Tax-Titled Property Auction Results

By S.D. Plissken | May 6, 2016

The James R. St. Jean auctioneers held an auction at the Emma Ramsey Center in Milton, on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Eight tax-titled (tax seizure) Milton properties were on the block.

The descriptions below appeared in their auction brochure (see References below). One of our correspondents found the sale prices quoted below in a social media posting by an auction attendee.

(Ed. Note: The sale prices of the following properties have been revised through receipt of exact figures: #2 (added), #3 (revised downwards), #4 (revised downwards), and #7 (sale cancelled) (May 7)).

A follow-up discussion of this auction is scheduled as the tenth agenda item on tonight’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting agenda.


The Two Properties Sold with Covenants

The first two properties had some serious problems – health hazards – frequently mentioned in Board of Selectmen (BOS) meetings. The following conditions (or covenants) were attached to those properties.

Auctioneer’s Note for Sales 1 & 2: The Grantee agrees that within 45 days of the date of the execution of the deed, the Grantee will apply to the Town for a building permit for all work necessary to return the property to livable condition. Further, the Grantee agrees that within 1 year from the date of execution of the deed all necessary work will be completed and a certificate of occupancy obtained.

In effect, each of these two properties comes with a rather expensive albatross tied around its neck, even should they become “tear downs.”

(Their problems are not unlike those present on a much larger scale in the Town’s so-called Lockhart Field site).


Sale #1 is the so-called “Blue House” property discussed in so very many BOS meetings.

SALE #1: Tax Map 22, Lot 19, 1121 White Mountain Highway • Cape style home on a 2.64± acre lot includes 3,256± SF GLA, 4BR, 2 BA, & FHW/oil heat • Attached garage & detached shed • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $168,300. 2018 taxes $4,289. DEPOSIT: $5,000

Sold for $11,000. This would be 6.5% of its previously assessed value.


SALE #2: Tax Map 9, Lot 2, 16 Spruce Lane • Single family home on 0.4± acre lot on a dead end street • Property features 968± SF GLA, 1 BR & 1 BA • Storage Shed, FHA/gas heat, & wood deck • Assessed value $69,000. 2018 taxes $1,759. DEPOSIT: $5,000

Sold for $69,000. This would be exactly its assessed value.


The Six Undeveloped Lots Sold “As Is”

The following six properties are undeveloped lots. Note that in some cases there was a considerable variance between their auction prices – their actual value as determined by the market – and their assessed values. This variance should be a matter of some study by the assessors, who will likely want to make some adjustments in similar properties – for accuracy’s sake.


SALE #3: ABSOLUTE – Tax Map 43, Lot 24-6, Campbell Road • Undeveloped 1.51± acre lot located on a cul-de-sac street in the Briar Ridge development • Lot is wooded and gently rolling in topography • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $33,600. 2018 taxes $857. DEPOSIT: $2,500

Sold for $24,000. This would be 71.4% of its previously assessed value.


SALE #4: ABSOLUTE – Tax Map 43, Lot 24-8, Campbell Road • Undeveloped 1.58± acre lot located on a cul-de-sac street in the Briar Ridge development • Lot is wooded and gently rolling in topography • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $33,800. 2018 taxes $862 DEPOSIT: $2,500

Sold for $21,000. This would be 62.1% of its previously assessed value.


SALE #5: ABSOLUTE -Tax Map 5, Lot 7, Willey Road • Undeveloped 11.98± acre lot along a quiet paved road • Lot is wooded and slopes down from the road • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $45,000. 2018 taxes $1,147. DEPOSIT: $2,500

Sold for $12,000. This would be 26.7% of its previously assessed value.


SALE #6: ABSOLUTE – Tax Map 47, Lot 27-1, White Mountain Highway • Undeveloped 10.83± acre lot along heavily traveled Rte. 125 • Lot is wooded, level to gently rolling and has water frontage along the Salmon Falls River • Zoned Commercial/Residential • Assessed value $50,800. 2018 taxes $1,295. DEPOSIT: $2,500

Sold for $20,000. This would be 39.4% of its previously assessed value.


SALE #7: ABSOLUTE -Tax Map 37, Lot 64, Ford Farm Road • Undeveloped 0.4± acre lot along a paved road in a quiet residential neighborhood • Lot is wooded and gently rolling in topography • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $8,100. 2018 taxes $207. DEPOSIT: $1,000

This property reportedly sold for between $4,000 and $5,000. That would have been between 49.4% and 61.7% of its previously assessed value However, the winning bidder withdrew, so the property remains available. .

Quiet residential neighborhood would be one way to describe it. This property is situated along one of the proposed “no through trucking” routes mentioned at the BOS meetings of last year.


SALE #8: ABSOLUTE – Tax Map 39, Lot 9, Middleton Road • Undeveloped 4± acre lot along a paved road close to the Farmington Town Line • Lot is rolling in topography and much of the lot is made of wetlands • Zoned Low Density Residential • Assessed value $2,200. 2018 taxes $56. DEPOSIT: $1,000

Sold for $100. This would be 4.5% of its previously assessed value. The auction attendee described this as “the wetlands lot.”

Assessors should take note, with an eye to adjusting their cards, that the market values wetland properties as virtually worthless, at least for small-scale building purposes. Neither Rome nor Washington, DC,  achieved their current values until after they had drained their pestilential swamps. (Their actual swamps, rather than their metaphorical ones).


Overall, the seven properties, with a combined assessed value of $402,700, sold at auction for $157,100. That would be an average of 39.0% of their previously assessed value.

References:

Town of Milton. (2019, April 11). Tax-Titled Property Auction, May 4, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/news/one_page_brochure.pdf

Author: S.D. Plissken

I thought he'd be taller.

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