The Hot Beat


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Looking for a steal in delinquent properties

I spent yesterday morning at the annual Linn County tax sale, and wrote about it for today’s paper.

It was a little monotonous to listen to Treasurer Mike Stevenson, in a bored voice, call out the properties and the bidding numbers for about two hours. But it’s a serious business, and some 75 people showed up for it. They bidded on properties for the interest they can get from the late taxpayer, which is 24 percent annually in Iowa.

Filed under: County Government

2 Responses

  1. anonymous guy says:

    any idea on how much these were selling for ? just an average. i cant imagine how far behind in taxes some people have got.

  2. adambelz says:

    Back taxes on the properties hovered around $1,000, it seemed to me. One guy I talked to paid $100 for his bidding card, and picked up at least four properties before the day was over. From an investor’s standpoint, the beauty is that your investment is safe. For that one guy, as long as he picks up $100 in interest, he breaks even. And he almost certainly will. If one of the property owners doesn’t pay up, so much the better for the investor. He gets the actual property for about $1,000 — or much less.

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