Hundreds of Oklahoma homes are being sold at auction, after their owners failed to pay their taxes. By state law, county treasurers can sell properties if no taxes have been paid to the county in 3 1/2 years and the property that went up for bid today have not had any taxes paid on them since Dec. 31, 2007. Two-hundred bidders showed up for the auction today and 118 of the properties that went up for bid were sold. One woman, who bought a house near Tulsa University for $45,000, bought the property as an investment. Like a lot of real estate investors, she intends to use it as a rental home.
Some prime properties were sold today, due to a change in state law, leaving buyers feeling that the properties sold today weren’t cheap, but when the auction wrapped up today at 4 p.m., the county only took home $595,603 for 118 properties.
A strong word of caution about buying an auction home:
If you’re considering bidding on any of the properties being sold in Tulsa, County, be aware that what you see isn’t always what you get. As with foreclosed homes, when you buy a home at an auction, don’t expect the seller to tell you about the home’s history. If you buy the home and later learn that it was used as a meth lab by a former occupant, be aware that the final cost of that home might end up costing you more than the home is worth. Meth lab testing and decontamination costs add up very quickly. Decontaminating a home alone can end up costing you as little as a few thousand dollars or as much as $100,000 or more depending on how badly it has been contaminated and the size of the property.
Before you buy a home from the Tulsa county auction, you might want to ask yourself why the former owners haven’t paid any taxes on their property for 3 1/2 years. Is the former owner in prison for making meth in the house?
Making a quick call to the local and state police as well as the health department might help you avoid buying a former meth lab home. However, if the police and health department don’t know of any problems at the house, it doesn’t mean that the house was never used as a meth lab, all that means is that a meth lab bust didn’t take place at that address.
Talking to neighbors can sometimes help give you a heads-up about who lived in the house previously, as well. Neighbors often know if their former neighbors were involved with drugs.
Judging by the number of meth labs (see ma) that have been found in Tulsa County in the last 9 years, my advice would be to make sure you know what you’re getting in to. You can find out more about the meth lab properties displayed on the map (2002 – 2011), including their addresses, by viewing the map that has been published on the Tulsa government website. Click here to view Tulsa county, Oklahoma meth lab locations map.