The Tax Sale: Make a Bid For Success
The tax sale in your country may differ in some small ways from one in another county or state, but there will be more similarities than differences. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Get the List
You can contact your local government to obtain a list of the properties going up for tax sale at the next auction. This list will likely be free of charge, or available for a nominal fee. Additional information (such as a map to the properties included) may also be available for purchase. From this list, you can determine which of them you are interested in purchasing. Under no circumstances should you determine this without visiting the property yourself. While Google Earth and other resources can give you more information from your computer than have ever been available before, it's still not enough. You need to pay the house a personal visit.
It can't be emphasized enough. The people who make successful side jobs (or even careers) out of bidding at a tax sale do tireless amounts of research. They know everything there is to know about a piece of property before they begin bidding. If you want to be successful, you'll need to do likewise. Thorough research will give you a substantial leg up on the competition. Visit your local assessor's office and find out everything you can about the house. Find out about the neighborhood. How much have houses in the area been selling for? Are any new development plans in the works? These can help you tremendously in not only determining what you want to buy, but how much you should bid for it.
If you are the winning bidder, the county is going to require payment almost immediately. There won't be time to secure your financing after the bid has gone through and the county will take a dim view of anyone unable to come up with the pledged amount. You may be barred from any future tax sale and they may even have the right to bring charges against you. Make sure you have the money before you attend the auction.
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