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Property on Tax Sale has ~half of a structure

Jack Raine
Posted Dec 3 2023, 17:45

Check this out:

 https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/111-Albion-St-Savannah-GA...

The majority of the structure is on the lot, 111 Albion, but it spans into the adjacent lot. This is up for Tax auction this week. How much of a headache is this?

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Replied Dec 3 2023, 18:33
Quote from @Jack Raine:

Check this out:

 https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/111-Albion-St-Savannah-GA...

The majority of the structure is on the lot, 111 Albion, but it spans into the adjacent lot. This is up for Tax auction this week. How much of a headache is this?

Could be a problem. Are both lots included in the tax sale? It may be a separate tax number.
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Replied Dec 3 2023, 19:10
Quote from @Ken M.:
Quote from @Jack Raine:

Check this out:

 https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/111-Albion-St-Savannah-GA...

The majority of the structure is on the lot, 111 Albion, but it spans into the adjacent lot. This is up for Tax auction this week. How much of a headache is this?

Could be a problem. Are both lots included in the tax sale? It may be a separate tax number.

Nope. Coincidentally the lot across the street is. More of a geewhiz than providing any value to this conversation.
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Replied Dec 3 2023, 19:51
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Ken M.:
Quote from @Jack Raine:

Check this out:

 https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/111-Albion-St-Savannah-GA...

The majority of the structure is on the lot, 111 Albion, but it spans into the adjacent lot. This is up for Tax auction this week. How much of a headache is this?

Could be a problem. Are both lots included in the tax sale? It may be a separate tax number.
Nope. Coincidentally the lot across the street is. More of a geewhiz than providing any value to this conversation.
Heheheh old areas of the country have that kind of thing happen. Personally, I'd move on to something that has less drama. 
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Replied Dec 4 2023, 03:30

@Jack Raine

How do you know this? Did you have a survey done?

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 04:41
Quote from @Chris Seveney:

@Jack Raine

How do you know this? Did you have a survey done?


 I did not. I just looked at lot line overlays. It's not "close" its pretty egregious.

....can "anyone" get a survey done of a parcel? This is a tax sale. 

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 04:41
Quote from @Ken M.:
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Ken M.:
Quote from @Jack Raine:

Check this out:

 https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/111-Albion-St-Savannah-GA...

The majority of the structure is on the lot, 111 Albion, but it spans into the adjacent lot. This is up for Tax auction this week. How much of a headache is this?

Could be a problem. Are both lots included in the tax sale? It may be a separate tax number.
Nope. Coincidentally the lot across the street is. More of a geewhiz than providing any value to this conversation.
Heheheh old areas of the country have that kind of thing happen. Personally, I'd move on to something that has less drama. 

 That's what I was thinking 👍. I'll see what it goes for at the auction though. 

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 05:15
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Chris Seveney:

@Jack Raine

How do you know this? Did you have a survey done?


 I did not. I just looked at lot line overlays. It's not "close" its pretty egregious.

....can "anyone" get a survey done of a parcel? This is a tax sale. 


 Those lot line overlays are 100% inaccurate. Its like relying on a zillow estimate. It shows my house built across property lines, and I built my house and have 15' setbacks...

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 05:23
Quote from @Chris Seveney:
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Chris Seveney:

@Jack Raine

How do you know this? Did you have a survey done?


 I did not. I just looked at lot line overlays. It's not "close" its pretty egregious.

....can "anyone" get a survey done of a parcel? This is a tax sale. 


 Those lot line overlays are 100% inaccurate. Its like relying on a zillow estimate. It shows my house built across property lines, and I built my house and have 15' setbacks...


 I know they're inaccurate, but are they this inaccurate? I suppose your example proves they can be. 

However, if you don't own the adjacent parcel(s), how do you go about getting it surveyed?

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 11:26

The picture posted by zillow is of 113 albion. The actual property is the lot to the right of the house, if you're facing the house from the street.
I looked up the property on SAGIS.
Then I looked into the zillow picture, you can actually see the street number on the house, 113.

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 11:53

Do you have a link to the auction?

I think someone is going to overpay for this without having done their due diligence... (Not the OP, just someone in general)

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Replied Dec 4 2023, 12:44
Quote from @Richard Elvin:

Do you have a link to the auction?

