Investing in tax defaulted properties in St. Petersburg, FL, Pinellas County, is a terrific way to receive a high rate of return on your investment. A tax lien certificate represents a lien for the amount of unpaid property taxes and any assessments, penalties, interest and fees. The county auctions the tax lien certificate to the public, who are mainly investors, because it needs the funds to pay for city services. The holder of the tax certificate is required to hold the certificate for a minimum of 22 months. The county pays the holder interest on the tax lien certificate annually.
The property must be sold at a tax deed sale within seven years from the date of the lien. The owner of the tax lien certificate must apply for a tax deed sale by contacting the Pinellas County Tax Collectors’ Office and presenting the original tax lien certificate to the County Collectors’ Office. After the Tax Collector collects the application fee, a title search is performed and certified and then forwarded to the County Clerk’s office so that the tax deed auction can be conducted by the County Clerk’s office. All tax deed sale notices are published in a newspaper in the county and also posted at the property location. If the owner does not redeem the property, then the property is sold at the tax deed auction in accordance with Florida Statues Chapter 197.
Pinellas County Tax Deed Sales
All tax deed sales are conducted by the Pinellas County Clerk’s office in accordance with Florida Statues Chapter 197 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 12D-13. Online tax deed sales are posted on the electronic schedule showing the sale date as well as property information which can be accessed at the Pinellas County’s website. Sale dates are subject to change so you should check the electronic calendar to make sure the sale is taking place and that the owner has not redeemed the property. Notices of pending sale are also published in the local county newspaper of general circulation and posted at the property.
You should be aware of the following:
- Each bidding participant must submit a deposit of $200.00 or 5% of the winning bid, whichever is greater, for each and every property that the bidder intends to bid on. The deposit can be submitted via wire transfer, money order or certified check and can be delivered to the Clerk at the Clearwater Courthouse at 315 Court Street, Room 163 payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court prior to the auction sale date. You should check with the Clerk’s office for the exact deposit requirements and other bidding details.
- Each property is given its own bidding number.
- All tax deed sale properties are sold at a public auction to the highest bidder
- Properties are sold in an as is condition.
- Buyers are responsible for doing their own title and lien searches, checking local zoning, any use restrictions and local property laws and conducting an inspection regarding the condition of the property.
- The new buyer is responsible for paying off any liens on the property.
If you are lucky enough to be the successful bidder, you must remit the balance of the money to the Clerk, together with the required recording fee and state document stamp tax of $.70 per $100.00 of the sale price. Upon receipt of payment, the Clerk will issue you a tax deed. The owner of the property has the right to redeem the property prior to the time the Clerk issues the tax deed. If the new buyer is not the holder of the tax lien certificate, then the successful bidder a part of the bid price reimburses the tax lien certificate holder for the monies paid plus interest. All surplus funds are used to pay liens in the order of priority and any excess is returned to the former property owner. Additional information about the auction can be obtained from the Tax Deed Office by calling them at (727) 464-3424.
Investing in tax lien certificates and tax deeds in St. Petersburg, Florida are safe investments with yield a high rate of return guaranteed by the local municipality. So if you are looking for a safe place to put your money where you can receive a high rate of return on your investment, then investing in tax defaulted property in St. Petersburg Florida is something that you should give careful consideration to as being a smart investment strategy. Investing in default end properties allow you to diversify your investment property portfolio and increase your long term wealth.