So the minimum bid at the annual tax auction is $500, and my rent is $200 so for two months rent you can get a house. In other cities i imagine $500 would not get you that far. Even paying taxes and utilities I would be coming out ahead and not have to live with room mates.
So I found a nice looking spot around 25th and MLK, massive garden, posts for a high fence , the train tracks running along the back of the property. and a block of nothing in every direction. The front door was locked, and all the windows were intact and when i got inside there was an electric fan running (electricity) , a toilet (Running water) and the roof was new-ish so i thought it would need minimal re-hab, like i could just move in. I guess i was so into the idea that i convinced myself that it had recently been vacated.
The place was a mess. There was a room where a kid had been kept and had left a tide-mark of grimy hand prints two feet off the floor all around the perimeter. There was an inch of grease on everything in the kitchen. There was the ominous shadow made by Bed-bug shit outlining where a picture had hung on the wall.
There was all kinds of ammo on the floor too , 9mm, shotgun slugs, 7.62mm for tha chopper etc... but for whatever reason still nothing clicked. I went back over the course of a week and nothing got moved around, I was sure no one gave a shit about the place.
When the lot came up, I bid, was the only bidder and won. The next weekend i went back with a friend and we started clearing all the crap out, just moved everything out into the garden. Turns out the house wasn't in such a great state of repair, one corner was slumping into the ground, and there was so much grime and damp on the floor that it wa rotten out. Anyway, I told myself that i was still saving money.
So I was busily tearing out the kitchen while my friend was in the garden warming himself by the fire when there is suddenly a guy with shades on in the room with me. Startled I stand up, he asks me what's going on, hammer in hand I request that we take the conversation outside. Anyway guy talks nicely enough, asks a lot of questions about my plans for the house etc... by this time my friend is there too. The guy with shades tells me that his Uncle owns the house and then he gets back behind the tints of his Impala and drives off. I ask my friend what's up. He recommends that we stop work for the day and see what happens.
I decide we should carry on. Two hours later two dudes drive by at a snail's pace. I don't tell my friend, don't want to freak him out. Then two hours after that an SUV screeches to a stop outside, two guys jump out, both older. One's short, the other however is 6'5"+ and has the mangled face of a mute bond villain. He's the one who gets up close to me really quickly and starts screaming about me being there. He's got maybe seven teeth.
After that the other guy is like the voice of reason. We talk, truth is, I don't have the deed, it takes a month after the auction for the county to send it out, I agree with this guy to sell the house back to him for what I paid for it - $500 once i get the deed. He says he's going to give me a call. They drive off. My friend, is telling me that I should just sit on the property now, and that I'm alone out here if anyone wanted to shoot the place up ... suddenly the empty blocks in every direction don't seem so appealing.
We pack our bags and leave. The next day I call the county and let them know that i want to cancel the whole transaction and don't mind taking a $500 loss. They ask why? I tell them that I don't plan to live there and have agreed to sell it back to the previous owner. They immediately cotton on "You've been intimidated." Me - "Yeah". Full refund.
My bad. Going to be bidding again this year.