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Tax Lien Certificates - $4,500 in 3 Weeks

by Mike Melzer, East Central Florida   

This is a real estate investing success story form a part-time "oldie" who finally found that little diamond in the rough. The opportunity came from my involvement in tax lien certificates.

I found this to be a great way to get my real estate investing fix and still keep my full-time job, to be around the house on evenings and weekends to raise my three young girls, and keep my wife happy. I have been purchasing these certificates on vacant land only for three years.

One day, I received a summons at the front door. It was for notice of a foreclosure on sixteen of my tax certificate properties. The foreclosure was by the county for a potable water line assessment that was not paid. At first I thought the worst--that my investment would be wiped out.

After calling the county attorney and learning my investment was safe, I began to investigate a way to acquire these properties prior to foreclosure. I sent out about thirty letters (the summons included the property owners address). On average about $2,000 to $3,000 was owed to pay the water assessment and back taxes. Assessed value is about $9,000 (Market value about $11,000).

On Friday, December 3rd, I received a call from an area builder that wanted to buy one for $9,800. The same day I negotiated a purchase price with the owner for $5,000.

On Monday, December 6th, I had received via fax a signed agreement to purchase the property. (I prepared it because my attorney was on vacation for three weeks.) An hour later I signed a contract to sell for $9,800.

On December 29th, I paid $2,200 for liens and $2,800 to the owner. (Because I had no cash, I did a cash advance on a credit card.) This Friday, January 21st a closing is scheduled to sell. Net profit of $4,500. Yesterday, I received a contract to buy a second one for $4,800 less liens and have four to six more properties I am working on.

The best part of this is I am helping these people by stopping a foreclosure against them, acquiring their unwanted property, and paying them money. It is a win/win/win/win situation for me, the owner, the county (fewer cases), and the builder who buys a slightly discounted building lot.

 
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