Q: How do I learn about the allowed zoning uses & setbacks on properties?
A: Contact a planner in the Planning Services Division (254) 750-5650.
Q: Can a mobile home be built on a tax-foreclosed lot?
A: No. Some modular homes are allowed. For the specifics on what can be built on a lot, contact Inspection services division/Plan Review at (254) 750-5674.
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.
Q: Does the property have access to sewer or water?
A: Contact the City's Engineering Department (254) 750-5440.
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 (254) 756-7755 or find the upcoming sale list at: http://www.mvbalaw.com/tax-sales/.
Q: How do I Purchase a Tax Foreclosure Property?
A: Tax Foreclosures (Tax Sale) are auctioned by the Constable’s office on the first Tues of the month on the courthouse steps.
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 and in the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Complete the form "Subscribe for property information" to be contacted via email when new properties are for sale.
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?
A: No. The majority of properties for sale are tax-foreclosed properties. The City owns many Right of Ways and properties for drainage throughout the City which are not for sale.
As mentioned above, majority of tax-foreclosed properties are sold on the court house steps through McCreary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen Law Firm.
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: What other programs assist with affordable housing?
A: City of Waco Housing and Community Development Services Department at (254) 750-5656 offers programs to assist with affordable housing in Waco.
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 gift them to the city.