I've been helping First Time Buyers for 22 years as a mortgage professional and I will tell you what I have always told my clients here in New York: If you are a First Time Buyer, steer clear of foreclosures and short sales.
Foreclosures are someone else's headache. The home probably has not been well-maintained and you're a First Time Buyer adjusting to paying a mortgage. Do you really want to walk in the door to someone else's deferred maintenance that YOU will have to pay for? Also, if you're thinking there are deals to be had in terms of lower prices, mostly those "deals" go to professional investors who can pay cash, negotiate hard with a Lender, and close fast. If you are one of those professional investors, then that's a different story, and I wish you luck!
For Short Sales, my attitude of late is that First Time Buyers should steer clear. Short Sales tend to be a better deal for the homeowner than for the Buyer. You'll wait MONTHS for the homeowner's Lender to approve the short sale; maybe as long as Six or Seven Months. Meanwhile, you're stuck in a contract to buy that home. I closed a short sale recently with a Buyer who, after seven months said this at the closing table, "I don't even want this house anymore."
And he didn't even get the "deal" on price he thought he was getting! The house appraised for only slightly more than he paid for it at the short sale price. He walked into this deal thinking he was buying a home for $100,000 less than it's value. In the end that wasn't the case.
There are plenty of motivated Sellers with their homes listed on your local MLS. Go find a good Local Mortgage Banker, get prequalified, then find a great, experienced Realtor, and buy the home you want at the price you're willing to pay. It's a Buyer's Market, after all!
they give you free comps but you must pay for the foreclosures. i think you can buy as little as a month for around $100.
im not sure what you mean by gov tax foreclosures. in nyc when a someone doesn't pay their property taxes, the city will place a lien. you have about 18 months to clear the lien or sell the property. if the tax lien is not redeemed then the house will be sold at auction to the highest bidder. if no one bids (rare is this the case) then the city will take possession of the property. once the city as possession thy will either keep it and use it (various agencies) or sell it in June. houses and land are sold once a year (typically june) to the public.
the tax lien process is administered by a company called JER Roberts and they do all of the city for now (im sure this will be up for bid soon if it hasn't happened already).
this is not like florida/ where you can go buy a tax lien and then you get to foreclose on the property if its not redeemed.
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Unfortunately for potential owner occupants and investors (because tax foreclosed properties are such a great deal), the city of New York does not sell tax foreclosed properties to owner occupants or investors, so a list of tax foreclosed properties is not really available. If you would like to purchase bank foreclosed properties, take a look at my website and sign up for my foreclosure list.