North Carolina is a tax deed state, which means you can purchase the property in a local tax sale. Contact the municiplaity tax office for info on when they are being held and details on how they work. Go to a few first so you are familiar with them. They are very interesting. The below website will give you more detailed info. The trick is to find a home where there is enough equity and the owner can't come up with the money to redeem the taxes. You will not be the only one at these sales, many savy investors attend these so try to learn as much as you can before buying. Hope that helps.