Today and for the next few weeks, I want to focus on some revenue streams for real estate investors. There are many ways to make money in real estate besides buying, renting, and selling houses and real estate. Today, I want to focus on purchase tax liens. Let me qualify what I say as I begin by saying that I have never purchased tax liens though I have been to a tax auction and do not consider myself an expert in that real of real estate investing.
As I am sure you know, all government enitities levy taxes against their citizens. These tax monies are then used to pay for community infrastructure (e.g. roads, parks, water lines, etc.)… schools… and social programs (e.g. food stamps, etc.) One of the ways that the government receives tax money is levying taxes on real estate. When taxes are not paid on real estate, the government has the right to seize the property. (As an aside, my Dad was a city tax collector for 7 years many years ago and I can recall him doing that.) Though the way that delinquent property taxes is dealt with differs from state to state, one of the ways that some states is deal with delinquent property taxes is through having a tax sale. At this sale, the audience have the chance to pay the taxes on the property to the government. In return for paying the taxes, the successful buyer receives interest that is paid by the property owner once they finally pay the taxes.
The counties of the state of South Carolina have delinquent tax sales usually once a year. (You can check out the website of counties for more information.) At the tax sale, the person that bids the highest amount for the taxes due pays the taxes to the government enity. The property owner has up to one year to pay the property taxes. The amount of interest they pay depends on when they pay the property taxes during that year. If they wait to 9 to 12 months after the sale, they will have pay 12% in interest. Though in South Carolina you do not have access to the real estate during that period, you do receive up to 12% interest on the money you have paid for the taxes. This is a good, safe investment for real estate investors to invest their money. There is one caution, however, to real estate investors: make sure you do “due deligience” on the property you will seek to pay taxes on.
On the internet, there are a number of web sites that will give you more information. You can also check with your local county tax office for more information. Happy buying and selling.-- Randy Wall, Lora Lee Properties