Tax Deed Sales

Property owners in the U.S. are required to pay taxes on their land. If they don't pay, the government tries to recoup their lost income by offering the property for sale at an auction. The property is typically sold for the back tax amount plus any fees. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can potentially get these properties for cents on the dollar.

Tax deed sales are similar to foreclosure sales. The law requires that tax deed sales are announced to the public. They and are usually sold to the highest bidder. Because government leans are superior, you receive the property clear of any mortgages or liens. This is one of the best things about tax deed sales.

To get started, you need to choose the county or counties you want to work in. To find the dates and times for these sales you will typically need to contact the county office that handles tax deed sales. In most counties this information is available online and updated frequently. First try the clerk of court or the county comptroller websites. Depending on the county, these sites will contain various information about the property. The most important pieces of info to note is the Parcel ID number.

You should also become familiar with the county property appraiser website. Use Google.com to find it. From the property appraiser site you should be able to search by the Parcel ID and find a rough estimate of the value of the property. This site will also tell you about the zoning and any improvements on the property.

If it all looks gravy, drive on out to the property and take a look. You may also want to take a look at Zillow.com to see what the property values in the area are. Based on what you see you should have a good idea of what you want to do. Figure out how much you are willing to pay (or can afford) and show up at the auction to bid on your property.

HINT: Don't get to excited about a property early in the month. Owners usually have all the way up to the auction date to redeem their back taxes. If you get excited to soon you will be disappointed when it gets redeemed. try to put most of your efforts in closer to the auction date.

HINT: Stay away from larger or faster developing counties. These more popular counties attract institutional investor who will drive the prices up to near market value. In larger counties it becomes difficult to compete and get good deals.

HINT: Most counties also offer "lands available" these are properties that did not sell at auction. These properties are sold on a first come first serve basis for the tax amount owed. They typically have little or no appraised value, however to the creative investor they can be a gold mine. Most are seemingly useless land locked parcels or small lots next to the interstate. One way to utilize these parcels is roadside advertising (billboards). However, make sure you are familiar with zoning rules, hight regulations, or other restrictive factors.