rent control laws making it extremely difficult if not impossible to evict tenants).

It’s safer to purchase a bank owned property (REO) through a regular transaction because when the first lender takes the property from the homeowner, it wipes out the secondary loans. The new owner (now the bank) is also responsible for the previous owner’s liens. A short sale is also a good option.

If you'd like to see what happens at the auction, I recorded this clip: http://www.CalPacBrokers.com/?p=756
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hi Cathy,

You can find out about courthouse step auctions through ForeclosureRadar.com, this website can provide information on when and where auctions are taking place. I would advise my client to speak with a real estate attorney prior to proceeding with an auction purchase. With these types of auctions you are not able to preview and inspect the property and are purchasing the property as is. Many times people are still living in the home unaware that the property has sold and you have the responsibility of getting them out of the house. If you have any futher questions I would be happy to help.
Best Wishes- Simone Hoover 510-467-7640
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Why would you want to do this????????????????To get a deal??????????????think again????????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011

You have gotten some good information below, but something else you should know about buying on the courthouse steps: in addition to needing cash, potentially having title and/or condition issues, you will be going up against veterans with lots of cash who do this all the time.

Better to buy an REO where you can be assured of clear title, get inspections, and not have to pay all cash.

If you'd like some help with that we work in that area and are very familiar with the REO buying process.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hi Cathy,
There are plenty of distressed properties (bank owned/short sales) in Oakland which offer excellent value with less risks than purchasing off of the courthouse steps. You may also, in many cases, finance (unlike the steps or a hard money loan with high rates).
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss home ownership in Oakland in more detail. As a resident and Realtor, I would be happy to discuss what that process may look like.
Web Reference: http://www.lizmcfarland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
My advice, stay away from the courthouse steps to buy a foreclosure. Need all cash, and you need to know what you are buying, Condition of property , liens on proeprty, taxes on property etc.
Not for the NOVICE buyer. Buy an REO in stead.
I know a guy who will do the work for you, but I beleive his consulting fee is about 20,000 dollars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Cathy: You need all cash or a cashiers check given to the auctioneer before you are eligible to bid. Are you ready for all cash? You also get no warranty or guarantees of any kind. And most auctions get postponed many times for any reason. Noe for the inexperienced

David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor of Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow +1-7024997037
not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
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