Chelan County Treasurer

Foreclosure Research

It is up to you to know exactly what you are bidding upon.  We cannot stress this too strongly.  Every year people who have done little or no research, or who do not know how to read a legal description, buy properties that, to them, are totally useless.  Knowledgeable parties who have done the research will avoid these properties.  We do not overturn a sale and refund the purchase price because a bidder did not know what they were bidding upon; nor because they did not understand the legal description.

Where is the best place to begin researching?
In addition to the minimum bid sheet, the Treasurer's office will provide as much information as it has available.  The Treasurer's office is only a starting point, sometimes the information available is minimal.   It is up to the buyer to pursue other sources.  Title reports, maps, appraisal sheets, and tax information are some items that will help you in your research.


Many parcels have local improvements or special assessments for which payment will be due. You will need to check on these and find out what districts or associations service the area of the parcel you are researching. Some assessments are collected by the County Treasurer. Some are not. To avoid expensive surprises, you need to be aware of these before the sale.

Community Association Dues

We sell all properties subject to restrictive covenants, if any, allowing for imposition of community association fees.


Some properties may be private roads covered by easements for ingress and egress. Easements are not extinguished by the foreclosure sale but remain with the land. You may not block the easement to try to extort money out of the users.
Similarly, when you see that a property lies near or under a transmission line easement, there will likely be restrictions against building anything on the land. Transmission line easements do appear on the Assessor's maps, but private easements do not.
Some properties may be subject to use restrictions and covenants set up in the original plat. Some of these may be labeled Open Space, Open Area, Greenbelt, or similar.


If there are improvements on the parcel, you should find out if the improvements go with the land and how they are currently being used.

Local Ordinances

Some properties may be subject to easements or use restrictions, as well as zoning and other land use controls. We sell all properties subject to applicable city and county ordinances. The existence of these is the buyer's responsibility to detect.

Other resources

Questions about ability to build, zoning, use restrictions, controls, as well as others, should be looked into prior to any purchase. City and county departments of Engineering, Buildings and Codes, and Planning are good places to get information.

Physical Inspection of Property

We strongly recommend that you visit all of the property sites you are researching. Look at exactly what is being offered for sale. Is there any access to the parcel? Can you accurately identify property boundaries? Is the parcel being used in some way by neighbors? These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask. Just because a property looks desirable on the map, that does not mean it is in actuality. The map does not show the topography such as ravines, hills, slopes, etc.; nor does the map show what is on the property such as dense growth, swamp, boulders, etc.

Title Insurance

Some title companies will not provide title insurance for up to ten years from the date of sale. Policies vary with each title company. If you are planning to build, title insurance may be important to you.

Posted: 01/22/2015 02:00 PM
Last Updated: 12/06/2018 04:21 PM

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Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 12
    Sep 2020
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    September Parenting Class - English and Spanish

    Posted by: Superior Court Clerk

    Supporting Children Through Divorce is a four-hour educational program designed to help parents focus on the needs of their children during and after divorce and separation.

    Washington State University Extension
  • 08
    Sep 2020
    06:30 PM - 08:00 PM

    Chelan County Noxious Weed Board Meeting - 3rd Quarter

    Posted by: Noxious Weed Control Board

    Chelan County Noxious Weed Board Meeting

    Noxious Weed Conference Room
  • 02
    Sep 2020
    09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - September 2, 2020

    Posted by: Community Development

    Chelan County Administrative Building
  • 26
    Aug 2020
    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - August 26, 2020

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 19
    Aug 2020
    01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - August 19, 2020

    Posted by: Community Development

    Chelan County Administrative Building