Investing in Tax Delinquent Property

There are several options open to those with an interest in investing in tax delinquent properties. Among these options are the right to purchase the outstanding property taxes in exchange for a tax lien, the right to collect a high interest rate on the outstanding taxes of anywhere from 12% to 24%, the right to foreclose on the property if the owner does not pay off the lien and interest in a reasonable amount of time, and the right to sell the property at public auction.Investing in tax delinquent property is almost always a winning situation for the purchaser of the tax lien. No matter which of the scenarios we have outlined above, the investor stands to walk away with a good profit on his or her investment. This profit is realized either when the property owner pays back the investor with interest or when the investor is forced to foreclose and sell the property.When you initially purchase tax delinquent property, you are not really buying the property. Instead, you purchase a tax lien certificate. This certificate attests to the fact that you have paid the taxes on the property and that the homeowner owes you the total tax cost, plus interest. In the event that the owner fails to pay you your investment plus interest, you may then foreclose and sell the property at public auction. Whatever money you make above your tax lien investment and foreclosure costs, is your profit.Let’s say that you bought a $10,000 tax lien certificate and the homeowner did not pay you the money plus interest by the end of one year. You then foreclose on the property and sell it at auction for $100,000. The foreclosure and associated fees cost you another $10,000 until all is said and done. You walk away with a profit of $90,000 on the sale and subtract your initial investment of $10,000 for the tax lien certificate. Your profit, overall, on this property would be $80,000.Very few property investments can be made in this day and age that almost guarantee a profit. In the event that the homeowner is able to make repayment, you have realized a profit of 12% to 24% on your investment. In the event that the homeowner does not repay you within a reasonable amount of time (generally, no more than one year) you can sell the property and make a profit of whatever you get above the unpaid taxes you purchased at the tax lien certificate, less foreclosure costs like the example above.The profit potential of foreclosing and selling the property is astounding because you, basically, acquired it for whatever was owed in property taxes when you purchased the tax lien certificate.