Wednesday, February 17, 2016

guest article

GUEST ARTICLE ( article 1 of 2 today )

  Ok I have chimed in several times on how to find cheap land. It is not as hard as you think but it takes some work to find how it is listed in your state and county. Their is land available from 1/10 to 10 acre in this area for back taxes in the city there are thousands of lots that are abandoned or condemned . You would be surprised what is available in populated areas with access to minimum wage jobs or better. Building codes will limit what you can build in these areas but most allow a shed or 2 under x square feet on lots.. In unincorporated areas the codes are not as strict but  check before you buy. It is possible to have an in town lot with a shed and a rural lot with a shed for under 1500 $ in this area, yours may be more but still cheaper than you think. A word of caution if you are going to live small and cheap in a city it must be neat and clean with a cute or quaint factor. Your city and Nabors  don't need to know you stay there at night ,it opens a can of worms you don't want. Spend a little on 6 foot privacy fence around the shed . Remember the old saying " GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NABORS ".
    Ok you want to know how to start finding a place cheap. I assume most states and counties are similar to here in Alabama. Here taxes are due between October 1 and December 31. If you pay them before march 15 your penalized 1% plus 5 $ . Unpaid property taxes then get listed in the county paper for 3 weeks on April first and set for a sale between may 5 and 28th at public auction. Now this is not an outright sale it is a tax lien . I DON'T DO tax liens . Now to be fair you can luck up on a real cheap property if you very lucky. A tax lien is an investors tool to earn high interest  12% in Alabama. 95% of tax liens are repaid in the 3 year wait with interest. Now if a vacant property you want is going to be sold and you are willing to wait 3 years have at it. it work out like this ,tax 84$   listing and auction fee 66$ total 150$ +84+84 =318$ and a 3 year wait. Remember at any time the original owner can reclaim by paying his taxes, fees and interest. Every state has different time lines and interest rates some don't grant deed for 5 to 8 years . Check before you act and NEVER buy occupied property its WRONG ,do your research !!!!!
     What I have done is over the counter deeds. This is where unsold tax liens wind up held by a states property assessor's office. If a parcel's taxes isn't sold at action it is transferred to the state. They have lists for every county in the state. If a property was unsold at a 2012 tax sale the state will sell it with a tax deed because the 3 years is expired. If it was unsold in 2013 or 2014 even 2015 you can buy a lien that if not paid becomes a tax deed after the 3rd year . I started this as a way to get my children out of my house. Since September I have bought 3 tax deeds and 1 lien and 1 mistake lien ( The mistake was a trailer occupied we thought it was the vacant lot next door). the 3 deed total 6 acres 1 house and 1 trailer in bad shape. The lien is 1 acre and trailer and matures in 2017.The total spent 7300$ for all . The assets value 90,000+. Value of a child free home ;).
    The place to start is with a county GIS map it normally part of you county assessors web site.
Next is the state property list and request to bid form.
If this doesn't net anything that interest you go back to the GIS map and look for old home or mobile home parcels. They are easy to spot in the country their an acre or so and cut out of larger parcels. Most maps list owner name and mailing address. Drive out and look over several don't be shy go ask if they would sell, you have been told no before and you may hear yes .Be honest you may work a deal.
 ok legal disclaimer I am not an attorney or investment adviser each state is different do you own research . This is what I have done in my state your mileage will vary!!!!!


  1. The government does sell land, even land that is not tax sale land, for good prices. Usually there is an auction or competitive biding process for it, but that is also a good indicator of how vulnerable to being taxed by appreciating value or being too close to town the land is.
    So far, I have been the only bidder on any of the properties I tried for. Some of the land is mostly inaccessible, and some is inaccessible some of the time, but that just means that I don't get to many looky-lou's driving past or complaining to the tax assesor.

    1. Kind of strange, my 4 miles from any power pole/no neighbors for 4 miles, 13 miles from town property is a higher assessed value than my 2/3 closer to town, closer to county maintained road lot.

    2. Are the 2 properties zoned differently?

    3. Size, scenery, can also figure in to assessed value - no reason not to challenge the assessment though.
      from the road my one property looks like nothing but cactus covered hillsides and tumble weed catching brush. But up into the land there are places with a nice view, and some nicely lush areas that can be turned into low watering garden spaces.