Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where is the Best Place to Invest?

Where is the best place to invest in tax lien certificates or tax deeds? Most people are concerned about which lien states have the highest interest rates and which deed states start bidding at back taxes. I believe that the best place to start investing is in your own backyard. I think that it’s best to invest in an area that you know, because you’ll know what the property values are and you’ll know what to look out for. Each state has different problems that you have to be aware of, especially if you’re purchasing raw land.

In Pennsylvania where I invest in tax deeds, for example, I have to worry about whether a property will perk or not. If I buy a lot in a deed sale that doesn’t perk I won’t be able to get a septic design approved and won’t be able to build on the property. Its resale value will be a fraction of the price that I could get for it if it had an approved septic design. In another state you might have other concerns. In dry states, like Arizona for example, you may have to be concerned about water rights.

Don’t be too concerned about which state has the highest interest rate. In states with high interest rates, the interest is typically bid down extremely low. What you should be concerned about is will you have the opportunity to pay the subsequent taxes, and will you get the maximum interest rate on your subs, and are there other penalties that you are entitled to.

In New Jersey, for example the interest rate is typically bid down to 0% and then premium can be bid as well. The reason that investors do this is because they know that once they have the lien, they can pay the subsequent taxes and get the maximum interest rate on their “subs,” which is 18%, and they will also receive a penalty on the certificate amount of the lien.

In Florida where the maximum interest rate is also 18%, the interest is typically bid down to as low as ¼ %. In Florida you are not allowed to pay the subsequent taxes, actually you can pay them, but you do not receive any interest on subsequent taxes, nor will you get any subsequent tax payments back should the lien redeem. However, in Florida there is a minimum penalty of 5%, so if you bid less than 5%, you get the penalty instead of the interest rate that you bid.

Don’t be too concerned about which deed states start bidding at back taxes. The more important thing to be concerned about for deed states is, “what will the competition typically bid the price up to.” In some states, real estate is so valuable and the demand outweighs the supply of affordable homes. In these states (California, Florida, and the Northeast States) any property with a home or business on it will be bid up close to market value. Remember, tax sales are auctions and sometimes people get carried away at actions and pay too much money. Online auctions can be especially competitive, and may California and Florida counties have tax sales online.

To find out about tax sales in your county or municipality go to a sale and see what it’s like. Talk to the tax collector, or whoever is responsible for conducting the tax sale in your area to find out more about how to register for the sale and what the procedures and requirements are for bidding. If you need help determining whom you need to contact, you can consult my State Guide.

My State Guide is available as an e-book along with another e-book on how to invest in tax liens. Both books are available for $39.95. My state guide is different from the other resources that you can get online, because I don’t just give you the type of investment, interest rate and redemption period for each state. I tell you who is responsible for the tax sales in each state, so that you know who you have to contact, and I tell you whether or not you can get information online and give you a link to that State’s website with links to the counties.

What if you live in a deed state and you want to invest in tax liens? I’m in Pennsylvania, which is a deed state, but I’m close to New Jersey, which is a lien state, so I do my tax lien investing there. If you’re not close enough to travel to a state that sell tax liens, is there a state that you vacation in or do business in that sell tax liens? If there is maybe you can right off your next vacation if you go to a tax sale? If not, then you may have no other alternative than to invest online. There are only 2 tax lien states that I’m aware of that have online sales – Arizona and Florida. Arizona sales take place in February and March each year, and Florida lien sales (Florida has both lien and deed sales) are in May and June. Be very careful to do your due diligence on these properties. I don’t advise investing online unless you can go look at the properties or you have someone that can look at them for you.

Here are four action steps that you can take right now to find the best place for you to invest.

Call the tax collector and find out what happens in your state. Do they sell tax
liens, tax deeds, or redeemable tax deeds?
Go to a sale and see what it’s like.
If you are in a deed state and you want to invest in tax liens, then find out what
states sell tax liens, if you need help with this get my State Guide.
Find out about online tax sales at http://www.bid4assets.com.

Bid4Assets has mostly deed auctions, In order to find tax lien auctions online; you will have to go to the county’s web site. For this I recommend going through the links on my State Guide.

If you take the action steps above, then you’ll have a good idea of what state is the best for you to invest in. And if you read my State Guide, you’ll have a good idea of what happens at tax sales in each state. If you need step-by-step information on how to get started, I have a $7.00 Special Report on the 7 Steps to Building Your Profitable Tax Lien Portfolio that is available at http://yourprofitabletaxlienportfolio.com.

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