Buying a property for the taxes owed

3 Replies

Hello all, 

I have a potential deal where the cost for the property is the property taxes owed. The owner told me that the city will take possession of the property in Jan 2020 if taxes are not paid.

This is my first deal and I see the potential to Brrrr in the future. Besides an inspection and lawyer contracts, is there anything else I should be doing/preparing for? Questions I should be asking information I should be requesting?



Get a real estate lawyer to look at the title for additional liens. The seller says that taxes are the only issue, but they might have other trouble with the title they aren't telling you. Good luck!

We finalized a similar scenario here back in Jan 2019. They had $42k in judgements (major medical issues) & were facing an immediate Tax Lien foreclosure over $6k in property tax & water arrears. We have a great attorney & none of the judgements attached (10 years had passed & none were re-activated per se). The elderly couple signed the property over to us we paid the $6k arrears & got clean title. They only wanted to stay & pay mkt rent plus utilities until they could buy it back or just stay & keep renting it. So far they have been great & at the closing she was in tears thanking us as they were going to lose their home of 25 years.

@Scott Littlejohn The most important thing to know is "Is this a good deal?"  What is it worth after it is fixed up and how much will it cost to fix up?

I would write the contract in a way that I was paying the back taxes and if there are other costs beyond that I have the option to pay them or get out of the deal.

As long as your contract gives you an out if there are surprises you weren't counting on, then many questions can be answered after you write the contract. Don't wait for every detail to be know before you take the first step.