The 2800 block of Parrish Street is a lovely Fairmount block that happens to include a ten-unit complex of homes that all face into a private courtyard. Residents are able to pull their cars into a cul de sac, with some using the space in front of their homes for parking, while others use the easement to access their private garages. But the future for this collection of homeowners is murky indeed, after last month’s sheriff’s sale.

The courtyard

Last month, the 5,000+ sqft easement/parking lot was sold to an unknown investor due to what appears to be twenty years of unpaid property taxes totaling over $86K. Now, this insane opportunistic individual has the opportunity to hold the residents hostage, but is instead punting and offering the lot for sale on the open market for $200K. The listing reads:

ATTENTION INVESTORS – This lot/land is a paved driveway and is a common area and part of 15 town homes and counting. (editor’s note: we think it’s only ten) The new owner of this prime piece of real estate will be able to make an estimated income of $100 a month times 15 (10) by either leasing and creating a residual income or by selling dividing the land and selling it to the property owners. This land has the potential of making a lot of money. Please show and make an offer. This property is priced to sell and will not last.

View from inside the courtyard, a little blurry

As you’re probably aware, we frequent these sheriff’s sales and we even considered the idea of purchasing this particular parcel. But something just felt… wrong about it. There’s just something fishy about a condo association in a nice area never paying taxes on a shared property that gives us the idea that perhaps they didn’t know about the taxes (unlikely) or they’ve been collecting for taxes but haven’t paid because of some clerical error (getting warmer) or that the City has been getting paid but the payments have been somehow lost or incorrectly recorded (this sounds quite possible).

We’re guessing that this thing is headed to the courts for a couple of years and that the individual who purchased it will see their profits evaporate from the legal costs. Or else, maybe they’ll make a quick hundred grand and the new owner will have to deal with the consequences.

Either way, we have a feeling that this won’t end well for anybody.