Where to Begin
Thorough research on all potential purchases is essential. It is important to complete any research prior to the day of the sale. There are definite risks when buying tax foreclosure properties. Warning: even the most diligent research efforts may not uncover or reveal all difficulties or unexpected problems.

In addition to the minimum bid sheet, the Treasurer's Office will provide as much information as it has available. Title reports, maps, appraisal sheets and tax information are some items to assist in your research. The Treasurer's Office, though, is only a starting point. Sometimes information available may be minimal. It is up to the buyer to pursue other resources.

Other Resources
Questions about buildability, zoning, use restrictions and controls, etc. should be looked into prior to any purchase. City and county engineering, building, code and planning departments are good places to obtain information.

Title Insurance
Some title companies do not provide title insurance for up to ten years from the date of sale. Policies may vary with each title company. If you are planning to build, title insurance may be important to you. San Juan County does not provide title insurance.

Many parcels have local improvements or special assessments that may need to be paid. You may be able to determine these by contacting the district or association servicing the parcel. The County Treasurer may collect some assessments. To avoid expensive surprises, these need to be determined before the sale.

Local Ordinances
Property may be subject to easements or use restrictions, as well as zoning or other land use controls. All property is sold subject to applicable town and/or county ordinances. It is the responsibility of the buyer to determine their existence.

Community Association Dues
All property is sold subject to restrictive covenants, if any, allowing for imposition of community association fees. It would be prudent to contact the association for a schedule of outstanding and future fees, if any.

All utility easements and other easements three years and older are unaffected by tax foreclosure. Easements are listed on the title search report and will be on record at the county auditor's office.

Physical Inspection of Property
It is strongly recommended prospective buyers visit all property sites. Determine exactly what is offered for sale. Is there access to the parcel? Can you accurately identify property boundary lines? Is the parcel being used by neighbors? These are just a few items you may want to ascertain.

If there are improvements on the parcel, do they go with the land? How are they currently being used? What is their condition?