May 9, 2008, Newsletter Issue #137: Fraud Associated With Real Estate Auctions

Tip of the Week

You've heard the old joke about hucksters trying to sell people the Brooklyn Bridge? Don't be so quick to laugh. You, too, can be tricked in to buying fraudulent property. Before bidding on any land at auction, it pays to do a little research to guard yourself against fraud. First, make sure that the property actually exists. It may sound silly, but it's worth it to check. Next, you need to make sure of the land's environmental credentials -- make sure that it hasn't been the site of an environmental violation or cleanup. If you are planning on building a home on the site, make sure that the land has either municipal water and sewer connections or adequate resources for wells and septic systems. Check to see if the land is accessible by road and if municipal power reaches the site.

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