ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Each week the Allen County Sheriff's Department auctions off between 30 and 45 homes, but that doesn't mean buyers are getting the deal of a lifetime.
Officer Jeremy Tinkel, spokesman for the Allen County Sheriff's Department, say buyers need to do a lot of research into the home they're interested in buying before ever making an offer.
Until the officer conducting the sale says, "Sold!" the property still belongs to someone else. Many times, the owners know they are losing their home, so they leave the property in pretty bad shape. Since it's still their property, potential buyers can't get an inspection or go inside to take a look at what they're purchasing.
"They can't go into the home most of the time," says Tinkel. "They can't look around. They don't know what condition the home is in. They don't know if the water heater may be broken. They don't know if there's mold. So, it's kind of a gamble."
Once a home is purchased during a sheriff's sale, the buyer becomes the lien holder. They could be taking on a second mortgage and other responsibilities.
Tinkel says because of all these risks, there aren't many families out looking to buy their next home at a sheriff's sale. "The majority of people that we have come down and bid on these homes and buy them - that's their profession. That's what they do for a living. They try to buy the houses, fix them up, flip them to see if they can make a profit. We don't have every day average citizens coming down, most of the time, looking to buy a house."
If you are willing to take that gamble, sales are typically at the Allen County Courthouse. They take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons at 2:00 p.m.
Be sure to bring a lot of cash with you! Payment is due in full at the time of purchase.
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