Tax sale properties in Canada can be a worthwhile investment for investors looking at passive income and the chance to potentially buy real estate at a significant discount. While a Google search will reveal many tax sale properties in jurisdictions across Canada, it’s not as easy as a quick scan-through and picking one. After you find available tax sale properties, selecting the right home to bid on is the next challenge.
Here is everything to know about how to find tax-sale properties.
1. Find Tax Sale Home Listings
You can find tax sale listings on Tax Sales Hub. It may be also be possible to browse them by doing a quick Google search, browsing the first few pages of query results, or looking at social media groups. While some sites don’t update regularly, others do. Find the sites offering active tax sale home listings and bookmark them for the future.
You may not find an appealing tax sale property today, but even if you don’t, checking back, you may discover the perfect opportunity for you a month from now or later in the year.
2. Register and Login
Some sites require you to create a membership or account. If a property catches your eye and you want to submit a bid electronically, you may prefer to create an account and be ready.
Especially if a site offers a tax sale property by auction, you want to be registered and ensure your bid goes as intended. Fortunately, not all sites require a membership or a membership to purchase a tax-sale property.
3. Look At Photos And Maps
Listed tax sale properties have very little documentation, but there is always some. Be sure to examine what photos and maps are included. Do a quick search on Google Maps to see what you can.
If it’s within driving distance, drive out to examine a tax sale property before bidding. While you can’t walk through a tax sale property, you can examine it outside.
4. All Tax Sale Properties Are Sold AS-IS
You are not able to view or tour the property. Attempt it without authorization from the property owner, and it would be considered trespassing. Furthermore, all tax-sale properties are sold AS-IS. A municipality does not guarantee a tax-sale home is in good condition.
This is why it’s a must to do as much research as possible to get a full view – as well as you can! – of the upside of any given property. Some tax-sale homes are poor investments, while others offer an amazing return.
5. Understanding the Risks of A Tax Sale Property
Tax sale properties have their risks. As this is not a traditional real estate transaction, an investor shouldn’t expect to receive the same information they would if they were buying a standard home.
You could encounter tenants that refuse to move, irreparable damage indoors that is not visible, and a range of difficulties that only present once you claim ownership. The research you do beforehand is important to determine what tax sale property is worth the risk.
6. Examine Tax Sale Property Numbers
Many places offering tax sale properties will provide statistics on the property in question. Assessed value, square footage or acre size, annual taxes, zoning info, and possibly more. Take this information and research what other properties in the neighbourhood or region are like. Do some comparative analysis. You want to find a property within your budget, scope, and investment expectations.
7. Conduct a Title Search With A Lawyer
As you find tax sale properties, especially if this is your first time, you want to verify there are no mortgages or liens associated with the property. Some are automatically removed when a property goes up for a tax sale, but not all are.
While it’s costly, a title search through a lawyer will show everything you need to know about any claims made against a property that could impact future ownership.
8. How To Make A Tax Sale Property Bid
A tax sale property does not use a realtor. There is very little to a tax sale property as the municipality that owns it simply wants it gone. The sales process isn’t complex.
The property goes to the highest bidder. How you bid on a tax sale property is either by auction or public tender. Look at the site on which the properties are listed for an in-depth explanation of what you must do to submit a bid.
9. How Long Does A Tax Sale Process Last
After you have found the best tax sale home for you and want to bid, the process can last for an extended period. Yes, there is a deadline for making bids that must be followed.
After that, the property’s previous owner still has an extended period in which they can pay the cancellation price plus interest and regain the tax sale property, effectively cancelling any claim you have on the home.