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Checking Out Properties Before a Tax Auction

Checking Out the Properties before a Tax Auction

Make sure you really want a property before you bid on it at a tax auction. The best way to be certain is to check out the property beforehand.

Youíll make it a lot easier on yourself if you take the time before a tax auction to check out each of the available properties on the property list. The property list contains the need to know elements for each property that is scheduled to come up at auction:

ē Item number
ē Minimum bid
ē Parcel number
ē Property address
ē Assessed value
ē Legal description

All of this is important information. It provides the basics to finding the property in order to check it out, plus what its worth and how much youíll need for the minimum bid at auction. Before you head out to even look at the properties, look at the list critically. Cross off any properties with minimum bids that are out of your range. If a property isnít of the type you are looking to purchase, say a house, then cross it off too. This will save you from spending a lot of time wandering around to get a look at the property.

County assessorís offices will usually be very willing to accommodate those looking at properties when they come in. Some offices will even have the maps of the county sitting out for investors when they come in around tax auction time, so thereís no need to go back and forth pulling out a bunch of different maps just to find where each of the properties are. There can be other investors in the office too. Sometimes there is a healthy amount of competition and the occasional investor may try to convince you that the properties going to auction are worthless.

You can also get regular city and county maps and mark out the locations of the properties on the property list. This visual map will help you to plan your route when heading out to look at the properties. It may also save you a little gas too.

Going out to the properties is one of the best ways to see for yourself if the property is worth bidding on. Take pictures of properties you are interested in so you can have a visual of the property when it comes up at auction. This can be done with a Polaroid camera or even taking digital pictures and uploading them to a laptop.

Creating your own property journal can be of great help when at the tax auction. In this journal youíll have the property list, and pages of notes with pictures of the properties you are planning to bid on. Its best to have a separate page with each property and its picture. Notes are the thoughts and comments you make when you first look at a property. You may find that itís a real-fixer upper, so you donít want to bid really high. This is the kind of note you want to put in your property journal.

Driving Around to Check Out Tax Auction Properties

The most important part of preparing for a tax auction is checking out the properties on your property list. The best way to do this is to head out for a look at each of the available properties. Here are some tips on just driving around.

Checking out tax auction properties can be really helpful. Youíll be doing some driving around to see what shape the properties are in. Sometimes properties have fire damage, water damage or have been severely neglected and as an investor you will be in good shape to know these pertinent details on a property you intend to bid on. Most of this is done only a few days before the auction is usually not complicated, think of it as a long Sunday drive.

Very importantly, you must give yourself plenty of time to go out and look at the properties on the property list. There can be unexpected delays in getting to an area, especially if its out of state that can really cut into your research time on a property. Knowing what a property looks like can be all of the basis for your decision to bid.

Before you arrive in a new area make sure you have a good mode of transportation, whether you rent a car or drive one in. Sometimes properties are in the outskirts of a country and you may be driving rough gravel roads, dirt roads, or simply roads with lots of potholes. Youíll want to research the properties that you are planning to bid on, if only to get a better idea of what the places look like. Be aware that many car rental companies wonít rent cars to those under the age of twenty-five. Youíll need a current I.D. and enough money for a security deposit plus the rental fees on the car.

You may want to get four wheel drive vehicle. The weather and the countryside can be difficult at times. Many times the properties in a county will be spread out in literally the four corners of the county. So you will be spending time just driving around.

Save yourself some gas money by getting a good map. Plotting the addresses of properties on a map before the trip can save money and time. There are very detailed local maps available in almost every convenience store. A really good map can be of great benefit in the search for properties. If at all possible look for a map with all of the tax assessorís parcels marked out on it. This kind of map will actually have all the property boundaries in the county drawn out on it. Itís really easy to know where you are, when you are way out in the middle of nowhere. As often happens in the business of researching tax liens.

If you find youíve got your heart set on a property after looking at it, try not to be disappointed if the owner redeems it before the auction. The owner has the option of paying their arrears taxes and penalties even as late as a couple of hours before the auction. There are always more properties and always another tax auction somewhere that youíll find the property to set your heart on.

About the Author: Ted Thomas is a Tax Lien and Deed expert that will teach you how to turn your spare time into handfuls of cold hard cash.
Ted Thomas has taught thousands of people to easily earn huge amounts of money investing in Tax Certificates.
Ted Thomasís help is the inside edge you need to become a successful Tax Certificate Investor, and explode your Retirement Account.
To learn more go to

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