U.S. Counties rely on property taxes to fund critical budgeted expenses, including the cost of police/fire departments, road construction, and schools. If a property tax obligation is declared delinquent, the county may sell a tax lien or a tax deed certificate on the property to an investor. Tax Lien Certificates are auctioned to investors to fill budget shortfalls created by delinquent taxes and transfer payment risk to the private sector. In return, investors receive the right to collect the taxes owed plus penalty interest during a "redemption period," or take possession of the underlying property after the redemption period has expired.
After purchasing Tax Lien Certificates, investors may generate returns through either interest earned or sale of the underlying property. Annualized interest returns range from 12% to 20%, depending on the state. Selling acquired properties may generate higher returns, often in excess of 100% annualized. Interest returns are guaranteed by state law and are independent of the stock and bond markets. Returns on sale of property are also not correlated with stocks and bonds and are often counter-cyclical.
Investors must conduct thorough due diligence in order to avoid potential loss of capital. First, investors must understand exactly what they are bidding on, including the value of the underlying property. An investor may lose money on a Tax Lien Certificate if they overestimate the underlying property's market value. Investors must also determine whether there are superior liens on the property, which may encumber a Tax Lien Certificate. Other risks include bankruptcy proceedings, zoning irregularities, and environmental issues.
The level of returns earned by a Tax Lien Certificate investor correlates most closely with the amount of due diligence that the investor performs. Blueprint's proprietary due diligence process minimizes the risks of Tax Lien Certificate investing. Our in-house software enables fast and accurate data-gathering on the properties. Blueprint utilizes its in-house analytics skillset to pinpoint the value of thousands of Tax Lien Certificates. We formulate a bidding strategy to acquire Tax Lien Certificates at deep discounts to their intrinsic value, enabling outsized returns. Blueprint's software allows the discovery of superior liens as well as the ability to red-flag properties with potential zoning, environmental, and bankruptcy issues.
Blueprint specializes in Tax Lien Certificates that sell for less than $50,000. Our research and experience indicates that the "small" certificate market has both higher redemption interest returns and a higher probability of taking ownership of the property. Competing Tax Lien Certificate funds view taking ownership of property as an unfavorable outcome. We think otherwise. We seek to acquire properties for amounts significantly below their fair market values and sell them at substantial profits. In order to monetize the higher volume of deeded properties that Blueprint ends up owning, we utilize a network of agents, real estate buyers, attorneys, and contractors.
A key component of Blueprint's strategy is to efficiently recycle capital as certificates redeem and as deeded properties are sold. Redemption returns are typically at least 12% on an annualized basis. Our goal is to redeploy capital as it is harvested, thereby compounding returns. In addition, Blueprint's proprietary historical auction database allows us to isolate favorable county marketplaces and attend the least competitive auctions.