After doing research on some of the vacant properties I've found, I checked the property tax history for them and see that someone has already purchased the 1 yr tax lien certificate on these properties. Further research has informed me that no one except the purchaser of a tax lien certificate thats available for a property can apply for the tax deed for that property. With that being said, if I purchase the 2nd or 3rd position lien (because some of the properties are 2+ yrs overdue on taxes,) could I go ahead and fill out the application for the tax deed for that property? IF SO, the 2nd step to this complete tactic is to make sure I'm there at the auction of that property, have financing on standyby and be the highest bidder for that property in which conclusively, will allow me to obtain a property at well below 50% FMV. Its a strategy I've created, any and all responses to this are wanted.
@Rodney Dixon Read your other post from today; "Vacant property owners & investor tactics" and @Wayne Brooks has given the best advice for you - in Florida, don't bother with buying the tax lien certificate as a strategy to get the actual building. In the case you described above, you would have to pay all the tax lien holders (including their interest earned) and other fees to bring the property to tax deed auction.
Here is one method - others here will have great ideas too.
You mentioned you don't have a lot of cash and your credit history is not the best. Find a partner(s) who can provide cash. It will be up to you to track down the owners to make an offer before any tax deed auction.
But to prove yourself to the partners and show them you're a professional, have all the details on the property on paper in a clear business format. (Check out the podcasts that talk about attracting investors or getting financing.)
Property stats - size, bdrs, baths, etc.
Condition of property, estimated renovation costs, ARV, etc.
Realistic comps for the area (similar homes days on market)
List out all other liens (mortgage, mechanics, HOA, city liens, etc.
Pictures of property
I want to go back to the "track down the owners". I see from your other posts you are looking for ways to find owners. This is where you can really be better than all the other investors. Since you have done the easy methods (sending to the mailing address based on tax records) you now need to take the extra steps that no one else is taking.
I liked the idea you were given to talk to neighbors. Some will be helpful to get anew owner and get the house cleaned up. Just know that some neighbors will not be so nice. They don't know you and they might not like a stranger asking about the address of the old owner.
Never underestimate the power of Facebook. Do a search on the name. Google it too. Try LinkedIn. These are low hanging fruit, but if you were to hire a detective, they would try the easy methods first - so should you.
Some county websites have searches by name. Put in the owner's name and not the address or parcel number and you might find other properties they own that have other addresses. Use shortened versions of the first name - Robert or Rob or Bob.
If you have a local law school (state university is best since they are supported by your tax dollars), check out the law library to see if they have LexisNexis access. Ask for the Reference Librarian of the law library, be nice and ask for help in locating the addresses for your owner. This is free.
Or take an ad in the school newspaper or Craigslist and ask for a law student to do skip tracing. When they contact you, offer $10 or $25 for the name, addresses, phone numbers that they get from their access to LexisNexis.
Remember - it takes a little work to make the deals others pass up.
Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community
Basic membership is free, forever.