The County of Los Angeles sells properties for which property taxes have not been paid: 3 years or more for non-residential properties, and 5 or more years for residential properties.The auctions are open to the public, and take place once or twice a year. A large number of properties are typically made available - over 3,000 at the most recent Auction 2012A held in October 2012.
This sums up both the challenge and the opportunity. There are buried diamonds here, but finding these is another matter entirely. Prior to the Apex-Austin L.A. County Enhanced Tax Sales Catalogs,discovery was a task best assumed by those with much time and many resources.
The Treasurer and Tax Collector office makes available the inventory list prior to the auction.The following is a typical property descriptions, "... RANCHO TOPANGA MALIBU 0 SEQUIT LOT COM AT NE COR OF LOT 24 TR # 10630 TH S 60*15'40" E 38.23 FT TH NE ON A CURVE CONCAVE TO NW RADIUS EQUALS 120 FT 165.25 FT TH S 19*07'34"W TO MEAN HIGH TIDE LINE OF PACIFIC OCEAN TH W THEREON TO A PT S 19*07'34" W FROM BEG TH N 19*07'34" E TO BEG PART OF LAND ADJ ON S AND PART OF LOT 16 ASSESSED TO ..."
The above describes auction item 2418. It is buried in the middle of the 600 page auction list.It is indistinguishable from the thousands of other auction properties before it in the list and after it in the list.
Item 2418 also happens to be a 3/4 acre, on-the-sand beach front lot, in Malibu,with a $3,800 starting bid.
Leveraging state of the art geographic and data science techniques, these Apex-Austin enhanced volumes give the serious auction investor immediate visibility into the County's opaque and well camouflaged properties catalog. Rather than the data dump "surveyor-speak", the series presents easily accessible maps, aerial imagery, comps, and ranking of interesting properties - actionable information for spotting your hidden diamonds.