Poor folks trying to buy at auction

I am trying to purchase a home in a specific neighborhood that I would otherwise never be able to afford. I don’t mind leg work and my risk tolerance is high since I don’t have much to lose.

  1. If I go to the Clerk Recorder’s office, pull up all records for the owner and joint owner, and make sense of them, what would a title company be able to do that I haven’t already done? Would an IRS lien/court judgment be among my records? What other places and what other documents would I need to look at?
  2. There’s always talk of paying everything in cash upfront at auctions. What’s wrong with the idea that I come with a cashier’s check on auction day and finance the remaining balance of my auctioned home with a preapproved home loan? I read somewhere on your site that no title company will insure a home with an IRS lien and without title insurance, forget about securing a loan. But what if the home does not have an IRS lien? Will I be in the clear to get a loan?
    Thank you so much for this site.

All of the information is available at the county recorders office. The main advantage that most title companies have is that they have a private index that is based on the properties legal description where as the county index is based on name. Not necessarily a big deal, but names get misspelled, or mis entered, so you are more likely to miss something using the county grantor/grantee index then the title co.

  1. Per CA state law, properties must be purchased in cash for the amount in full. You may be able to finance after the fact, but you’ll have to have sufficient cash for the entire purchase in order to be allowed to bid, and you’ll have to be able to afford being without that cash until you can get the financing done.