Tax Deed for vacant lot owned by Grandfather 25+ Years ago

7 Replies

Hi, I plan on eventually investing in local real estate where I live but am currently saving for my first house hack and stumbled on what might be a opportunity?

My Grandfather was a home builder long ago before he passed away. In the process he sold a vacant lot on the east side of town in a low income area for $3,000 to the owner of the house on the adjacent lot, who then used the lot as a yard even fencing it in and possibly building a driveway on it. (small possibility an addition to the house extends onto the lot)

Fast forward to today and since that time the home was apparently foreclosed by a bank and then passed around from one real estate company to another. As of today it is rented out and up for sale for $53,500.00 with photo's using this lot (the houses yard) as a selling point.

Then this morning my Mother was served paper that the vacant lot will be auctioned off in October and because she is a Trustee of my Grandfathers Estate and my Grandfather was the last to own the land, his estate can purchase the land for Taxes which is $4,000.00 before the auction.

I'm wondering if there's an opportunity here but at first glance it looks like a mess that's best avoided.

Something is not right here. 

If the sale of the was recorded in the county records, your grandfather/estate would have NO rights to the property “as the previous owner” simply doesn’t work that way.  Sounds like maybe the lot sale was never recorded maybe, your grandfather is still listed as the owner, and the estate is receiving notice if the tax auction. 

The foreclosure was likely just for the lot the house was on, easy enough to verify by the legal description in the foreclosure/final judgment. 

Aside from all that, does the lot have any real value on it’s own?

It did seem odd to me also.

The best I can tell it was Deeded from my Grandfather to the other guy, along with a contract where my Grandfather would finance it to him with $500 down and $100 a month with 10% interest.

So maybe the guy never finished paying off the contract and my Grandfather still had some claim to it but forgot about it or didn't think it was worth the effort to pursue?

The lot is in a low income old neighborhood near downtown Gainesville. I don't know if it is buildable, I assume it is. However the fact it stayed vacant for at least 3 decades tells me it's not worth much but I don't know enough to be sure.

Here's the tax page for the lot:

@Chad Zetrouer The address you gave above is 404 SE 12th ter. 

The tax bill link you posted does not show the property address (“unassigned”) of the parcel going to tax deed auction but it shows the owner as Roy L Bass who lives at 414 SE 12th ter   

In any case, a vacant lot in a low income neighborhood is worth virtually nothing, which is why people let them go to tax auction all the time.

What's the lot worth?

Can you sell it?.....does anyone want to buy a vacant lot in an old neighborhood?

Are there any new homes in that neighbood.

How long would you need to hold it to sell it?

Thanks @Wayne Brooks .

@Bruce Lynn I wouldn't be surprised to see something happen to that area in the next 10-20 years, but as it is now I don't think the lot is worth much or anyone would want to build on it. Most houses in the neighborhood range from 50k to 80k so there's not much upside. It's a shame though because it's only like 8 blocks from Downtown.

@Chad Zetrouer has the County taken possession of the land? If not, there may be red tape you would need to get through in order to actually take possession of the property. It looks like Roy Bass was paying taxes on the land up until about 2010. 

Given the area, there may be a reason no one purchased the tax lien. The description of "GOODMANS ADDN PB A-21 1/2 LOT 16 BK C OR 2017/2467 & OR 2414/1795" indicates this is a half lot. I do not believe you can build on a half lot with an exception from the County.