Dead Body in a bathtub lottery

In yesterday’s Washington Post there was the District of Columbia Notice of Real Property Tax Sale (J section). It lists the properties for which taxes or other things owed to the city have not been paid and their liens are up for auction. As you may remember the Tax auction was how Edmund A. Wilson lost his house. But he had left this earthly plane (or is it plain?) without notice and material things like houses probably meant little to him afterwards. Yes, he was the dead body, found in the bathtub, when the new owners took possession.
The tax sale is from July 10 till all the tax liens have been auctioned off. Most people, particularly in this Real Estate market, like ninety someodd percent, pay their delinquent taxes or what have you. The tiny percentage of properties where the owners don’t pay their taxes are up for foreclosure. The problem with foreclosure is that there might be a huge mortgage on the property or other liabilities, would would need to be paid by the foreclosurer. But sometimes, like the lottery, you win big, and you get a property.
Since more than likely one won’t get a property at auction the reason to participate is the interest rate. According to what I could pull out of the tax sale rules (pdf) interest accrues at 1.5% per month. My poor math skills tell me that is 18% a year. Not bad considering my credit union is offering about 4.5% on a 6 month CD. But, that is only on the taxes owed, not the amount you bid over, or that nasty $150 auction fee added to the bidding. Because the auction room includes idiots who believe they will actually get a house with the auction (no just a lien) they tend to bid the properties above an amount that would give back a decent return in interest. But not for all properties, so it is possible to make a little money on the tax sale.
I’m debating about participating this year. I have to see what extra money I have laying around that can be tied up for 6 months. Last year I bid but didn’t get anything because the bids went above a decent rate of return (is that the right term?) and I wasn’t going to bid just to bid.
Update: I noticed that the DC.Gov doesn’t have the list of properties up and there doesn’t seem to be an electronic version of it on the Post or Times websites. There are several properties owing the tax man. 1419 and 1421 3rd St are on the list, so is 206 Bates, 1504 1st St, 142 Bates, and many more. Let’s say, more than I’d rather list.

Real Estate Agents on Crack again

There is a house at 1611 New Jersey Avenue for sale for, get this, $798,000. Crack, crack, PCP with an LSD chaser Crack is what the Realtors are smoking. And they must be giving it to their buyers. Yeah, it has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and I’m quite sure they are big and everything, but $800K? I know this place has no parking. For $800 grand you should have parking and your own personal crack ho. For less you can get a 5 bedroom 4 bath at 34 Quincy for less than $500K, or at $500K 69 Florida Ave. With the extra $300K you could buy an extra condo or for a tad more 1647 New Jersey Ave (a 2 bedroom 1 bath) for $310K.
Please stop the maddness, just say no to the real estate crack.
11/29/05
2 anon comments are 2 too many

Jim Berry fighting against more Section 8 housing

Jim Berry fighting against more Section 8 housing
From: “JBerry”
To: “‘Jeannette.Johnson
Subject: North Capitol Townhomes Limited Partnership Affordable Housing Production Project
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 20:12:31 -0400

Ms. Johnson,

Thank you for establishing contact with me concerning the above-referenced subject. There is a glitch in ANC 5C’s telephone service with Verizon that we are in the process of correcting. That is, the telephone mail box for ANC 5C is shared between 12 commissioners and due to a progressive increase in the volume of calls that we have been receiving from members of the
general public over the last six months, we plan to significantly expand its capacity in the immediate future. Nevertheless, for your information and future reference, I can be reached daily, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (202) *******and at (202) ******** during the evening hours.

As you may know, I volunteer my time and talents to my neighbors via my service to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C and, because we don’t have an office manager at the time, there is a predictable delay in my receipt of calls transmitted to our office number.

I appreciate your advising me of Ms. Matthias’ availability next week, but my written request of the DHCD was to meet with its Director, Mr. Stanley Jackson. Hence, I am at a loss to understand why a meeting with Ms. Matthias is being offered as a preliminary step towards the attainment of this goal.

It appears that the DHCD intends to move with dispatch to facilitate the release of Community Block Grant Funds in order that an out of town developer can implement the proposed North Capitol Townhomes Project and, frankly, I fear that it may succeed with this unfortunate and
unacceptable plan while I am engaged in and, possibly, being distracted by offers and arrangements to meet with surrogates of Mr. Jackson’s.

As I have previously indicated, DHCD’s existing plans to continue a subsidized housing program for the next 30 years in my neighborhood, that has not yielded a single homeowner as a result of its implementation over the past 21, strikes me as an abomination that I/we who are also
heavily invested in this community, must resist by all possible means. Indeed, I have shared this position with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s representative, with Ward Five Council Member Vincent B. Orange and other members of the D.C. City Council, and I plan to elaborate on this position in a meeting with officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development that I plan to have in the immediate future.

It is my hope that reason will ultimately prevail in this unfortunate situation and that the DHCD will abandon its current plan, in favor of one that promotes and facilitates homeownership (especially, for those participants in the Bates Street Limited Townhomes Project of
longstanding). Indeed, if the DHCD and the local government is serious about and
committed to the goal of helping those who live in subsidized housing to evolve
into homeowners, now is the ideal time to implement such a program which, I believe, would represent a “win-win” situation for all of the stakeholders involved.

Sincerely,

James D. Berry, Jr.
Chairperson, ANC 5C