Have you ever heard of tax liens and tax deeds? They are two popular investment opportunities when it comes to tax investing.
A tax lien certificate is a legal claim placed on a property by the government if the owner fails to pay their taxes. This means that investors can profit from buying tax lien properties at auction – these certificates earn you a return based on tax rates, plus penalty interest and fees.
Tax deeds are different from tax liens in one significant way – tax deed sales are an actual sale of the property by the government if delinquent tax payments remain unpaid for a certain amount of time. A tax deed sale is when a piece of property or real estate is sold at a public auction to redeem delinquent taxes owed on that property. These sales occur through competitive auctions where interested bidders can purchase tax liens at a discount and make an immediate return upon completing their bid.
Many investors are drawn to tax lien investing due to the (relatively) quick returns when it comes to tax deed vs. tax lien. However, tax deed investing can be a lucrative option that requires little upfront investment and offers the potential for high yield. Investing in tax liens and tax deeds transfers a substantial amount of risk compared to other types of real estate investing, making it an appealing option for people looking to build long-term wealth with real estate investments. But many would-be investors need to understand their differences or how they work. Do your research before diving into either one!
The Difference Between A Tax Lien And A Tax Deed
Tax Lien Basics
Tax liens are imposed by local governments when taxpayers fail to pay their taxes on time. Once a lien has been assessed, the government will begin collecting interest on the unpaid taxes until they are paid in full. Investors can purchase these liens at auction, earning a significant return on their investment if the taxpayer pays off their balance within a specific timeframe. It’s important to note that tax liens do not provide investors with ownership rights; they simply guarantee that the investor will be repaid if the underlying debt is settled.
Tax Deed Basics
Unlike tax liens, tax deeds give investors full ownership rights over a property if they win an auction held by the local government. In most cases, these auctions are held when homeowners fail to pay their property taxes for an extended period and cannot catch up with payments. If investors can purchase a property at auction for less than its market value, they stand to make a profit when it comes time to resell it. The downside of investing in tax deeds is that there is no guarantee that you will recoup your initial investment; instead, you are taking on all of the risk associated with purchasing real estate without any assurance of success.
How To Buy Tax Deed Property, Or How To Buy A Tax Lien Property?
If you’re looking to get into tax lien or tax deed investing, it can be a great way to make money, but you need to know the difference between tax liens and tax deeds and how to purchase them in your state. In some states, tax liens are sold at public auctions, while tax deeds are obtained through a simple purchase from the county tax collector. It varies by state, so research for your particular jurisdiction is necessary. If buying tax deed properties is your goal, then title searches should be done before obtaining the tax deed to ensure that you’ll have a valid title on the property after making payment. With tax liens investing, you should check the laws of the state where the property is located to confirm the applicable interest rate set by statute, redemptions rights (if any), and foreclosure process requirements. All in all, tax lien or tax deed investments offer the potential for high returns but require extensive knowledge of local tax laws and procedures, so be sure to do your homework before entering either investment avenue.
The Benefits Of Owning A Tax Lien Or Tax Deed
- Tax lien and deed investing are great ways to invest in real estate without spending much money.
- Tax lien and deed investing can be a great way to earn a return on your investment, as the interest rates on these investments are often much higher than the rate of return on other investments, such as stocks or bonds.
- Buying tax deed and tax lien can be a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, as they offer a unique investment opportunity that is not correlated with the stock market.
- Tax liens and tax deeds can be a great way to get started in real estate investing, as they require less capital than other real estate investments.
- Tax liens and tax deeds can be a great way to generate income, as they can be sold or leased to another party for a profit.
Tax liens and tax deeds can be a great way to protect your assets, as they can be used to pay off debts or liabilities if you are ever sued.
The Risks Of Owning A Tax Lien Or Tax Deed
You may End up Owning the Property
If you purchase a tax lien, you may own the property if the owner does not pay off the debt within the redemption period. Tax liens give you the right to foreclose on the property if the debt is unpaid. While this may seem like a good thing, it can be a very risky proposition. First, you may not be able to sell the property for enough to cover the outstanding debt, meaning you would be out of pocket. Additionally, if the property is in poor condition, you will be responsible for any necessary repairs.
The Debt may be much Larger than you Expect
When you purchase a tax lien, you are responsible for paying off the entire debt, plus interest and penalties. This can add up to a significant amount of money, particularly if the original debt was large. Additionally, if the property is sold at auction, you would only receive a portion of the sale price, meaning you could still owe money.
The Property may have Liens Against It
Another risk of purchasing tax liens is that there may be other liens against the property that you are not aware of. For example, there could be a mortgage or home equity loan that takes priority over your tax lien. This means that even if you foreclose on the property, you may not receive any of the proceeds from the sale, as they would pay off the other lien holders first.
You Could end up in Court
If you attempt to foreclose on a property with a tax lien, the owner may contest it in court. This could lead to a lengthy and expensive legal battle you may not win. Even if you do win, it could take months or even years to get your money back, during which time you would be responsible for paying any associated legal fees.
How to Sell your Property if you Own a Tax Lien or Tax Deed
Selling your tax lien or tax deed property doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Depending on the tax lien vs. tax deed laws in the state where you own the property, there are multiple ways to approach selling it. Buying tax deeds through the county tax assessor office is an option for tax deed states. Similarly, for tax lien states, you may be able to purchase a tax lien certificate from the county and potentially buy the related properties from their owners. Neither of these processes requires complex real estate knowledge and can be easily done with a little research and patience. So if you’re considering selling your tax lien or tax deed property, rest assured – options are available to make this exciting venture relatively straightforward and stress-free!
Let’s Summarize- a Quick Recap
- Tax liens and tax deeds are two popular investment options for those looking to build long-term wealth with real estate investments, but there are key differences between the two.
- A tax lien certificate is a legal claim on a property by the government when the owner fails to pay their taxes. Investors can purchase these liens at auction, potentially earning a return based on tax rates, penalty interest, and fees.
- Tax deed sales involve selling the property if delinquent payments remain unpaid for a certain time. These sales occur through competitive auctions where bidders can purchase the liens at a discount.
- Researching state laws is essential before investing in tax lien or tax deed opportunities, as each has its benefits and risks.
- Potential benefits of owning a tax lien or tax deed include earning returns on investment, diversifying portfolios, requiring less capital than other types of real estate investments, generating income from the resale or lease of properties, and protecting assets from liabilities.
- Risks include owning the property when the lien is not paid off; debt may be larger than anticipated; potential for liens against the property; and potential for court battles.