PLANNING & ZONING SERVICES

Property Management & Property Sales

(under construction)

The city of Waco has a few properties for sale.  All are considered unbuildable/substandard lots. These lots are too small AND do not meet the standard building requirements.

The current listings are only for sale to neighboring property owners.  Adjacent property owners may email KendraA@wacotx.gov to schedule an appointment to purchase.

The best way to obtain a tax foreclosure is to reach out to MVBA Law learn their process and check their website for upcoming tax foreclosure sales.

Tax Foreclosures are FIRST offered for Sale on County Court House steps every other month.

Obtain the list of properties. https://mvbalaw.com/tax-sales/
The list is located on their site 21 days prior to each scheduled sale date.

Kendra, City of Waco Property Manager, is also the manager of Trustee Properties that are owned by the County, ISD and the City.

The Trust receives new inventory, if a property DOES NOT sell on the courthouse steps, then the property is deed to the Trust for the benefit all taxing entities, WISD, County and the City of Waco.

The Trust has not received properties recently, as the majority are sold on the courthouse steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who owns the 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). 254-752-9864 (Their office is on 26th Street between Franklin and Clay Avenue.)

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: 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 approximately 70 tagged structures, none of these are owned by the City.  Contact Housing Code Enforcement 254-750-5972 for more information.

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 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 Tue 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, in the Waco Tribune-Herald and on the Waco City Cable Channel (WCCC.TV). See below for more details on bid process.

Complete the Inquire Form to be added to our Sealed Bid Sale email list, to be contacted 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 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.
Consumer Protection
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) regulates real estate brokers and sales agents, real estate inspectors, home warranty companies, easement and right-of-way agents, and timeshare interest providers. You can find more information and check the status of a license holder at TREC.Texas.gov. 
Please click here to read the Consumer Protection Notice.

Brokerage Services
Texas law requires all real estate license holders to give the following information about brokerage services to prospective buyers, tenants, sellers and landlords. A broker is responsible for all brokerage activities, including acts performed by sales agents sponsored by the broker. 
Please click here to read the Information About Brokerage Services.

 

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