Sunday, May 6, 2012


By Rob Watson

Over the years wife and I have gone to several "Tax Sales". If you are not familiar, the local government offers, for sale, a lien on real property, to cover the unpaid taxes on that property. Eventually, the real owner comes along and pays the taxes plus penalties plus interest. As the holder of the lien, I will pay the taxes and the penalties. When the owner pays up, I get all my money back and the interest. The local government handles all the paperwork and sends me a check. Some places just offer the liens to a local bank and regular folks don't get the chance for them.

In the rare instance that the owner actually abandons the property, I would pay the taxes due for the period, usually 5-10 years, then get a tax deed for the property. After some court costs and lawyers fees the property becomes mine. I have actually gotten a property... beginning in the tax year 1997... next year (2013) I may have full ownership rights... 120 acres stuck off in the Wyoming mountain wilderness.

Here in State, the process is different. County will not offer property for sale, for unpaid taxes, for ten years. They apparently hound the original owner for their money for those ten years. At the tax sale you bid on the property. The highest bidder gets the property, and after the county attorney processes the paperwork I become the owner... no hassel, no additional paper work, no courts, no lawyers.

"The Ranch"

Five years ago, Wife went, unsupervised, to a tax sale here in Town. Her goal was to buy three city lots at the corner of town, a total of nearly 3/4 of an acre. (which she accomplished for the paultry sum of $1,000). Most of the properties went for $50 to $100. This was sold so high because the owners of the house next door bid against her. Those who follow me on Facebook will recognize it as my pumpkin patch and my current wheat field. For an additional $657 she bought a small house. ( $600 bid and $57 processing fees) And, therein lies the story.

One of my regular readers complains my stories are too long, so... to be continued.

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