Understanding my Property Search

Good morning,

As I am diving into this as a newbie, I’ve been listening and doing my research into this as best I can. Hoping some of you bear with me as i’m not afraid to ask questions and I hope I can help with many questions one day in the future!

To cut to the chase, I was able to get ahold of my county’s tax delinquent list (I will also be using Data Tree for my county) and I’m currently trying to cross-reference the parcel numbers in the county data base to see if it’s a residential property, vacant land, if the owner is out of state or lives in a different county, etc.

I’ve come across a few properties that say residential but have no buildings on them and some that are tough to tell on the GIS mapping.

Anyways, some of these delinquent properties are owned by an LLC company. Is that something some of you avoid or still send mail to?

My county also shows the appraised value and assessed value and i’m curious if the appraised value is something you all typically expect to get out of the property. I will be checking comps once i make it that far.

I’ve attached 2 photos of what it looks like.

I’ve found several vacant properties on my GIS mapping that are vacant, but they don’t have the mailing address for the owners obviously, but was wondering if anyone has found property on the GIS map and then tracked down the mailing address of the owners?

Thank you in advance!

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@churhahn the only reason you’d want to be avoid buying from an LLC (or any other corporate entity) is if you’re planning to close the deal yourself (without a title company). Verifying the ownership of an LLC is a bit more complicated than just buying a property from an individual, so if you want to buy from an LLC, just be sure you get a title company involved so they can take care of this for you and don’t try to do this yourself. If you don’t want to work with a title company, then don’t contact any of those LLC-owned properties.

The assessed/appraised value is not the final word on what a property is worth. It’s worth glancing at, but I wouldn’t look at this number like it is the official value you can expect to get out of the property. To figure that out, you’ll want to do your own comping in the area to determine what similar properties are listed and selling for in recent history.

Residential zoned properties won’t always have buildings on them. That’s just what the property can be used for, but it doesn’t mean the property already has a house on it.

To track down the owners of those properties, you would have to do some skip tracing or searching around for them on the internet. Skip tracing is a time-consuming job that doesn’t always payoff, but if you like that kind of work and stick to it, it can yield big results if you’re lucky.



Thanks Charlotte! Very helpful info and I will definitely take that into consideration now that I am about to send out my first mailing?

May i ask what you suggest for your comps? I know it can be difficult at times to figure them out.

@churhahn there isn’t a perfect way to do it for land in most areas, but I believe Seth has a blog post with some ideas.



@churhahn, great tips from @charlotteirwin. I just wanted to add that if you are trying to quickly identify on a county tax delinquent list which properties are vacant, versus have some substantial improvements on them (house, etc.), there are often at least 3 separate columns/fields for each property’s assessed values of: Land, Improvements, and Total Value or Net Value (and sometimes a fourth like, “Other”).

So if you are trying to market to owners of vacant land only and you have the list in Excel, you can use the Filter function to exclude any rows (properties) that have an assessed value in the Improvements field above a certain value, as low as $0 if you want (although some “vacant” properties might have a couple hundred or even a couple thousand dollars worth of improvements, like a driveway, or existing well or septic, a fence, storage building, etc.).

Interestingly, in your screenshot I see a field for Land assessed value and Net assessed value, only. It’s possible the Improvements field is just out of the field of view in that picture, but if by some chance that county actually doesn’t report the assessed value of Improvements (which would be a bit unique in my experience), again assuming you have their tax delinquent list in a format you can open and manipulate in Excel, you could just insert a new column and enter a formula in that column that subtracts the Land value from the Net value for each row. Then treat that difference between the two like it’s the Improvements value, because for our intents and purposes it probably is.

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