Quandary? Pay taxes on never visited property, or give it away?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by texican, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    My parents bought a lake lot back in the early 80's. They never ever revisited the site :flame: , although they paid thousands for it :flame: , back when money was worth a little bit more. It's in one of the housing developments :flame: :nono: :flame: , and I believe it's across the road from the water...

    They have both passed on :angel: :angel: , and now the lot has fallen into my hands. I have never visited it. It's on Lake Palestine in Texas...same lake as last year's HGTV Dream Home. I've never visited it, can't fathom building on it or ever using it, as I have my own private lake, and don't care for neighbors............so basically, in my book, it's a boat anchor...less than worthless....

    BUT, I do get the privelege of paying taxes on it each year, in the 70$ range.

    To me it ain't worth 70 bucks. Should I pay the taxes or let the state have it for taxes owed.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    SELL IT I'd also look into what it's really worth at todays market price. :buds:


    Kenneth
     

  3. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    uh, why on earth would you let it go? How much $$$ is owed in back taxes? The first thing I would do is find out how much it is worth- could be quite a lot, and at $70/year your parents would have had to miss a whole lot of payments for the tax liability to be very much. If you find that the land is worth more than the back taxes, sell it.
     
  4. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    How much is owed in taxes? I agree with kenneth...sell it. Don't just give it away.

    Shane
     
  5. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    huh??

    pay the money you owe & then sell it!
    heaven's sakes! sounds like you'll make a bundle
     
  6. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

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    The way land prices have skyrocketed in the last 20 + years I think you should contact 3 realtors in the area where the land is located and get their input on what the land is worth today. Don't tell them that you are getting other oppinions. Some realtors will by land for investment themselves and turn around and flip it in day's sometimes. If you get 3 different oppinions and one is very low and the other 2 are about the same, then you know whats what. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  7. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............If , your GNP won't be materially affected by it's disposition , then I would look into making a charitable donation\deduction to the Boy\Girl scouts as they could utilize the close proximity for overnight cookouts and day fishing party's . These activities could be organized such that the kids and their leaders would benefit greatly from the access to the water front lot and still NOT impenge upon the privacy of the neighbors . Plus , if donated it would be permanently REmoved from the Tax Rolls I'm thinking . Were I in your shoes My greatest JOY would be the Denial of The tax revenue to the Taxing Authority . fordy... :)
     
  8. NYhomesteadr

    NYhomesteadr Active Member

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    Give it back to the palestinians
     
  9. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    :bow: :D :clap:
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is about the strangest thing I ever heard on this forum, considering what land prices - esp on lakes - have done in the last 20 years.

    You've never heard of selling a property?

    --->Paul
     
  11. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    thanks everyone

    the tax office has it valued at 5K... The land's all paid for. I've been paying the taxes on it since '99. I'm only four months behind...no fear of a tax auction for a while. Got the money, it's just a matter of getting around to finding the statement, finding the checkbook, and stamps, etc.....procrastinate a bit when my checkbook is involved.

    Guess I'll have to make the one hour drive to actually see the danged thing, and possibly drop by some agents offices.

    Fordy...love that idea...would probably have to transfer it one of my sisters, since they have larger tax liabilities than I do.

    Don't know how many of you have neighbors within rock throwing distance, but it gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking of having to live that close to someone. I'm way out in the sticks and this lake property is in 'lawnmower country'.
     
  12. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    sorry rambler, I guess we posted at the same time..............

    this land is in one of those boilerplate land development 'schemes'. My parents got a free rotary dial phone for showing up...oooohhhh a 25$ phone, for a 4K/lot........

    Apparently, a lot of people would like to sell their lots, years later, after their throwaway gifts have long ago ceased working, and reality sets in that they'll never ever actually build on it.

    At all the family reunions, potlucks, weddings, wakes, whatever, I ask if anyone wants it............. nope...........
     
  13. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    Keep paying the taxes. It is a good investment.
     
  14. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    If the lot is actual lakefront, it's worth some money. If not, it just depends on the surrounding development and demand. I get out that way from time to time, since it's not too far from my place on Lake Athens. I'll be happy to give you my opinion if you want to PM me and tell me more.

    BTW, the HGTV dream home was not on Lake Palestine. We saw it last month. It's on nearby Lake Tyler, right next to a sales office for a new upscale subdivision they are marketing there. The guy that won it is unemployed and can't even pay the taxes on it. Pretty place though.
     
  15. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Steve
    I'm 'assuming' it's on lake Palestine........didn't know there were two lakes near Tyler..........shows how informed I am...

    will try and find the paperwork for lot # and whatnot.....and supposedly, from my sister, who thinks she saw the lot, years ago, it was across the road from the lake...so it would definitely be worth less than if it were on the lake proper...

    thanks
    Phil
     
  16. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about zoning or covenants on this lake (never been to TX and don't know anything about property there) but if you wanted to develop it, put a small cabin/water/electric on it, you could then use it as a vacation rental property. You could hire a realtor to take care of the rentals and upkeep for a portion of the rental income. If the lake is in a nice area, you would probably recoup your investment the first year and then the rest would be gravy for you.
     
  17. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    You may even want to consider holding onto it for a couple of years and just wait for the boom to kick in. Being near water in Texas has got to be worth something!

    My mom lives at a similar lake resort in VA. The lots stayed at about what they were initially offered for for 25 years, between $1-3000. Then about 4 years ago, they just started booming. My mom bought the lot next door just to keep it empty for the deer etc. A quarter acre lot. Four years ago she paid $16,000 for it, which we thought was outrageous. Now it's worth $70,000!!!!! UNREAL! Realtors ask to buy it all the time! And she is just holding onto it because she doesn't want more neighbors.

    But for heaven sakes, DON'T just give up on the lot. It's only an hour away??? I thought it was across the country from the way you said it. Drive out there, look at what other lots are going for, talk to the neighbors.

    Good luck!

    Beaux
     
  18. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is it a nice lake, and within an hour's drive? Is it crowded at sunrise? Do you like to sit out in the water on a boat? I do, and this is why I'd love to own it, if I could answer yes and no, to my first and second question.

    Good luck with resolving this.

    Rick
     
  19. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Check what covenants are on it. The area that HGTV dream home was on was VERY restrictive. The neighborhood would allow no rentals, no B&B's, no shops, etc. There was no way the winner could have made the property make money for them. However, I think that area around Tyler is booming! The property could be worth quite a lot, now or in the near future. But, don't give it away, you could always find some sucker to buy it. :p
     
  20. Pa funnyfarm

    Pa funnyfarm Well-Known Member

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    We had a similar issue last year. The property involved was in Front Royal VA, and was supposed to be worth about the same. What we found out was that in the years since purchase, the lot couldn't even be used for camping or picnics or fishing or putting a boat in the water due to all of the restrictions placed by homeowners association. DH mom made a trip a years ago and tried listing it, no takers. After her passing, we paid taxes for a few years and decided we wanted it off our list. One of the neighbors whose lots adjoined who actually had built a home there was interested, but couldn't come up with cash at the time his mom tried to sell. We called him and asked if he'd be interested in buying/ still too cash strapped while raising family/ we offered it then for the cost of transfering the lot to his name - he paid the current years tax due(under 100.), and title search etc needed by VA (attorney fees and all said he wound up with about $800 in it). He was thrilled since it still wasn't in their budget to buy it otherwise and they will now be able to add a building to their lot with the extra land - some may not think we played it out very wisely, we are pay to pay ourselves but it felt right. Maybe someone who has lot adjoining to your lot would be interested in buying it for closer to appraised value, and you could stop paying the tax every year too. Good luck! We have no regrets.