Source: KBTX News
Author: Daniel Armbruster
Millions of dollars are owed to Brazos County in unpaid property taxes, and while it may be a bad thing for the county it could be good for anyone looking to buy property. That’s because many of those properties will be sold for less than they’re worth.
Jim Davis, a property buyer for Habitat for Humanity, says he got quite a deal when he bought a tax delinquent property.
“Most of the lots in College Station that are large enough to build on will be appraised at $20,000 up,” said Davis, who paid $15,000 for his latest buy, located in the 500 block of Holleman Dr. Davis paid for the property at a Tax Delinquent Sale by Brazos County.
In fact, $6 million is owed to Brazos County in back-taxes for real estate property. In an attempt to get the the money, the county is holding auctions to sell the property.
“The goal is to get the properties back on the tax rolls…but there are times when a situation gets to a point when the taxes are reaching the value of the property,” said Kristeen Roe, Brazos County Tax Collector.
When taxes reach the value of the property then that property is put up for auction. The minimum bid is usually how much is owed in taxes, and if it doesn’t sell then that’s when the property is taken off the tax rolls and referred to as “struck off”. Buyers can typically get a deal on ‘struck off’ properties.
“Once it’s struck off all the other rules don’t apply. It’s an opportunity for people to get a piece of property that they’re not paying full price for,” said Roe.
Some people upgrade the properties for development while others build a home. The owner of the property has up until the time of the Delinquent Tax Sale to pay back the taxes and keep their property. There’s an incentive for other residents to have the properties back on the tax rolls, because if they stay off too long the county may increase property taxes on everyone else to make up the difference.