Residential Properties for back taxes

IMG_6688.jpeg4016 Bagley
There's no reason this Mexicantown bungalow shouldn't fetch a high price. It's the most centrally located property we've found thus far. If walking through Clark Park for coffee at Café con Leche sounds like an appealing way to spend a few minutes (that's literally all it would take), then there's nothing not to like.

? 4257 Seminole
This one looks like a good find. It's too far north to say it's in Indian Village, but this is about as close as you're going to get in this auction. It's not exactly the belle of the ball, but that's okay with us—it's still a huge house on a decent stretch of Seminole Street. Judging by those windows near the roof, there's a good chance at a finished attic/third floor.

? 1969 25th
If nothing else, this home's proximity to all the wonderful/tasty things about Mexicantown guarantees it wont need any help attracting attention. When you add that it's undeniably cute, one has to expect it'll fetch a pretty penny. Comments on WDWOT indicate the place is in rough shape—the garage is collapsing and windows are broken—but the house is a manageable size for a fixer-upper.

? 7924 E. Lafayette
This gem of a duplex hit the auction block at just the right time. The West Village has been quite the hotspot lately, and this particular duplex is just down the block from the hottest of all the spots: Tashmoo Biergarten.25th%20street%20resized.jpeg Although much of the area's buzz is thanks to several pop-ups, even the tiniest crumb of foresight should convince you that housing shortages in trendier neighborhoods mean the West Village is only beginning to roll. This looks like a solid investment.

? 18045 Parkside
Narrowing down these properties took hours of looking Google's street-level imagery, most of which was recorded in 2009. Many homes have since been set ablaze, had plumbing ripped out, or simply been left to rot. The Google images are often ghosts of what remains today. This house in the University District is a rare exception.lafayette%20resized.jpeg The 2009 images show not only the normal signs of abandonment (boarded up windows, overgrown yard), but also also a wide open exterior door. We were very pleased to find that the house appears to have been at least partially restored. It might be occupied, which could spook some bidders. In all honesty, we're just happy this house remains someone's home.

· Our Top Picks For Commercial Properties in The Tax Auction [Curbed Detroit]
· 4016 Bagley [WDWOT]
· 4257 Seminole [WDWOT]

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Is it true that I can buy land/residential property if back taxes are owed?

I dont know if this is true or not, but if so, how do I know? And how do I go about it?

Yes, you can bid on such properties at the tax auctions. Understand, however, that these places rarely, if ever, sell for only the amount of the unpaid taxes. Investors watch such sales closely, and they are there to bid for these properties as well. Expect to much closer to market value than to the amount of taxes paid.
This is not a game for the inexperienced. In some areas or states, the unpaid mortgage, if any, comes along with the purchased property.