Amateur Investor Thought He Scored A Villa For $9,100 At The Broward County Auction. He Got A Foot-Wide Strip Of Land.
However, that’s not what he bought during the online property tax auction. He got a 1-foot-wide, 100-foot-long strip of land on Northwest 100th Way. The strip is only valued at $50.
The parcel starts at the curb where two mailboxes have been installed. The property goes under the wall separating the garages of two adjoining Spring Lake villas. It then extends out to the back of the lot.
Broward County auction officials say the sale is final.
So what can Holness do now? Make the people living there get their mailboxes off his grass? Remove the water meters that are in his ground? Maybe try to charge rent to both villas for the joint wall and roof that sit on his land?
What he wants is for the county to void the deal and give him his money back. Holness is a first-time auction bidder from the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Tamarac. He told the Sun-Sentinel:
Holness said that property appraiser pictures linked to the auction site showed the villa as being the parcel he was bidding on.
However, the appraiser’s site and the county’s tax site also show the negligible value of the property. The site shows hat there is no building value and that the land takes up only 100 square feet and that the property is one-foot wide.
The message from county officials and real estate experts is that auction participants need to do their homework before bidding.
Amateur Investor Wants To Know How Broward County Auction Officials Allowed This To Happen
Holness obtained from last summer show the county’s Records, Taxes and Treasury Division had raised questions about the property with the appraiser’s office. However, tax division director Tom Kennedy said if the property is on the tax rolls and it must be auctioned.
One memo suggested the adjacent villa owners would have the most interest, but neither bid on the property.
Richard Sherman, deputy general counsel for the appraiser’s office says state law requires the appraiser’s office to put a value on every property.
Holness could try to work out a deal with one of the villa owners to take ownership of the property. However, it’s unlikely he would recoup everything he spent.
It’s Caveat Emptor When It Comes To The Broward County Auction Website
Taking part in the Broward County County auctions is a risky venture. Especially for amateur investors.
Broward County put a new warning on the online auction site on Thursday. The county is now telling investors to do their research and that “Tax Deed sales are not for the uninformed.”
The county doesn’t guarantee any of the properties and they are sold as-is.
Broward County tax officials say the notice is new. However, they say the same information was already in six other places on the site in instructions to potential bidders.
Holness was one of four bidders on the Tamarac parcel.