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) 750-5669 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 up with the ownership of each piece of property in McLennan County. They maintain this information so the tax notice can go to the right person. Their telephone number is 752-9864. You will need to provide them with the street address or the legal description of the property (lot and block). If you do not know this information, you can go to MCAD and look at their maps to determine what it is. (Their office is on 26th Street between Franklin and Clay Avenues.)
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; however, only green tagged structures can be repaired and later occupied. If you purchase a red tagged property, the structure must be demolished at the buyer’s expense.
A red or green tag indicates that a structure is not safe to be in or habitable. A red tag means that Code Enforcement has assessed the structure to be beyond feasibly economic repair and/or beyond being repairable to meet regulatory compliance from a safety standpoint.
Repairs in one or more of three basic areas (electrical, plumbing, or structural) must be done before the green tagged building can be used again. 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, but only a very few belong 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. Here, back taxes subject the owner to losing his property through a series of court actions, but simply owing back taxes does not mean that somebody else can come in and get the property. In Texas, after the court proceedings have occurred, the final step is to have the Sheriff auction the property on the Court House steps. These sales may occur the first Tuesday of any month after publication in the newspaper and required posting places. For more information on these auctions, call the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, at 756-7755.
Q. How does the City get the property it has from tax foreclosures?
A. If no one at the Court House auction bids on the property located within the City limits, it is struck in trust to the City of Waco. Generally this means that the City of Waco will try to sell it, and the proceeds will be split with the taxing authorities the back taxes are owed to. If the property is outside of any city limits, McLennan County takes the property in trust. Usually, the school district receives the biggest share of the taxes. Although we have a unified appraisal system and only one tax bill, most properties are subject to four taxes: school district, county education (McLennan Community College), city, and county.
Q. How can I buy property that the City holds in trust because of tax foreclosure?
A. There are several means by which you can purchase a Tax Foreclosed property.
- You can contact the Property Manager at (254) 750-5669 and request a list of available properties or you can request information on a specific property for which you have an interest.
- You can participate in Sealed Bid Sales, which auctions are held periodically. Usually 25 to 30 properties are offered at each sale. When an auction 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).
- You can contact the City of Waco Housing and Community Development Services Department at 750-5656 to inquire about qualifying to buy a house to be constructed by a non-profit organization.
Q. Is all City-owned property sold through the Property Management office (750-5669)?
A. No. As mentioned above, some residential property is sold through the Housing Program (750-5656).
Q. Where do I call if I want to buy an old house from the City to renovate?
A. The City of Waco Property Manager can answer these questions at (254) 750-5669.