Almost every county government offers tax lien properties for sale, in one form or another. The government seizes properties when owners do not pay property, personal property or income taxes within a designated time, and public auctions are held as a means for the government to recoup the taxes owed.
A person winning a bid at such an action can purchase a property at amounts significantly lower than its actual value. Every state has different laws and different ways for conducting such sales, so you need to do your homework if you plan to start purchasing tax lien properties.
Ideally, you want to learn everything you can about property tax laws, redemption periods, and other aspects of the tax foreclosure process. There are many books on the subject, in addition to a wealth of information available over the internet.
If you are looking for tax lien properties for sale, make sure you are attending a tax lien deed sale and not a tax lien certificate sale. A purchaser of the tax lien certificate is only purchasing the property owners tax debt, which the owner must now pay to the certificate holder, otherwise the holder may foreclose on the property.
The majority of the time, the property owner redeems the property from the certificate holder, so if you want property, you need to bid at deed sales. All such auctions are open to the public.
In order to find such properties, you need to contact the county where you plan to purchase. You can either call or in most cases visit the county’s web site. They can tell you where and when such auctions are taking place, and can either provide you with or tell you how to get a listing of the properties up for sale. Often times the auctions are published in the local newspaper.
Once you get the list, you want to research the properties to discover which ones are worth your time and money. Of course, you want any such property to be worth more than the taxes, fees, and penalties assessed against it. You can find out such information as the assessed value of the property, and the taxes owed against it, in addition to the location of the property, and what kind of improvements, if any have been made on it.
You should go see the property, if possible, for you decide to bid on it. If you bid on the property and win, it is yours, free and clear to do with as you please. You may decide to make improvements on the property yourself, and either resell it, or keep it as a rental property. You may even decide to move in yourself, the choice is yours.
Finding tax lien properties for sale is only a small part of the purchasing process. This article has provided you with some basic information but because of the details and law involved, we suggest continue to learn more about the subject as well as the laws particular to the county in question.