Real Estate Investing: Tax Certificates

Investors have used tax certificates to make money for a long time now as investing in tax certificates is a secure investment as the investors have the right to foreclose on the property if the home owner is delinquent in repaying the lien or the deed. It is a common practice for almost all the states to hold tax sales as a way of collecting the arrears in payment from delinquent homeowners. The homeowner is given sufficient warning (for about a year and half) and if they still do not pay the arrears, the tax authority will inform the homeowner and list the property in their tax sale list as well as publish it in a newspaper a few weeks before the sale.

Tax sale auctions are held annually or semi- annually, quarterly or monthly and the tax authority makes up a certificate lien or deed, as applicable in that state for amount in arrears and sells it. The investor who bought the tax certificate must be repaid within a certain period called the redemption period, which may depend on the state. Should the homeowner fail to repay the investor, no matter what the value of the tax certificate the deeded rights to the property is handed over to the investor. Should the homeowner redeem the tax arrear, the investor is again assured of a high interest ranging from 16% to 25%, which is a high return on the money invested.

Types Of Tax Certificates: Tax Lien Certificates; This system is practiced in about 18 states. The county governments sell only their right to the tax lien or their tax claim on the property. This lien is a high priority lien, so the property can be assumed clear and free from any other claims. It does not provide full ownership like a tax deed certificate does, but is considered a low-risk investment with high yields, as the certificate is secured by the title deeds to the property. The county takes care of the redemption or foreclosure hence is hassle free. The lien does not subject the investor to landowner liability. The lien is made up of the tax arrears, penalties, assessment and other charges.

Tax Deed Certificates; This system is followed in 17 states where the full ownership and possession right is sold to the investor. The investor has to pay a fraction of the market value of the property to get possession. He has the rights of the landlord and can move into the property, possess or occupy it.

Investors have gained a fortune by just investing modest amounts in these tax certificates. Some people may invest as little as $8,000 and own a property worth $150,000! Therefore, real estate investing in tax certificates is a win-win situation, if carefully monitored. There are online firms that offer services and products to help you in real estate investing through tax certificates.

Alexander Gordon is a writer for – The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.

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