Author Topic: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes  (Read 4297 times)

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1410
  • Location: eastern canada
abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« on: February 25, 2015, 12:14:25 PM »
Hi folks,

The house next door to me, which has sat empty for seven years since the death of the previous owner, is now available for back taxes (low enough that I can make a cash offer). The city put it up for auction while I was out of town, and it didn't sell at the minimum amount (i.e., the taxes owing).

Normally that would be a warning sign (if other people don't want it, why should I?). But I think I benefit from an information asymmetry -- because I've lived next door, I know (more or less) what isn't wrong with the place. It hasn't had pipes burst, or squatters, or a fire. Some other potential reasons it's undesirable to others don't concern me. Like, it has no backyard (which I can probably fix by transferring part of my current yard over). It looks into my back windows (because my house is on the front of my lot, and this one's on the back of its lot). The local economy just got awful (oil industry town). It has a scruffy neighbour (me).

So, I think I can get this place cheap, do minimal renos, move in, and then rent out my current house.

I need y'all to tell me what to watch out for, and what to do before making an offer. I've read similar threads, but the specifics of the situation were different. Any help is appreciated.

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 12:44:35 PM »
$1... See if they take it.

antarestar

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 12:51:21 PM »
That sounds like a perfect rental. Start at $1 and work your way up.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5145
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 03:03:51 PM »
The critical issue is does the tax auction wipe out all other liens on the property?  If not, it probably did not sell because the other liens exceeded the value of the property.  The lienholder may foreclose and pay the taxes at some point if the property has value over the amount of the taxes.  Research the property tax laws in your jurisdiction to see what happens in a tax auction.

Nate R

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI (Bay View)
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 04:47:18 PM »
The rear houses in my area were often thrown together from garbage materials at the time. I own one. It was originally supposed to be just temporary, and the nicer house was to be built on the front of the lot later. That never happened.
 80+ years later, that shack of a house is still standing with decades of band-aid fixes applied.

Point is, be careful on making sure you understand how that house is put together. Around here, some of them have little/no foundation, or other weird patch jobs. Much more so than a "standard" house. Other than that, sounds like a good plan!

Blindsquirrel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 657
  • Age: 2
  • Location: Flyover country
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 06:47:32 PM »
 Probably not a bad idea to buy it, you are very close so you can work on it any time and if it turns out to be a dog you will not have much in it.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 07:43:22 PM »
If it's been empty for 7 years, watch out for mold.   

kib

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 10:58:06 AM »
Make some inquiries into getting utilities turned on for this particular house.  This may help you know if there are utility liens or other unforeseen expenses (e.g. if the power has been off for seven years, there's a possibility they won't let you turn it on again without an inspection, which may reveal you have to rewire the whole house before you can get power to it.)

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1410
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 05:11:53 PM »
Thanks to all for advice and suggestions. To update y'all, somebody else beat me to it (and paid more than I would have been willing to anyway).

Mu206Stach

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 05:20:06 PM »

Too bad, sounded like a good situation for you. 

Maybe you should have tried harder to look scruffy to discourage that buyer? 

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1410
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 10:38:09 AM »
Maybe you should have tried harder to look scruffy to discourage that buyer?

If only it had come on the market in the summer, when my backyard shirtlessness would have put off the most ardent buyer!

Dr. Pepper

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: abandoned house next door -- available for back taxes
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 11:17:20 PM »
Be careful (caveat emptor), you need to run a title check and see what liens are against the property if any. These can be IRS, State, City, former contractors who did work and didn't get paid, pretty much anything. Some of these can be discharged, some are attached to the property, and if you aquire it will have to be paid.