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Before the government repos the house and land? This house i am looking into buying hasn’t paid last year or this years taxes, plus hasn’t paid the last 3-4 year irrigation fees
and will we even be able to buy it with the owners owing in the taxes still??

3 Thoughts on How long can you go without paying your property taxes and irrigation?
  1. Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 3:30 am

    That’s up to the local tax authority and your state’s laws on property tax defaults.

    If you are buying the property from the owner, any unpaid taxes will be paid from seller’s funds at closing, assuming of course that there are enough funds to cover the debt. If not, you’d have to pay it yourself to receive clear title.

    If you’re looking to pick up the property yourself for the back taxes, contact the tax collector’s office for local procedures.

    Generally the property will be sold to the highest bidder. However some states auction off “tax liens” to the general public. If you acquire one of those, the property owner will have a period of time that they can clear the lien and recover clear title. That can range from a few months to several years. Once that time expires, you’d then have to foreclose on the tax lien and evict them from the property to take posession and receive title yourself.

    Bear in mind that a tax sale never confers clear title. At best you’ll receive a quitclaim deed. You must review the title carefully before you take the plunge to ensure that nobody else has any claim of title to the property. A straight up tax auction usually expunges any other claims against the title but tax liens rarely do so you could wind up with a quitclaimed title and lots of other claims to settle to perfect your claim of title.

  2. Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Make sure that the title company or whoever handles the closing knows what they are doing and that the seller provides title insurance. Any taxes or other fees due from the seller should come out of the proceeds before they get their money. You would be wise to hire an attorney to check everything.

    Note that property tax year and year they are due are not necessarily the same. If tax due in 2008 is for 2008 year seller should pay part of taxes due this year based on closing. But if 2008 property taxes are not due until 2009 (like here in IL) then seller should pay all of tax due this year and a portion of 2008 tax due next year.

  3. Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Someone has to bring up all of the taxes to date. It is not forgiven. Are you willing to pay including the accumulated interest?

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