Tax Liens For Beginners: What You Need to Know

If you need to diversify your investment portfolio and have a solid understanding of how real estate works, tax lien investing may be a viable strategy to consider. Tax liens are a type of investment that can offer high returns, but they also come with some risks that beginners should be aware of before getting started. Here’s what you need to know about tax lien investing for beginners.

When a property owner fails to pay their property taxes, the government can place a tax lien on the property. This gives the government the right to collect the unpaid taxes from the property owner, and it also allows investors to purchase the tax lien. If the property owner doesn’t pay off the tax lien within a certain period of time, the investor has the right to foreclose on the property.

Investing in tax liens can be a great way to earn high returns, but there are some risks to be aware of. One of the biggest risks is that you could end up owning a property that you don’t want. If the property owner doesn’t pay off the tax lien and you have to foreclose on the property, you’ll become the owner of the property. This means you’ll be responsible for any repairs or maintenance that needs to be done, and you may have trouble selling the property if it’s in poor condition.

Another risk to consider is that tax liens are often auctioned off to the highest bidder, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the auction. If you do win an auction, you’ll also need to pay the full amount of the tax lien plus interest, which can be expensive.

Tax Liens vs. Tax Deeds: What’s the Difference?

With tax deeds, investors bid on the property title instead of on the rate of return. If they bid and win, the tax deed is transferred to them. At the end of the redemption period, the investor may be able to pay off the delinquency and assume ownership of the property. In other words, they don’t gain the right to collect interest payments but are banking on being able to sell the property later.

Tax deeds can be a great investment for those looking to make a profit on the sale of property. However, it is important to remember that there is always some risk involved in any investment, and tax deeds are no different. Before investing in tax deeds, be sure to do your research and understand the process and risks involved.

Some Cautions

With so many variables at play, tax lien investing as a private, individual investor can be pretty uncertain. Once you get to the point of locking down an interest rate through an auction, of course, you have a solid idea for how much you can make. Along the way to that point, however, there are lots of potential pitfalls. Finding the time to investigate several options in-depth – and knowing how to do it properly – is a tall order for most. On top of that, many big players, including money managers and huge investment firms, have entered the tax lien investment world and made it much more difficult for private individuals to make good money since they drive down rates of return through sheer volume.

This is why we recommend working with one of our coaches with over 3 decades of experience, to make sure you get advice that relates to your situation personally. 

Despite the risks, tax lien investing can be a great way to earn high returns if you understand how it works and are comfortable with the risks. If you’re thinking about getting started in tax lien investing, be sure to do your research and talk to a financial advisor to make sure it’s right for you.

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