Thursday, January 30, 2014

310 P St NW

300 blk of P St NW by In Shaw
300 blk of P St NW, a photo by In Shaw on Flickr.
This is a blighted property.
It has been a blighted property for as long as I can remember. But notice the pop up on the left. It was a vacant shell at one point. Now it is a residence. I don't remember the story for the pop up on the left.
The story here is for Jan 2014 the owner Allison Bennett of Largo, MD owes $185,204.39 in real property taxes, a little less for sewer and trash. Blighted properties are charged $10 for every $100 of value. The land it sits on is valued at about $200K. Ms. Bennett came to the property in 2006. According to Redfin, she purchased it for $180K, according to the DC government, it was $380K.
I've blogged about this property before,  here (and the neighboring house here  and here) and not much has changed.

509 O St NW- Still Vacant, Still Falling Apart

509 O St NW by In Shaw
509 O St NW, a photo by In Shaw on Flickr.
There is a little less of the building since this photo was last taken. It is a study in how a building can slowly fall apart.
I pass by it often, at least once a week. It is still an eyesore that apparently no princes nor principalities can redeem.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

454 N St NW

454 N St NW by In Shaw
454 N St NW, a photo by In Shaw on Flickr.
Sometimes DC government can help with the problem. Sometimes DC government is the problem.
According to the DC tax database, the blighted property 454 N St NW, is owned by the District of Columbia, Suite 307. As you may hazard a guess, it pays no taxes so there is no point of having it taxed at the vacant rate.
The thing with these DC owned properties is eventually (10-20 years eventually) they do make their way back to the tax rolls as an occupied property, but not any time soon. In the meantime, neighboring properties suffer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Follow-up: 1002 M St NW

This blog was started sometime back in 2007 by Ed. I inherited it in 2010 and so far have done very little since then. There are some links and posts regarding some properties that were blights and eyesores at one point in history, that are now a part of the fabric of the neighborhood. In the right column there are addresses that I'll take a quick look-see to discover if those properties have joined the ranks of the normal properties or remain blights of the street.

Today I looked at 1002 M St., NW. It was featured by Ed May 23, 2007. It was a Class 3 then later Class 1, vacant property in 2007. Today it is a set of 4 condo units with 3 of those owners receiving the homestead deduction. What this means is this former vacant property has become a home to about four households, who in addition to paying property tax add to the income tax rolls as well.

According to Redfin, the first unit was listed in July and sold in August 2012 for $529,999. Looking at the other units, they were sold either in July or September in 2012 between $449.9K and $630K. The building was converted to condos in 2011, which I'll guess the building was renovated in 2011-2012 and made available for sale.

This is what I hope can happen to many units featured here. That the vacant rate taxes or other incentives will get owners of vacant properties get inspired to make them occupied dwellings once again. So with this I remove "1002 M St, NW" from the column and add the tag 'occupied' to this address.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Not too keen on DC Council's "Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013"

Vacant house that was
receiving the
Senior Citizen
Homestead Deduction

Every so often I like to check up on a property in SE DC that was once owned by my late great-aunt in the tax roles. She died 2 years ago. Before she died, she was in a nursing home for years in Maryland. She had a will and though it has been 2 years now, the house is still the deceased's name, empty, and her homestead status reads: "** Currently receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction*." The yearly tax is equal to dinner at Marcel's for two.
Last year the District of Columbia introduced legislation B20-0318 Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Relief Act of 2013. On the 7th of this year it got it's first vote/reading. Though the city can afford the loss of tax revenue however, the city's record with the plain old Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction has been poor in practice. My great aunt's house is an example of this. To the best of my knowledge the house is vacant but not blighted. Unfortunately, I've encountered a blatantly vacant house receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction that was endangering the surrounding houses. My concern is without the tax, seniors will either move or die, leaving properties to fall into disrepair, and damaging the neighborhood. Yes, there is language about qualifying and alerting the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) about periods when the owner no longer qualifies, but that is too dependent on the owner, the estate and survivors, who have zero incentive to pay up and will have less incentive to repair properties. The law is great for co-operatives and possibly condos, horrible for single family homes and townhouses.
This blog's interest is in vacant properties that are blights and harm the neighborhood. This is well meaning legislation, however, because of my observations with enforcement (or lack thereof) with the homestead exemptions (senior and non-senior) I see problems.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Update to Yellow Tape Crooked House

There is now a tall chained linked fence surrounding the yellow end structure that was mentioned in my last post "Yellow Tape, Crooked House" .
A quick look in DCRA's PIVS Application (Property Information Verification System) shows no recent permits for 1801 6th St NW, nor 1803 6th St, NW, the adjoining property which shares a lot number with the offending structure.
Another peak at recent sales (though the tax office can be slow at posting these things) do not show the proerty being sold to anyone and still owned by E.D. Samuel who is not receiving the homestead deduction. The properties, as they share one lot, are taxed at the normal rate. There are no strongly positive search results in the Social Security Death Index, but I don't have as much confidence in the SSDI since I still cannot locate my dead aunt, the one with the estate paying her reduced senior property tax rate.