Finding Real Estate Gems with Tax Delinquent Map

By Joseph

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One of the important topic in real estate is find deals, since profits comes when you but, not when you sell.

I'm in my 20s and I don't have rich dad or millions in my disposal, so the way I could get into real estate is finding those under valued properties.

There are ways to live with money, there are also ways to live without money. Looking for tax delinquent properties is like shopping in Facebook marketplace or Craigslist, most of the time you don't find premium stuffs, but once in a while you find a gem and you can negoitiate a good deal.

What is Tax Delinquent Property?

Tax delinquent property is a property that has not paid property taxes for a long time. The property owner is in debt to the county and the county is looking to collect the debt. The county will sell the debt to a third party, who will then try to collect the debt from the property owner. If the property owner does not pay the debt, the third party will foreclose on the property and sell it at auction.

Arkansas Tax Delinquent Map

You can either invest in the tax lien or the property itself. If you invest in the tax lien, you will get a return on your investment when the property owner pays the debt. If you invest in the property, you will get a return on your investment when the property is sold at auction.

Personally I perfer BRRRR method, so I'm looking for properties that I can buy, rehab, rent, refinance and repeat.

When you research the tax deliquent data, you can find whether the owner is in financial trouble or there are just too old and might soon pass their preperty to their children.

The latter is a good opportunity to find a good deal, since the children might not want to keep the property and they might want to sell it quickly.

Keep in mind that the property might be in bad shape, or already being sold to someone else, so you need to do your due diligence.

Steps to find tax delinquent properties

  1. Find the tax delinquent data from the county website

Normally you can find the tax delinquent data from the county website(Collector’s Office, Assessor’s Office, or Treasurer’s Office). Data is probably in csv format dumped from the database, so you need to clean it up.

  1. Clean up the data

Remove any empty entries in your data. I use python to handle all the operations.

  1. Geocode the address

I'd like to be able to visualize the data on the map, so I need to geocode the address. There are plenty of free geocoding services out there, but you can also use Google Map API.

  1. Visualize the data on the map

Origanilly I plot the data in side jupyter notebook, but I found it's hard to share the result with others or carry around when I go field resarch. Later I found that once you have the geocoded data, you can import it into Google My Map and visualize it on the map.

  1. Do your due diligence

I like to use satellite view to see the property and the neighborhood. Satellite view can give you a rough idea of the property condition and the neighborhood, but the satellite image might be outdated, so you need to go to the property and see it yourself. If the property is really in tax delinquent, you could probably find the yard is not well maintained or hoarder stuffs in the yard just by looking satellite image. Sometimes the property is already sold to someone else and under construction, the data is precise although people already bought the property.

  1. Find owner's phone/email

Use tracing tools to find the owner's phone number or email address. I was skeptical about the tracing tools until the owner's son texted me back and said he and his family will discuss about the property and get back to me.

Text with owner

  1. Negotiate the deal!


I was able to find several properties that are in tax delinquent, but connecting with the owner is not easy. Either the owner is not interested in selling or the owner is passed away without any heir.

Most of time I left a flyer on the door and hope the owner will contact me. But proactively reaching out to the owner is more effective.

I'm more interested in rental properties or single family that are close to major facilities. Finding this kind of property is not easy, but owning this kind of workflow can help you find a good deal if you are willing to put in the work.

Let me know if you have unique way to find a good deal!