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Baltimore Tax Sale Results, part 1

May 16th, 2008 · 4 Comments

In my last post I mentioned how there were two empty lots scheduled to go to tax sale. They were assessed at upwards of $100k although the neighborhood was worth double that. I wondered if anyone would bid without inspecting the properties to see that they were actually empty lots.

 Yes, American Lien Fund is now the proud owner of a tax lien on 4206 Belmar. It is a vacant lot with newly seeded grass and fill dirt. It’s a clear indication that a house was recently demolished there. Their bid    .     .      .  $44, 394.36.

American was also a bidder on the other vacant lot nearby, 4313 Valley View Ave. This property had a $23,000 tax lien with a $105K assessment. Fortunately for American Lien Fund, a sucker is born every minute. Their $43K bid was handily beat by bidder #96. His bid?   .     .     .    $75,000!

These houses were both about 1700 sq ft. If you figure about $100 per sq ft to rebuild, then by the time you figure in your soft costs, your total cost would be about $200k, not including the lot.  That’s about what homes in this neighborhood are worth. If you paid zero for the lot you would have about a break even deal. Both of these bidders are upside down.

Tax lien certificates are not near as profitable or as easy as the late night TV gurus would imply. All real estate investing has risk. Tax liens are no different.  When I am done digesting the results I will do one more post about the sale in a day or two.

Be smart about your investing,


Tags: real estate · Tax Liens

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan Benya (10 comments.) // May 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    If you’re willing to take the time and roll the dice on tax sales, you’ve REALLY got to do your homework first. At what point do the investors go belly up over garbage like this? I’ve seen a TON of land in the recent tax sales go up because of investors and developers not able to make their own payments.

    Sounds like a continuing extention of the freewheeling, careless attitude of the booming market.

  • 2 What is a Tax Sale? // May 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    […] XHTML ← Baltimore Tax Sale Results, part 1 […]

  • 3 Yury // Apr 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    4206 Belmar had been resold several times after this post. And is now assessed at 30k.

  • 4 Ned // Apr 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Yury, Thanks for the update. I wouldn’t have guessed that the value would have been so high. I hope those buyers knew it was a vacant lot.

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