Driving for dollars road block

16 Replies

Ok so I am sure this may have been answered already, but I looked and cant seem to find the answer. I was out today in this beautiful DFW weather and the ice coming in hindered my ability to meet some appointments so I decided I would look around for some new properties....I was driving so I decided to drive for dollars. I found about ten vacant or rental (ugly rentals with a for rent by owner type sign) in the area I was in. I got home and went to go look them up on the appraisal site and out of the ten..I only found information on four! I put the info in all different ways but I could not find anything. Please give me a heads up and let me know if there are any other ways to get info on these properties. Thanks for any advice and answers in advance!

I would go to your local county Assessor or Recorder's office and have talk and check county records, many times what is the web site has not been updated properly or is in error etc..

Figure out how to learn how your county info is organized and how to look at copies of plat maps or parcel maps.  When you write down addresses for properties while out DFD, make sure to include notes on the nearest property/mailbox/driveways. Or even draw maps indicating locations of the houses. Then you can look at the plat maps with the property addresses you do know in order figure out the parcel numbers of the property you want to look up.

You can also try a street search, if your county info allows for that.  You may find the street numbers are different than the house numbers.  You can also go google driving, looking for clues and street numbers.

All fun stuff.  Happy Researching!

Ok so, I believe they are organized block, lot...not sure if thats right (bear with me I am new!) I will definitely do the google driving. As far as going to the County Assessors office, what would be the verbiage? --"I saw a vacant house that I am curious about here is the house address?" something along those line? Is it a pay to play type thing, in other words would I be charged to see or copy the records..or maybe thats per county. Thanks for the advice I will start there! I know that one of these homes was looking for rent a year ago and had been sitting for a while so I am thinking something happened but I can not seem to find a record of it. I cant sleep at night thinking I may be leaving a deal twisting in the wind!!

Another quick thing, I found one that was vacant and when I found the info I saw that it was owned by US Bank Trust from South Carolina--I am in Texas. The deed date is from a year ago. How would I turn this into a deal?? Does the deed date mean much?? Thanks again

I would connect with a local realtor. I have a few in my area who will pull tax data (owners name and address). That would be easier than going to the office. Not to mention it only takes them a minute or two. Just make sure to make it worth their while. Send them a deal or two when you can. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)

@Ashley Guzman  First...hello!

One of the things you need to remember is that Texas is a non-disclosure state.  That impacts a lot of things about real estate.  One of those things is that property owners can choose to have their information removed from the appraisal district's site.  It will still be available, but it will require a trip to the appraisal office.  

The other thing you need to know is that the appraisal websites are a little finicky.  If you want to PM me with one of the addresses you were unable to locate (don't worry...my reputation means too much to me to even think about jumping your claim...I'm just offering some help), I'll see if I am able to find it.  I have the bulk data from TAD, so I may be able to pull it there, if it is truly not available online.

As for the bank owned property...it's an REO. You can Google "US Bank Trust REO" to see if they have a website for their REO properties. The really big banks do and some of the smaller ones as well. It will give you the contact information for finding out about the properties they hold. Banks generally want to liquidate those properties, because banks are in the money business, not the property management business. The problem is they aren't good at property management or liquidating their properties. Catch-22

Thanks Ryan and Hattie, I have begun to realize the hurdles of a non-disclosure state. The thing is, I did not find anything at all--the site said 0 records for requested address, so I was wondering how this could be. Maybe K. Marie's post from earlier about the house and street address being different is a clue but I am not sure. Hattie I will send you what I have and maybe we can work it backwards together. I appreciate you offering to take time out to help. I am not afraid of a little hard work when it comes to due diligence but when I get a zero reading it's kind of hard to get traction. This is why I love what I do--never a dull moment! Thanks y'all

@Ashley Guzman  

ps...yes, the legal description of the property is "lot/block/etc".  However, you can look up the property by street # and street name.  That's where it gets finicky.  Just don't put in any designation for direction and/or what kind of street (ST, RD, Ave, Ln, etc.).  Keep your entry as broad as possible.  If you happen to have hit upon a duplex or other attached dwelling, things get even goofier around the street number.  Sometimes it's easier to just put in the street name and allow the site to give you everything on that street.  It will come back with a list and then you can drill down to the one you want.

Great info and great questions @Ashley Guzman  ! I have not had trouble with the county website, however this does prepare me for what's ahead!

Thank you all!

Originally posted by @Hattie Dizmond :

@Ashley Guzman  First...hello!

One of the things you need to remember is that Texas is a non-disclosure state.  That impacts a lot of things about real estate.  One of those things is that property owners can choose to have their information removed from the appraisal district's site.  It will still be available, but it will require a trip to the appraisal office.  

I'm curious about how the TX non-disclosure works in practice.  I've never encountered a TX property that I couldn't access the owner and tax mailing address (and the plat map and basic assessor info).  I'm using online title accounts and paid subscriptions, not local government websites.  So while the info may not be available on the county website, the info appears to be provided to the national title banks. 

Do you have a sample address or a property where the owner has chosen to remove their data, so I can test if the data really is not disclosed and/or not available?

Kristine Marie Poe 

The non-disclosure is referring to the sales price of the property not being disclosed in the tax records

512-293-3885
Originally posted by @Greg H. :

@K. Marie Poe 

The non-disclosure is referring to the sales price of the property not being disclosed in the tax records

 Thanks. That makes more sense.  I have very little sales data available to me for most TX markets.  

@Greg H.  Actually, it also applies to a property owners right to have their information blocked from the county website.

@k. 

Kristine Marie Poe Unfortunately, since those properties owner information don't show up, I exclude them from my data pulls.  I'll see if I can go back and find one where it appears the information is excluded from the website.

@Hattie Dizmond  I would be interested in seeing one where the information isn't provided.  I've never come across that.

Originally posted by @Hattie Dizmond :

@Greg H.  Actually, it also applies to a property owners right to have their information blocked from the county website.

@k. 

@K. Marie Poe Unfortunately, since those properties owner information don't show up, I exclude them from my data pulls.  I'll see if I can go back and find one where it appears the information is excluded from the website.

Assessment data is public info, but website disclosure is another issue entirely.  So I'm curious to see how TX is handling this.  Almost 100% certain the data that isn't available "publicly" on a county website is available through the title companies and paid subscription services.  So it begs the questions:  what's really not being disclosed, what privacy is actually being protected?  Same thing with not "disclosing" the transfer tax on the face of the deed in CA. Transfer tax in CA IS public info, so most of the data providers gather it manually and include the tax and sales amount t in their sales data info. Then all the investors are bummed when it's easy to see what they paid for property.  Public info + the internet are here to stay.

@Hattie Dizmond  

Kristine Marie Poe 

  I found a Request for Confidentiality form and it appears to only apply to :

Police Officers, County and Federal Judges, Prosecutors and Victims of family violence and such to have their information removed which makes complete sense

Hattie- Was this what you are referring to ? 

The Appraisal District used to have sketches of the property as well but they were removed several years ago out of safety concerns

Sales data has never been included. Access to the local MLS is the only way to garner accurate sales info but it will only address sales that were listed in the MLS not FSBO and private sales

512-293-3885

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