Do you actually know what you’re buying at a tax sale?

by Chris on February 1, 2012

When property is sold for unpaid taxes, the general rule is “buyer beware.” More specifically (and in legalese) the sheriff is selling the property without warranty, but what does that tell you? This means that the sheriff is making absolutely no guarantees as to the property itself. This means the buyer is risking everything: the title could be wrong, the property description could be wrong, the property may not even exist! Also keep in mind that not all property sold for taxes is real estate. In some instances movables such as trailers, machinery, coolers, or pipes are assessed ad valorem and sold at the auction. Ultimately you could be purchasing a retention pond, a sewerage treatment, or a canal bottom, there are an infinite number of permutations of your risk. The truth is, there is no way to know what you are actually buying, the only certainty is the sheriff will take your money.

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