Archive for March, 2011

Tax Liens Earning 16% WOW!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

I have been interested in tax liens for years now and have been on and off learning about them as well. The real estate gurus claim that there are so many liens that go unbidden for and can be picked up easily and earning are so much higher than any bank is playing and much safer because they have real estate backing them up. That is not entirely true in my opinion.

I am an occassional dabbler in tax liens and last year I attended “virtually” a tax lien auction held by Maricopa AZ county. I was able to purchase a couple tax liens and locked in earnings from 12% up to 16%. I was hoping for property but over 90% of all liens in Maricopa as most other counties pay off the liens for property especially since the value of the liens is typically a very low percentage of the value of the property. Even in these times of real estate as the lowest values in years! At the tax sale most of the liens went for 0% which is something I would understand if the purchaser is thinking they have a higher chance of getting the property. Otherwise, why would anyone want to tie up their money for 0%??

Well it’s been a year and all the liens have paid off. So for a year my money earned from 12 to 16 percent interest. Pretty good I think. I also am planning on continue to dabble in the tax lien process and think this will be a nice way for us to spend some time during our retirement. Picture this – us in our diesel RV traveling around the US visiting friends and family and beautiful sights. Everyonce in a while we hit a county near it’s auction time and do a bit of online research and filtering then visit some important properties and bid at the auction. Then we can keep rolling a portion of our invested money into higher interest bearing investment devices. Plus we will be visiting a place with a purpose and the trip will then be tax deductable! Whippee!!

I have a great guide on “Tax Lien Reality Not Fluff” that is available to you. Please contact us on the Contact page and we’ll get you the info.

How many people do you know that have actually purchased a tax lien? Do you see it as a good investment vehicle?

Ask LA Times for a Discount

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Our house gets the LA times daily and we are automatically billed our renewal each 8 weeks. The last billing, I noticed, was more than it typically is. We’ve been LA times subscribers since 1988 and for the last year our bill was running $48 but this last amount was $57.60. I went online to find out why and looked into other billing options. I found the following:

Los Angeles Times subscriptions:
everyday for 52 weeks was $155.48
Sunday only for 52 weeks was $52
Four days (Th-Sun) for 52 weeks was $78

When I called to ask why our amount was increased I was told that their costs were going up for publication services so all the costs were increasing. The told me I was getting the special discounted rate for long time subscribers of $7.20 a week for everyday service. I then asked why I saw different costs on the website and was put on hold for a moment then the agent said that he could offer me a special $2.99 a week. Now for you math-challenged that amount is $4.21 less each week which adds up to $218.92 a year!! I asked why I wasn’t offered this amount before since I was a “good long term customer” and is this lesser amount only for new customers? No I could qualify especially since I’m a good customer. I poked for other things not yet said like it is really seven days a week that I get the paper delivered? Is the special for only one week? etc… I couldn’t find anything. The only thing is this is a promotional rate good for six months although the 52 week price is listed as well. So if you want to lock in the lower price for 52 weeks (one year) then you have to pay it up front. Still the best deal around that I can find.

But I then went just a bit further down the “going green” path and asked about the four day a week price. They offered me at first $3.75 a week for 4 day (Thur-Sun) then when I spoke to the 4-Day a week specialist I was quoted $2.50 a week a discount off the regular $3.50. Funny how the prices are a bouncing ball huh?! I then brought up the web price of $1.50 a week and was then offered that. What?! This from a company I’ve been in business with since 1988!! I would have immediately hung up on another company believing they were a bunch of crooks with their changing prices!!

Bottom line, I switched to the 4 day a week delivery service and prepaid for a year in advance (I hope the company doesn’t go out of business) for the grand total of $78 for the entire year!! We will be reading the other three days newspapers online.