Posted by Kristine-CA on June 29, 2003 at 01:38:10:
Luke: you don’t know of what you speak, man, and it’s starting to show. People stop paying taxes for many more reasons than because they have a worthless property. Granted, there are a ton of vacant lots that are junk at tax sales. However, there are all kinds of other properties. Some properties are owned by dead people. Some properties are owned by foundations or corporations or entities that do not exist and have no one who knows how to sell. Many properties are liened up the wazoo with none of the lienholders willing to take on the job of foreclosing. Some titles are so messed up you can’t even imagine.
Some people bought property for which they way overpaid. I mean way overpaid. We bought one two years ago where the owner paid a 25K for a vacant lot that wasn’t worth more than 5 or 6K. Turns out the taxes and HOA dues were about $1500.00 per year. Many owners in that development let them go to tax sale after they receive that first tax and HOA bill. We buy it for a few K and sell to the neighbor for twice as much. I have tried to buy from the owners, but they are still back there where they paid 25K. So they end up getting nothing. And I mean nothing because there aren’t even any excess proceeds to collect because the county sells it for less than the taxes due.
The reasons are endless why properties are at tax sale. Sometimes it is the one and only way to perfect title. I have a property that I have spent money on two attorneys and probate court and 2 sets of deeds. And at the last minute a huge lien shows up at the title company–one that took every last bit of equity. A lien that wasn’t on the litigation title report. I’m thinking of letting that property go to tax sale if I can’t solve the lien issue.
By the way: toxic mold and crack houses are solvable if you have $$ and you buy it right. Another great niche.
If more people thought like you did, there would be less competition, that’s for sure. Perhaps you can continue to spread the word?