I have found 15 vacant properties in my area that are all over a year tax delinquent. The problem is, I can not find the owner to any of them. Their tax mailing addresses are different from the actual property address and I've sent numerous letters to each one of them at their tax mailing addresses but still have had no success in getting in contact with them. What can I do to gain ownership besides paying the back taxes, waiting for 2 years to come up and then filing the application for tax deed, going to the deed sale and purchasing the deed by being the highest bidder?
I would say that you should keep mailing them. With an estimated response rate being ~10%, you should have only had about one call back. There are a lot of other things that might factor into this and since you're in Tampa I would think that the response rate might be even lower.
My suggestion: keep mailing and find more vacant properties to send to so you can actually see some return.
No advantage in buying the tax certificates, then sending them to auction. Just bid at the auctions, after someone else gets them there.
Do an internet search for the owners. Try and get a phone number. You can ask neighbors to the vacant properties. Usually there is a local busy body that knows everyone and all their business. They might have a phone number.
You will get a better response if you say I am a cash buyer with no contingency and no weasel clause.
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