I think someone is going to overpay for this without having done their due diligence... (Not the OP, just someone in general)

Haha hey don't underestimate my stupidity sir, I've still got time to overpay! I drove by today - it looks the same from the street with my mk1 eyeballs. It's in person, but here's the link to the sales sheet:

https://cms.chathamcountyga.gov/api/assets/taxcommissioner/7e9e9f65-456b-47c5-b74c-86cc9b66de8c?download=0


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Replied Dec 4 2023, 12:48

Here's the record card, if the link works. It's just a lot, no house.
https://www.chathamtax.org/PT/Datalets/PrintDatalet.aspx?pin...

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 01:57

I always say google and all these free online map options are not always your friend.  I also don't think Zillow is your friend, since you posted that link.  I see mistakes like this ALL the time.  Maybe not every day, but enough you need to do more research.  Know what you're buying.  If you don't know or aren't sure, it is a gamble.   My tax sale attorneys almost always start out the sale with, we're selling by legal description. We ARE NOT selling by address.  Even if we have referenced an address, that very well could be wrong.  So they tell bidders/buyers up front.   I've also gone to the tax assessor plenty of times to discuss some of these properties.   Plenty of times they tell me, yeah we don't know where the property is either.  Amazing, but true.   Where I'm going tomorrow often sells some lots, they they just describe as....yeah that is in the middle of the field.  They were sold 100 years ago, and no one has maps or plats or surveys....and people buy these, seems like every single time.  To me they're just buying air, not dirt.

My info from two different sources says that plot is vacant land.  I do see the picture of the house.  I think the owner of that house is someone totally different from what I can see.  Is the house still there?   Seems like there is land around the house.  Is it really one of the neighboring lots that is for sale.   When I zoom in on the house address it show 113 not 111, can't see the info on the mailbox.  I'm guessing 111 is the vacant lot next door with the tree on it.  I don't show any structure being taxed on 111.

A few other considerations.  Is it in the flood zone?  Wouldn't surprise me in that area.
Looks like a ton of vacant lots around there, anyone building new houses?  If not, could be because it is in flood zone.   That house is probably 75 years old.   So one thing I always wonder too in some of these places is if there really is sewer and water you can tap into.  I know the cities are supposed to or maybe even compelled to offer it.  Now Savannah is not some dusty little town like I will visit tomorrow, but when I see people buying a lot of these lots, I just fear the city is not going to allow them to build and tap into the sewer or water line for fear the whole thing collapses and they don't really have money or a good solution.
Also from what I can tell the current owner at 111 probably bought it in a tax sale....so I would wonder why they're letting go again?

If you are a tax sale buyer, 100% I would be driving that property.  Talk to the neighbors.  Find out what is going on in the neighborhood.  Talk to 113.   I know astroflipping and all this crap people teach these days probably tell you to just use google street view and the like.  You can do all this in your underwear from home.. but that can just create disasters as perhaps you have found here.  Think if you get two bidders who just look at google street view, think they're buying a house and bid it up to $50,000 or $60,000 or $100,000....and what they end up getting is a vacant lot.   I see this happen probably every other month.  Sometimes we tell them.  Sometimes the bidding attorney will tell them....and they just keep bidding and bidding and bidding.  We just walk away thinking, well we just eliminated some of the competition today.  This is the fun and beauty of tax sales.

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 02:01

@Richard Elvin  100%.....after the sale, maybe someone goes and knocks on this guys door.  Hey we bought your house today at the tax sale auction.  I hear that conversation now.   Then the guy says, let me see your paperwork.  Hmmm...no we're 113, 111 is the lot next door.   Congratulations, and by the way I'll mow it for $100/week and water your tree so that you don't get fined by the city for tall weeds.  What are your plans for the lot?  Going to build a house?   Here's my number, if you ever decide to sell it, I'm interested for $500.  Give me a little bigger lot.

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 02:06

@Richard Elvin   Sorry for some reason all these posts did not show up when I posted my response.  You're my kind of people.   Rare we see your level of insight and expertise.   Thank you.  Are you our new TN tax sale expert?

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 04:34

@Bruce Lynn I'm working towards that! lol 
I love sleuthing through tax records, kinda weird that way, but I've always wanted to know the background on a house before I put in an offer. So digging through data is second nature at this point. Anytime I'm looking at data I want the legal parcel number to match what I'm looking at. I was looking at a house listed on the tax sale in Athens, 45 minutes north of me, and something didn't add up. The property was listed at a starting bid that was too low for the ~$365k decent looking house. After some digging, what was actually being auctioned wasn't the house, it was a decrept former gas station. The address listed on the tax sale was the former gas station owner's home address. I'm betting someone overpaid for a enviromental nightmare on that one!

