Tax Lien Investing Strategies
- September 13, 2019
In a down economy, are you an investor hoping to capitalize? Purchasing a tax lien in a tax lien sale might be something you should consider. Entirely unfamiliar with tax liens? Determine whether this is an appropriate investment strategy in your particular financial situation with the explanation that follows.
Local municipalities impose tax liens against homeowners who become delinquent on their property taxes in any given year. Since most people who fail to pay their property taxes are also in default on their home mortgages, property tax liens and foreclosures are often intrinsically linked. What this means for the savvy investor is there exists an opportunity to take advantage of tax lien sales in order to earn interest each year on the tax lien that has been purchased. An investor might also potentially be able to take ownership of a property that has gone through foreclosure.
Potential investors should look into the statutory law in the jurisdiction in which they want to purchase, since the process varies from state to state. Investors in most states can be assured a return on their capital and the interest earned on their purchased lien, if the homeowner manages to get caught up on mortgage and property tax payments, thus redeeming the property in question. Just like the time allotted to a homeowner to redeem the property in question, however, the interest rate you can earn varies from state to state.
In the event that a homeowner is unable or unwilling to redeem the property, a practical investor may stand to earn even more; by filing a lawsuit, an investor may seek title to the property in question. This process can often be lengthy, complicated and expensive, but if completed properly, the investor can take official ownership.
Obtaining a tax lien is not without risks, however. Before an investor considers purchasing a tax lien, it is crucial that the property be inspected to ensure any home not only still exists on it but also remains undamaged. An investor should also take measures to verify that the appropriate municipality followed proper statutory guidelines when imposing the tax and lien on the property. Additionally, if the state in which the tax lien was purchased has a redemption period that is longer than a year, an investor should continue to pay the required taxes each year in order to obtain another lien.
As a result, if an investor takes steps to ensure an understanding of the risks and overall process of a tax lien sale, purchasing a tax lien in a tax lien sale can be a wonderful investment strategy. In the end, the key to reaping the investment benefits offered by a tax lien is patience.