Home about to go into tax foreclosure...can I just pay the taxes???

6 Replies

In going through homes last week, I noticed a home I saw a couple years ago looking distressed and abandoned. I looked it up with the country, and the taxes are about to be 3 years behind...and going into foreclosure in April. About 12k is what it will cost, but the home is certainly worth it. What can I do in terms of paying the taxes and getting right to the property? (I am in Michigan). Any advice from someone who has executed this would be appreciated. 

Paying the taxes gives you no interest in the property.  You need to buy it from the current owner, if it makes sense.

@Jake Kozul 

Find the owner and strike   a deal, BEFORE you pay their taxes.

There is another more complicated procedure called ADVERSE POSSESSION, however in Michigan it takes 15 YEARS, and has strict requirements.

Thanks for clearing that up...I had read something that implied that I could take over a home by paying the taxes, but I clearly didn't fully understand it. Looks like I will be knocking on a door and sending a letter. 

Originally posted by @Jake Kozul:

Thanks for clearing that up...I had read something that implied that I could take over a home by paying the taxes, but I clearly didn't fully understand it. Looks like I will be knocking on a door and sending a letter. 

Where did you read that.  Is that some BS guru garbage being spewed.  A few years ago.  I went to the tax auction in Oakland County.  They had so many properties that it was held in a inside soccer stadium.  It was 3 days long.  The Counties make good bank on these.  Very very few properties sold for the tax bill.

I got steamrolled on every property I was trying to get.  10k tax bill never went for 10k.

I've seen property sold at the tax sale for six figures.  At one sale a newcomer spent $1.7Million.

Two big cautions:

1.  Sometimes the auction fever drives prices to retail or more.

2.  sometimes the properties are purposely being abandoned by the owners because the properties are worthless, impossible to sell and more of a liability than an asset.

As said you cannot simply pay the taxes and own a property. However when municipalities have a "Tax Sale" It is possible to acquire a property through that process. But the devil is in the detail and there are a TON of details. The rules vary quite a bit from state to state. 

Keep in mind these are auctions so good properties go for much more than that taxes. However in theory it is possible to acquire a property for the amount of the taxes so this is probably what someone meant by "get it by paying the taxes" The person telling you this was likely a case of "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

If you want to learn about tax sale investing there are lots of threads here about it.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.