There's not a lot of tax sales in the area's I'm interested in, Bradley/Polk/Mcminn Counties of TN. So I can pretty easily research almost every property that comes up.

I'm really new to this, so if there's anything books/learning materials you would recommend I'm interested in learning! 

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 13:26
Quote from @Richard Elvin:

Here's the record card, if the link works. It's just a lot, no house.
https://www.chathamtax.org/PT/Datalets/PrintDatalet.aspx?pin...

So, fun update: GIS also makes it pretty clear that the property line "definitely" through the adjacent lot's structure - one might even say the majority of the "adjacent" lots structure is on 111 albion lot. I did drive it, the notice sign was placed in the appropriate lot. So you would definitely be purchasing the deed to a disputed property - I'd feel confident saying, at the very least, a buyer intending to clear the title would eventually be conceding a large portion (if you consider set backs etc) to the property owner of the structure - I am 100% talking out of my *** with that statement though, I'm not a real estate lawyer and only the most vanilla/conventional of real estate investors (that is to say green/inexperienced).  

Here's the fun part! I stuck around at the auction to see this property's bid. The owner occupants of the adjacent property showed up to the auction to buy the deed. The county allowed them to make an announcement requesting that no one bid against them as they have tried to buy the property for many years simply to clear up the property dispute. Auctioneer followed up with "this is not a chill on your auction. Everyone here has the legal right to bid on it. But everyone ought to know the property line goes through their living room". No one bid against them.


The rest of the auction was pretty wild. Probably 100+ paddles, bids that seemed pretty exorbitant for most properties, and I got to see the "land bank shenanigans" first hand - even spoke to the commissioner about it who was vocally opposed to their presence; she apparently attends the bank's board meetings to protest their operation.

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 13:30
Quote from @Richard Elvin:

@Bruce Lynn I'm working towards that! lol 
I love sleuthing through tax records, kinda weird that way, but I've always wanted to know the background on a house before I put in an offer. So digging through data is second nature at this point. Anytime I'm looking at data I want the legal parcel number to match what I'm looking at. I was looking at a house listed on the tax sale in Athens, 45 minutes north of me, and something didn't add up. The property was listed at a starting bid that was too low for the ~$365k decent looking house. After some digging, what was actually being auctioned wasn't the house, it was a decrept former gas station. The address listed on the tax sale was the former gas station owner's home address. I'm betting someone overpaid for a enviromental nightmare on that one!

There's not a lot of tax sales in the area's I'm interested in, Bradley/Polk/Mcminn Counties of TN. So I can pretty easily research almost every property that comes up.

I'm really new to this, so if there's anything books/learning materials you would recommend I'm interested in learning! 


It seems like all the "good books/resources" are pay to play courses? - I'm also, obviously, new.

Met a guy at this auction though that's just up the road from me. He has won a few bids. NONE were redeemed. He thinks most, in the Savannah area, are not. Which goes against ALL the conventional wisdom. Buy maybe makes the "overpriced" and competitive nature of the auction I saw today make a little more sense.
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Replied Dec 5 2023, 13:58

@Jack Raine That's pretty interesting that the neighbors bought the lot, definitely clears things up for them!

"It seems like all the "good books/resources" are pay to play courses? - I'm also, obviously, new.". I think the best option is probably a lot of research, here, at the local tax office, researching legal rights/responsibilities. I was hoping @Bruce Lynn might have a recommendation for a good book, however, most of this is so location specific that I've found it's about research, research, research. Savannah is on my list as a possible STR/LTR location, hence my deeper than average knowledge of Savannah.

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Replied Dec 5 2023, 19:21
Ya, the "do the research/work/legwork" really seems like the move. And obviously, finding a mentor.

The guy I met at the auction today told me at the previous one, a bunch of lots in the vicinity of the shiny (literally) new stadium in SAV went for 5x market value because of the development opportunity for STRs.

Plus it's just a damn cool town.
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Replied Dec 10 2023, 06:04

Thank you!  I like this post and the discussions!  I would probably have asked for a title search and or a surveyor's map.  It's not such a big cost.  Thanks!

