REDDING, Calif. - Bargain hunters score major deals on properties with delinquent taxes.
It was standing room only in the Shasta County Supervisors Chambers today.
The room was filled with people looking to get a good deal on parcels in Shasta County whose owners haven't paid property tax in more than five years.
Nobody bid on some properties in the first round; others did some very spirited bidding, including first-time homeowner Rich Fater.
"I bought my first home; my father is going to be so proud. I got a home of my own; I don't have to live with my parents anymore," said Fater.
Tax collector and Treasurer Lori Scott served as the auctioneer, hoping to get the most money for the delinquent properties.
Still, one person's deal is another person's loss.
Scott said she thinks about the people who couldn't afford to keep their home.
"The difficult part is, people are losing their properties. But they had at least six years to take care of this problem, so it isn't that they don't know about it."
One man, Jerry Papenheim, was the top bidder on a couple of pieces of property.
He bought homes in the Oak Run Area, and in Lakehead.
One of the more annoying caveat of the auction; you have to have the money with you. You can use a certified check, a cashier's check, or cold hard cash.
There is absolutely no running to the bank.
Even Papenheim said, he was a little worried walking around with a backpack full of cash all day.
"Oh yeah, all day, all morning. I got to get in here at a certain time, got to get to the bank at a certain time. I've got to get some food, so I'm not….ahh, it's a big deal. This is the big leagues."
And that was just after the first round.
All the unsold properties are then put up for auction a second time at even lower starting bids.
Veterans of the auction said that's where the real bargains can be had.
To learn more about how to purchase these properties, check out the Shasta County Tax Auction website.