Learn How to Buy Tax Lien Properties Online
Once you’ve learned how to purchase tax liens online, you can invest in tax lien properties from anyplace where you have an internet connection.
In today’s modern, technologically advanced world, you can do anything online, including purchasing tax lien certificates. Once upon a time that was not the case. As little as 10 to 15 years ago, if you wanted to purchase a tax lien in Florida, you had to travel to Florida.
Now that the world of tax lien investing is conveniently at your fingertips, how do you go about making such a purchase?
You may watch the video above, or if you prefer, read the transcript below.
Where to Find Tax Liens for Sale
Where do you find tax liens? Almost every state does this at the county level. Therefore, the first thing you will do is visit the county website on which you wish to purchase the tax lien.
There you will find the tax lien sale announcement, auction rules, and list of tax lien certificates for sale. County tax liens can also be found in the local newspaper throughout the year.
Some counties may have as many as 40,000 or 100,000 tax liens on their list. Whether the list is large or small, you will want to do your due diligence before purchasing a tax lien. You will want to research the properties to narrow the list down to the ones that meet your specifications.
Researching Tax Lien Properties
Each county posts to its website daily to update the online search information you use to find the exact property tax lien you’re looking for.
Once you gain access to the county website, you can input the tax lien number and begin your search.
Most property information across the United States is public information, meaning you can look up any property and learn more about it. You can find out how many bedrooms a property has, view photos of the property, and more.
Note that photos on the internet could be old and not displaying the property’s current condition. You will want to view the physical property before purchasing the property tax lien. If you can’t go, have someone do it for you.
A recent development at tax lien sales is that more counties are beginning to accept credit cards. After acquiring the tax lien you want, you can use your credit card to process the payment when you’re ready to make the purchase. But be wary; not all county websites allow this.
Learn More About How to Purchase Tax Liens
In conclusion, before purchasing tax liens online, it’s important to do your homework.
After all, tax liens are secured by real estate. If you could potentially end up with the property, you’ll want to know everything about it. The vast majority of tax liens are redeemed, however, there is always a small chance that you could end up owning the property. Therefore, you want to ensure that the property is worth it.
Most tax lien research can be done online these days. You can find a list of tax lien properties on the county website, and each property on the list will have a lien ID number that you can use to research the property.
Purchasing tax liens can done online as well. Most counties hold online auctions, and you can do your bidding over the internet.
How to purchase tax liens online varies according to county. Therefore, it’s important to know the rules and not assume that the rules for one county will also apply to the county next door.
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Read the Video Transcript of How to Purchase Tax Liens Online
Randy: Hey there, we’re sitting here with Ted Thomas again, who is the authority on tax lien certificates and tax auctions and such, knows a lot about real estate and investing in it. We’re talking about tax liens right now, Ted, and is this something you can do online? Can you purchase a tax lien online?
Ted: Oh, absolutely. Now, when I started, we had to go to the county, whatever county it was. So if you lived in Florida, you might have to go to Oklahoma and go to the county, or if you lived in California, you went to Washington, and so on. So you had to go to different states.
Ted (cont’d): Now, in almost all states and all counties, this is all done at the county level, because the state makes the rules, and then the county implements them. So property taxes are always owed at the county level. So these would be county taxes. And you can go right to the county website. Now, there are over 3,000 counties in the United States.
Ted (cont’d): So all 3,000 counties, the majority of them are online now, they’ve been coming online this last 10 years, and now they’re getting sophisticated enough to actually do it online. So you can buy thousands of tax lien certificates. For example, take Cook County, Chicago. Years ago, I went to the auction. It took 35 days to have the auction, because they had 100,000 tax certificates-
Ted: And they had to get up and read it on a three-by-five card. They would read it. All right, now it’s all online, so they can get it all done in four or five days online. You can just go online and buy tax lien certificates. You buy all you want.
Randy: So, if I’m doing that, how exactly does it work? I mean, first of all, I’ve got to find, obviously, their website. And then, is there just a list of all this? And then, just take me through step by step.
Ted: Okay, step by step. So every county is a separate entity. In other words, it’s like its own corporation. So that county, when they have a tax lien, someone that doesn’t pay, they post it on their website. It says defaulted tax lien certificate, and every time someone doesn’t pay, they put it on that website.
Ted (cont’d): So you could go to the website. And then once a year, usually multiple times a year, I’m just reaching on my desk here. I’m just picking up a newspaper, which I’m going to show you in just a second. Multiple times a year, they’ll publish it in the newspaper. So I’m holding up Jacksonville, Florida, and Jacksonville, Florida had 35,000 tax lien certificates. They put them all in the news. There are no pictures in here.
Randy: Wow. Okay.
Ted: There are 35,000 tax liens. That’s just in Duval County. It’s just one county, okay, but there are going to be well over 1,500 counties. So you can call the county and buy this newspaper, or you can do it online, whichever way you want to do it. They’re going to publish that. Now, this is what I-
Randy: What I understand, when I’m online and I’m shopping, and I see something and say, “I’m kind of interested,” what exactly am I doing? Am I just clicking on that? And what happens next? Just so people can understand.
Ted: Oh, yeah, okay. What they’re going to put online is they’re going to put the property address.
Ted: Now, I’m not talking 123 Main Street. They just use numbers. 004-555-777, all right? That’s a tax lien number, all right? So now you type that number in, whoosh, all the information comes up on that property, everything about it.
Ted (cont’d): Sometimes they have a picture of it. Sometimes they’ll tell you how many bedrooms, how many baths. It’ll tell you long driveway, short driveway, you know, 2,000 square feet. Every piece of information on every property in the United States is public knowledge. I can look up anybody’s property and see what it’s worth.
Randy: And then if I like that piece of property and I want it, I’d use a credit card? I mean, literally, what do I do, then? I’m online.
Ted: Well, now they’re even, that’s amazing you said that, because they didn’t do credit cards until just this past year. So now, in many of the counties, now, I’m not saying all, but keep in mind that we’re talking about 3,000-plus counties. They all make their own rules. I don’t make the rules. I’m just teaching you.
Ted (cont’d): All right, so you can ask them, “Can I buy it with a credit card?” “Yes.” I bought, if you understand what a colonial house is, that’s a big house, I bought them on five acres, big oak trees, big, huge house-
Randy: Okay, yeah.
Ted: I bought those with credit cards. I bought them with credit cards.
Randy: So in other words, if you want to, you could go shopping for a tax lien right now. Why go to eBay and find old dusty furniture or something? Go buy a tax lien. But actually, I’m sure there’s more to it that you need to understand before you just jump in and buy something, right?
Ted: Yeah, we’re kind of oversimplifying.
Randy: Well, that’s okay.
Ted: I’m holding this newspaper up in front of my face. That one county, that’s Tampa, Florida, that’s over on the Gulf side of Florida? 40,000 certificates available at some of the auctions.
Randy: But I’ll bet there are things you need to know about each of those properties that’s pretty important before you make that decision. And I know we’re going to be talking more about this, and you already have some videos on your website, about some of the things you need to think about. You don’t just jump up and dig out your credit card, swipe it, and…
Ted: Well, you know, you said it, you hit it right on the head. You say to the woman, “Don’t marry a guy unless you’ve seen him.” Don’t buy the tax lien certificate unless you see it.
Randy: Okay, that’s a great piece of advice from Ted right here. So you want to head over right now to learn more, head to tedthomas.com, and plenty of videos, and again, everything’s sort of broken up, nice little informational chunks. You can learn more. Head over there right now, and we’ll see you there when you get there.
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