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Replied Dec 10 2023, 15:27
Quote from @Arthur Schwartz:

Thank you!  I like this post and the discussions!  I would probably have asked for a title search and or a surveyor's map.  It's not such a big cost.  Thanks!

Where would you have procured the map.from? Savannah provides GIS access
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Replied Dec 17 2023, 13:48
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Chris Seveney:

@Jack Raine

How do you know this? Did you have a survey done?


 I did not. I just looked at lot line overlays. It's not "close" its pretty egregious.

....can "anyone" get a survey done of a parcel? This is a tax sale. 

 Welcome to real estate investing.  The line overlay is wrong more often than not. Looking at the picture on Zillow I don’t see anything that sticks out as being wrong  with the property line. Pretty good chance “half the structure “ is not on the lot next door. 

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Replied Dec 17 2023, 13:55
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Richard Elvin:

Here's the record card, if the link works. It's just a lot, no house.
https://www.chathamtax.org/PT/Datalets/PrintDatalet.aspx?pin...

So, fun update: GIS also makes it pretty clear that the property line "definitely" through the adjacent lot's structure - one might even say the majority of the "adjacent" lots structure is on 111 albion lot. I did drive it, the notice sign was placed in the appropriate lot. So you would definitely be purchasing the deed to a disputed property - I'd feel confident saying, at the very least, a buyer intending to clear the title would eventually be conceding a large portion (if you consider set backs etc) to the property owner of the structure - I am 100% talking out of my *** with that statement though, I'm not a real estate lawyer and only the most vanilla/conventional of real estate investors (that is to say green/inexperienced).  

Here's the fun part! I stuck around at the auction to see this property's bid. The owner occupants of the adjacent property showed up to the auction to buy the deed. The county allowed them to make an announcement requesting that no one bid against them as they have tried to buy the property for many years simply to clear up the property dispute. Auctioneer followed up with "this is not a chill on your auction. Everyone here has the legal right to bid on it. But everyone ought to know the property line goes through their living room". No one bid against them.


The rest of the auction was pretty wild. Probably 100+ paddles, bids that seemed pretty exorbitant for most properties, and I got to see the "land bank shenanigans" first hand - even spoke to the commissioner about it who was vocally opposed to their presence; she apparently attends the bank's board meetings to protest their operation.


 Send me a link where you are seeing this. It’s not impossible but 99 out of 100 times the lines are wrong or you are doing something wrong vs some one built a house half on someone else’s property. 

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Jack Raine
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Jack Raine
Replied Dec 17 2023, 14:29
Quote from @Will Sifert:
Quote from @Jack Raine:
Quote from @Richard Elvin:

Here's the record card, if the link works. It's just a lot, no house.
https://www.chathamtax.org/PT/Datalets/PrintDatalet.aspx?pin...

So, fun update: GIS also makes it pretty clear that the property line "definitely" through the adjacent lot's structure - one might even say the majority of the "adjacent" lots structure is on 111 albion lot. I did drive it, the notice sign was placed in the appropriate lot. So you would definitely be purchasing the deed to a disputed property - I'd feel confident saying, at the very least, a buyer intending to clear the title would eventually be conceding a large portion (if you consider set backs etc) to the property owner of the structure - I am 100% talking out of my *** with that statement though, I'm not a real estate lawyer and only the most vanilla/conventional of real estate investors (that is to say green/inexperienced).  

Here's the fun part! I stuck around at the auction to see this property's bid. The owner occupants of the adjacent property showed up to the auction to buy the deed. The county allowed them to make an announcement requesting that no one bid against them as they have tried to buy the property for many years simply to clear up the property dispute. Auctioneer followed up with "this is not a chill on your auction. Everyone here has the legal right to bid on it. But everyone ought to know the property line goes through their living room". No one bid against them.


The rest of the auction was pretty wild. Probably 100+ paddles, bids that seemed pretty exorbitant for most properties, and I got to see the "land bank shenanigans" first hand - even spoke to the commissioner about it who was vocally opposed to their presence; she apparently attends the bank's board meetings to protest their operation.


 Send me a link where you are seeing this. It’s not impossible but 99 out of 100 times the lines are wrong or you are doing something wrong vs some one built a house half on someone else’s property. 


 ...in the quoted message, follow the link in the first paragraph, plug the parcel number into the SAGIS. I was also present at the auction where the lot line issue was verified by both the owners of the residence, and the county.