Property Management & Property Sales

The City Property Manager is responsible for all City property excluding those managed by the Housing and Community Development Department and City facilities.

Below, we have provided the answers to some frequently asked questions. Please contact Property Management at (254) 750-5651 if you have further questions about property that belongs to the City of Waco.

*Be sure to see our list of 'Available Properties for Sale' to see the most current properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I find out who owns a specific piece of property?

A: The McLennan County Appraisal District (MCAD) is responsible for keeping ownership information on each piece of property in McLennan County. They maintain this information so the tax notice goes to the right person. You can find the owners information on their website, you will need to provide the street address or the legal description of the property (lot and block). 752-9864 (Their office is on 26th Street between Franklin and Clay Avenue.)

Q: How does the City Acquire Property?

A: All statutory cities have authority to acquire real estate for various purposes. These cities may acquire real property either within or outside their corporate limits. Statutory cities may acquire real estate in any of the following ways:

  • Purchase. A city can acquire the title to land by simply buying it.
  • Gifts of land. A city can accept gifts of land.
  • Dedication. A city can require developers to dedicate land for parks, streets, and utility purposes as a condition of subdivision approval.
  • Devise. A city may receive real estate in a person’s will.
  • Eminent domain (condemnation). This is a required sale of land to a government entity for public use or public purpose.
  • Tax-Foreclosure. Tax Sales are the final remedy to collect delinquent property taxes. Conducted by a deputy constable, the tax sale is held on the first Tuesday of the month at 2:00 p.m. on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse.  The tax sale is separate from any other foreclosure sales held at the same time on the courthouse steps.
  • Easements. A city often acquires easements over property for such things as streets, sewers, storm drains and utilities. Sometimes these easements are acquired by purchase or condemnation; other times the owner of the property may give them to the city.

Q: If back taxes are owed on a property, does this mean I can pay the back taxes and become the owner?

A: No. Although some jurisdictions may permit some variation involving back taxes, Texas law does not work that way. Tax sales may occur the first Tuesday of any month.  For more information on these auctions, call the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, at 756-7755 or find the upcoming sale list at:

Q: How do I Purchase a Tax Foreclosure Property?

A: There are several means by which you can purchase a Tax Foreclosed property.

  1. Tax Foreclosures (Tax Sale) are auctioned by the Constable’s office on the first Tue of the month on the courthouse steps. Detailed tax sale instructions described below. For current list of upcoming tax sales click here.
  2. City Owned Properties can be purchased after redemption period, click here for current list.  Or list can be obtained in the Planning Department located at 401 Franklin, Dr. Mae Jackson Development Center.

Contact the Property Manager at (254) 750-5672 or by email to request information on a specific property that is of interest. Properties can be purchased directly through the property manager. She will prepare an offer to purchase and a disclosure. Please call or email to verify property is still available.

  1. You can participate in Sealed Bid Sales, which are held periodically. Certain properties are offered to obtain the highest possible price through a bid process.  When a Sealed Bid Sale is scheduled, it will be announced on our web page, in the Waco Tribune-Herald and on the Waco City Cable Channel (WCCC.TV). See below for more details on bid process.

Email the Property Manager to be added to a list to be contacted when new properties are for sale, or an upcoming bid sale.   

  1. City of Waco Housing and Community Development Services Department at 750-5656 offers programs to assist with down payment and closing costs. Inquire about qualifying to buy a owner occupied house to be constructed by a non-profit organization. 

Q: How does the City obtain the property from tax foreclosures?

A: If no one at the Court House auction bids (Tax Sale) on the property located within the City limits, it is struck in trust to the City of Waco.  Properties that do not sell at a tax sale become part of the resale inventory offered by the City of Waco. These properties are for sale after the 6 month or two year redemption period. Detailed instructions about the resale procedures are described below.

Q: Is all City-owned property sold through the Property Management office 254-750-5672?

A: No. As mentioned above, it is sold through the Housing Program 254-750-5656, on the court house steps through McCreary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen Law Firm, or through the Bid Process.

Q: How can I find out more information on Tax Sales

A: All rules dealing with tax sales can be found in the Texas Property Tax Code.

Q: What is one piece of advice prior to purchasing a Tax Sale on Courthouse steps?

A: Understand the meaning of Right of Redemption: All properties sold at a tax sale are subject to the previous owner's right of redemption. To learn more about owner's rights visit Chapter 34 of the Texas Property Tax Code.

Properties without a homestead exemption or agricultural land-use designation maybe purchased back by the previous owner within six months of the date the deed was filed. The owner of the property must pay a 25% fee of the auction price plus all taxes, costs and fees.

Properties with a homestead exemption or special land-use designation may be redeemed by the previous owner within two-years of the date the deed was filed. The buy back fee is 25% of auction price in the first year and 50% of the auction price the second year, plus taxes, costs and fees.

Q: If the City owns a house with a red or green tag, does this mean I can buy it from the City?

A: You can buy both red and green tagged properties. A red or green tag indicates that a structure is not safe to be in or habitable.

Red tag means that Code Enforcement has assessed the structure to be beyond feasible economic repair and/or beyond being repairable to meet regulatory compliance from a safety standpoint.

Green Tag indicates Repairs in one or more of three basic areas (electrical, plumbing, or structural) must be repaired to code before it can be occupied. Licensed repairmen must do the work, and a City Inspector must approve the repairs before the tag can be removed. Waco has over 400 tagged structures, only a few belong to the City.

Q: What is the bid process?

A: The city has a public sale called Sealed Bid Sales. The property manager determines which properties will be offered for sale through the sealed bid process. Often, while the city holds the property during the redemption period, if there are multiple inquiries, the property is selected for bid process so everyone will have an opportunity to purchase. All bids will be opened at a public meeting at the Purchasing Services Office.

Click here for the upcoming sealed bid sale.

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