Researching Tax Sales

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I have been doing my best to research the Tax Sale process and am interested in investing soon, however I can’t find good resources on how to properly research properties before purchase. I don’t want to end up with something that’s unsellable or worthless, and research will help minimize that risk. If anyone has any materials or advice on their research process that would help me greatly.

Trying to be as prepared for a first purchase as I can be. Thanks!

Get your counties tax sale list preferably in excel so that you can sort and filter unwanted properties and locations.

I sort mine by tax map ID so I can tell what general area I am looking in.

Look at the data online and the google street view to eliminate unwanted properties, then drive by anything you intend to bid on.

I don't bid on anything I haven't seen with my own eyes.

Delinquent Property Tax Foreclosure Sales are State specific.  They are also a common subject in the forums.  I recommend doing various word searches in the BP forums and Blogs.  You can refine your search by adding or removing key words.

Originally posted by @Bernard DePascale :

@John Underwood Is it possible that a property might have certain issues that aren’t visible? Like some zone issues or economical problems?

Or am I thinking too hard on it?

 Yes it is possible. That is why I prefer to buy houses. I don't have to worry if a house is allowed, since there is already one there.

Get the list.

Pick the properties you like.....price was, spread wise, potential wise, condition wise, etc.....

Research values....tax values can be a start, but they can be way way off, so you probably want some kind of paid service that is more accurate.  Free stuff is not your friend in this case.

You can probably save yourself some time and money by then looking at google street view and sat view.   This does not confirm properties, it eliminates them.   For example tax list may show a house, google street view may show the house gone...and just a lot left.

Then go drive the properties.   See on all sides if you can.  Front can be a facade with nothing in the rear.  Sometimes front can look pretty nice and the back is burned out.   Have a checklist of what you can live with or live without.  For example....roof condition, foundation condition, are utilities on, occupied or vacant, HVAC in place, exterior condition, and if possible interior condition.

Then reevaluate your list.....and go to the sale with a pocket full of cash and make your bids.

Know if you are buying the deed or a lien.  I believe FL is a hybrid state. 

Know what your exit strategy is.

Know what it will take to have clear and marketable title to resale the property.

@Bruce Lynn I like this, very concise. It also brought to my attention the idea of an exit strategy. I considered the better my research, the better value properties I would select and thus buyers would be easier to come across, but this isn’t guaranteed. During my intro researching, the importance of having a clear title was a little confusing, but again this is just new to me. I need to surround myself in this often so I start seeing he patterns. My first bid doesn’t have to be shooting for the moon, so maybe just proving to myself that my process will work is best in the beginning; like getting all the points correct along the way, running into the usual mistakes.

I think I missed this years actual auctions for tax sales in Florida if I’m not mistaken, and OTC can be an even more due diligence selection. This is fascinating stuff

You see here in Texas if it is homestead property you have to hold on to it in most cases for 2 years before you can get title insurance....so you have to figure that into your exit strategy....some title companies say 4 years....so that is a long time to hold...and pay taxes and insurance.  You can rent, but the rental pool is smaller of someone who wants the risk of renting month to month, as you will need to get them out if the properties get redeemed.   Lots of people say there are no redemptions, but I've had two in the past 12 months redeem, so it does happen.