There’s something strange going on in many Washington DC area neighborhoods. Triangular plots of land, the result of odd street intersections that often look like mini public parks, are being developed for homes in a tough real estate market that’s forcing some serious creativity in order to get in on the action.
Not all of the triangle plots are privately owned, but many of the ones that are have fallen into a no-man’s land after years of being forgotten. Owners pass on, taxes fall behind, and suddenly an opportunity arises for investors and developers to step in. As WAMU 88.5 noted, “In cases where someone is overdue on their property taxes, D.C. is allowed to sell the outstanding debt to private individuals at what’s known as a tax lien sale. The idea is that the city gets some money, and the individual can go after the outstanding property taxes — and, if they are not paid, sue for the land.”
What’s the key takeaway here? If you’re very patient, a triangular patch of land can be an out-of-the-box investment opportunity to develop in a desirable neighborhood. The caveat is that it can take awhile to get through the process of buying the tax lien, suing for property taxes, and ultimately suing for the land. But, if you’re looking for your next project, a perfect patch of land may not always be the most obvious one.
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