Purchasing Lane County Owned Real Property

Sale of surplus county owned real property is governed by Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS Chapter 275) and County policies.  Lane County acquires fee title to tax foreclosed properties and does NOT sell tax liens or tax lien certificates.

Lane County properties are sold "as is, where is, with all faults". Property is conveyed with a Quitclaim Deed. No warranties or guarantees are made concerning the condition of title, the ability to obtain title insurance, the ability to use a property for any particular purpose, the ability to develop a property pursuant to state and local land use law, location of boundary lines, the environmental condition or any other matter concerning a property. It is the buyer's responsibility to thoroughly investigate a property prior to purchasing it. Liens or encumbrances may still exist on a foreclosed property title. 

Purchasing at a Public Sale/Auction

The first step in disposing of surplus real property with an assessed value of $15,000 or greater is to offer it at a public sale (auction).  Lane County holds an auction as needed.  There is no set time of year when a sale occurs. One month prior to the sale date, notice of the sale will be published once per week for four weeks in the legal ad section of the Register Guard newspaper.  The notice will include a list of the properties being offered, minimum bids and other terms and conditions of the sale.  The sale notice will also be posted on the Property Management page of the county's web site. Lane County currently uses a Sealed Bid auction format to sell tax foreclosed property. You can submit up to one bid per property with your best and highest offer. DO NOT send funds with your bid. Bids are opened and read on the specified auction date. If you are the winning bidder, a deposit of 20% of the bid amount must be received within 24 hours of the bid opening. The balance is due within 5 business days. 

Properties acquired by Lane County through tax foreclosure are often unimproved and unbuildable. Some may not have utilities or water available to the parcel.  Many of the parcels are small or irregularly shaped with little use or value except to an adjoining owner. When the County does take ownership of an improved parcel, the dwelling may not be inhabitable. It is not uncommon for the County to transfer certain property to other government agencies or non-profit entities for affordable housing purposes. 

Purchasing at Private Sale

Properties that do not sell at a public auction may then be sold at private sale - a sale directly between a buyer and the County.  Private sales may also occur when a property has a value below $15,000 and is unsuitable for placement or construction of a dwelling under applicable zoning ordinances and building codes.  

Process for Potential Purchase at Private Sale

1. Contact the County's Property Management Officer to discuss the property you are interested in.  The Property Management Officer is authorized to negotiate sales and sale terms on behalf of the County.

2. Submit a written offer for the property. Email is the preferred method of communication. You must include the name you wish to take title in and the address for future tax statements. The recorded deed will be sent to this address as well, unless you specify otherwise. 

3. Submit payment in the full amount of the offer to the Property Management Officer in certified funds. No checks or credit card payments are accepted. If payment in full is not received, the offer will not be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration and there will be no sale. 

4. After payment has been made in full, the offer will be submitted to the Lane County Board of Commissioners at the next available meeting. A Board Order must be written, and agendas are scheduled at least two weeks prior to the meeting. This step can take up to 90 days. 

5.  If an offer is accepted by the Board of Commissioners, a Quitclaim Deed will be executed, recorded and delivered to the Purchaser. If the offer is rejected, any monies paid will be returned to the offering party. 

Please contact the county's Property Management Officer for more information.