Dallas Sheriff Sale – Analyzing the Prospects!

Sheriff Sale Results are difficult to locate on the Web! Most counties do not put a lot of effort into providing results to the public. They merely do the least that is legally necessary to sell the properties under the law. This section is dedicated to detailing the actual process of analyzing homes for sale, visiting those homes, bidding on those homes and eventually renovating the homes. I intend to take you step by step with me through the process so that there is no elusive cloud of information presented leaving you feeling like you are really unsure how all this information and guidance would play out in real life.

Visit this page regularly (book mark it!) and I will update the page with daily tabs as I work on this month’s sale. I work in Dallas, so my prospects will be located in Dallas and Collin County. Links will be listed below as the pages are added so that you can work your way through the process with me. As you follow my progress, I hope you will free to email me to ask me questions about my choices. I am more than happy to share my experience and knowledge with you!

Initial Research – This “day” is really a combination of weekly efforts. For the last week, I have been checking the advertisements in our local paper each day for the Dallas Sheriff Sale Properties to cut and paste the advertisements into an Excel spreadsheet. Having done this for five consecutive days, I know that I have accumulated all the advertisements for Dallas county. With this information, I have determined for each Dallas Sheriff Sale Property:

  • The Address of the properties for sale
  • The years of taxes that will be paid on each judgement when the property sells at the Sheriff’s Sale, and hence, the additional taxes that will be due after the sale to bring the properties current on taxes.
  • Who originally filed suit on each property (Was it a city/county entity or a private party that won the judgment? If it was not a city/county entity, the previous mortgages and liens will not be wiped out!)

Narrowing Prospects – In Dallas County in the June 2012 Sheriff Sale, there are 88 properties for sale. The first thing I have done (and always do) is apply the parameters I have decided upon to the prospects to see which fit my guidelines. These basic parameters include:

  • General area – I have several suburbs of Dallas and portions of Dallas in which I prefer to buy. If it is not in one of these areas, it is eliminated from the list.
  • Appraised Value – After researching the value of each property on the Dallas Appraisal District Website, I eliminated any properties that did not fall within a certain range.
  • Size – I prefer at least three bedrooms. Unless the property sticks out for some other reason, I eliminated any properties without at least three bedrooms.

After having applied these rules to the list, the list shrank to a more manageable number – eighteen (18) properties. This is still a lot for a month in Dallas County for me. Usually, applying these parameters decreases the list even more than that for the Dallas Sheriff Sale, but this month seems especially full!.

Further Narrowing – After I have settled on this prospect list, I looked each prospect up on Google Maps and looked at the photo of each. For some, the photo was so bad, not much could be determined. For others, the dilapidation was so extreme that I decided to rule them out immediately. It is true that anything can be repaired, but for what cost? You cannot expect the home that you purchase to be in “good” shape, but if you are buying lower end homes, you also cannot intend to pour too much money into the homes, as they will not hold the value that you put into the home with the renovations. A lot of this is determined by the neighborhood (look at the neighbors on google maps) and the purpose for which you are buying the home. Less renovations are required for a rental than for a flip (generally), but either way, the house must be livable. If the house is falling down on the outside with holes in the roof or windows boarded up, that is a bad sign for me and how I use the properties.

Above is one of the homes on the list for June. As you can see, the roof is falling down. This is a major expense. Because of the condition of the roof combined with the value of the home in the neighborhood in which it was situated, this property was eliminated from my list.

Factors similar to this accounted for two other homes being eliminated bringing my prospect list down to fifteen (15) for the June Dallas Sheriff Sale.

Next Step – The next step would be actual site visits to the homes or additional research on home values on Zillow or Realtor.com. Which step you take next is up to you!