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How to Find Tax Delinquent Properties in Your Area

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Are you looking to invest in tax-delinquent properties? These properties are among the most underestimated in real estate. Yet, they are very lucrative if you approach them correctly. They allow investors to own properties below market value. However, they also require more due diligence than most properties. A single mistake could leave you with an overpriced property you have no idea what to do with.

Finding tax-delinquent properties is not as complicated as you think. It’s as simple as visiting your municipality’s website on your phone. However, working with a tax sales expert is a better alternative if you want properties in different cities. 

Remember that finding these properties is only the first step in the process. You must conduct thorough research on each property to ensure it is an excellent investment and develop a bidding strategy. 

This guide will share different ways to find delinquent properties to invest in.

How to Find Good Delinquent Properties

Finding tax-delinquent properties is different from discovering other types of properties. If you wonder how hard it is to locate such properties, the answer might be easy or complicated, depending on who answers the question. As a novice investor, you will likely find the process too difficult. 

However, expert investors like Ted Thomas, who believes tax-delinquent properties are the safest investment in America, will say it’s easy because he has over 30 years of experience making such investments.

Nonetheless, it’s still possible to find good tax-delinquent properties. First, you’ll need to know how to identify such properties using the methods below. Next, research each property to find those worth investing in. Finally, come up with a bidding strategy and wait for the outcome. If you are the lucky bidder, pay the required amount to own. 

Check Local Newspaper

Previously, newspapers were the best way to find delinquent properties. But not so much these days with technological advancement. Nevertheless, every municipality usually publishes a list of all delinquent properties within its jurisdiction a week or several days before the tax sale. The only problem is that these listings are not detailed. You need to call or visit the municipality treasurer’s office for more details. 

Another problem is that although the listing is accurate on the day it is posted, changes can occur within the week, resulting in incorrect information. For instance, in Surrey, delinquent properties are posted in a local newspaper the week before the tax sale. However, if the property owner paid all the accrued taxes and penalties before 10:00 am on the day of the tax sale, the property would be removed from the listing.

Since the municipality publishes the listing in a local newspaper, the information is only accessible to local investors. Investors in another province will likely not get the information. 

Check Municipality Website

This is the most convenient method of finding tax-delinquent properties within a municipality. All provinces and cities in Canada have a website where they publish lists of all delinquent properties. The listing is first published a week before the tax sale but is regularly updated until the morning before the tax sale. 

They will also include all details about the property, like the property address, PIN, minimum bid, and the total taxes owed and interest. Most municipalities offer downloadable lists and GIS maps for visual exploration. 

This method updates tax-delinquent properties. This is important because no investor wants to walk into an auction only to find out the property they wanted is no longer on the listing. 

The only downside is that each municipality only lists properties within its jurisdiction. If you are interested in properties in various cities, you’ll have to check each website, which can be time-consuming. 


Check Property Website Online Listings

Savvy investors know the benefits of a more comprehensive database. That’s why online listings on property websites are the most convenient and popular way to find tax-delinquent properties. 

These websites have a broad database of tax-delinquent properties across various provinces and countries. They also provide detailed information like addresses, tax history, liens, and sometimes even photos. You can narrow your search by location, property type, minimum or maximum price, and other criteria. 

The benefit of using these listings is that the extensive database allows you to find properties in different provinces and municipalities without leaving the website. The only downside is that most require a subscription to access advanced filters or per-property access fees.