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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: DTEJD1997 on October 14, 2016, 04:30:25 PM

Title: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 14, 2016, 04:30:25 PM
Hey all:

I'm off work for a few days, as the new project hasn't geared up yet...

SO I'm out & about looking at commercial real estate.  HMMM...the accountant's office 1/2 mile from me is now closed & up for sale.  Wonder what the ask is?

Get the owner's son on the line.  He is very nice & informative.  Father passed away and now mother wants to sell the building.  BUT WAIT it is a "two fer" deal.  You also get the building attached to it! ????OK????

So you get just under 2,700 sq. ft.  of "move in ready" space.  You might want to redecorate though, as the last time it was updated was in the early 80's.  OK.

Price?  $40K

But here is where it starts to get KRAZY!

THAT IS FOR BOTH BUILDINGS! 

OK, what are property taxes?  They are about $7,900 per year!

WTF????  Did I hear that right?  Surely you must be mistaken.

Answer:  Please don't call me Shirley, and NO, I am not mistaken.

What is the assessed value?  Approximately $42k per building.

This is a SUBURB of Detroit....Assessed property taxes are almost 10% a year?  On grossly inflated property values?

I told the seller that if the information he gave me is correct, I don't see how he will be able to sell the property.  He sounded quite deflated and said, well yes, that is why the price is low, and we want OUT.

Am I krazy?  Does this sound like an out control situation with property taxes?

I am going to dig into this and find out.  The buildings are in good shape...Heck, I could easily walk to work!
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: racemize on October 14, 2016, 04:53:07 PM
In texas you can go question the assessed value and just show a receipt.  Then they lower to the purchased value for you.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 15, 2016, 07:36:18 AM
In texas you can go question the assessed value and just show a receipt.  Then they lower to the purchased value for you.

I asked a couple of people more knowledgeable about real estate in MI...

They said that you absolutely can contest the property tax assessment and will likely prevail.

The PROBLEM is that if the tax is $7k per year, you'll get it lowered to $6k per year.  Not to the $2k per year, which is where it needs to be based on market conditions.

If the tax rate is 18% for commercial property in my little suburb, no wonder the vacancy rate is 40%.  This is destroying the market...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: racemize on October 15, 2016, 07:39:39 AM
Isn't it 42k per building vs 40k for both?  So, assessed is 84k, of which 8k is assessed, which is still incredibly high, but less than 10%.  So it would seem like it would get halved?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 15, 2016, 08:21:14 AM
Isn't it 42k per building vs 40k for both?  So, assessed is 84k, of which 8k is assessed, which is still incredibly high, but less than 10%.  So it would seem like it would get halved?

I believe the assessed tax value is supposed to be approximately 1/2 of market value.  Each building's assessed tax value is something like $42k.  That would imply market value is $84k PER building.  So on that basis, the tax is about 4.5%.  The problem is that the taxing authority is saying the properties are worth 4X more than they really are.  Heck, it might be even more than that.  These properties have been listed for sale for months.

The problem is that the assessed values are the absolute height of lunacy.  I can't think that either of these buildings was EVER was worth $84k.  They are small, at about 1250-1300 sq. ft. per unit.  This area of town, while not hit with the crime & decay that Detroit has been, is not prosperous by any stretch of the imagination.  The commercial vacancy rate is 40%+ in this particular area.  The vacancy rate has been high for years & years & years.

I am sure that the high tax rate is contributing to the vacancies.  Landlords simply can't lower the rent too far, as they have to pay high taxes.  In that case, who really owns the land/buildings?  In the properties that I am looking at, taxes would tax 1/2+ of a "reasonable" rent!
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: racemize on October 15, 2016, 10:26:30 AM
Well, right, but all it takes are a few sales, and then you go and get the taxes lowered.  It is a very straightforward situation in Texas at least.  Maybe it doesn't work that way in Detroit though.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: gg on October 15, 2016, 11:47:31 AM
I would suggest that you contact a lawyer that specializes in reducing real estate taxes. I know some people that have used these services very successfully in the past
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Value^2 on October 30, 2016, 12:33:55 AM
any updates.... did ya buy it?

thanks.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DooDiligence on October 30, 2016, 12:49:50 AM
I would suggest that you contact a lawyer that specializes in reducing real estate taxes. I know some people that have used these services very successfully in the past

Contact the GOP frontrunner...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on October 30, 2016, 08:43:56 AM
Hey all:

I have not purchased this property...

While it passes almost every test...the problem is the property taxes.

I am going to try and get an option contingent on getting the taxes lowered.  The property simply does not work with the current level of taxation.

I also want to see what happens with the election and see if the economy falls into chaos again...

Right now real estate is/has been strong in the Detroit area.  It makes me think that the stupid money is flowing in now...after prices have risen.

If the economy declines substantially, the Detroit area is going to get hit HARD. 

If there are any developments, I'll let the board know.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Gregmal on October 30, 2016, 09:19:24 AM
Hey all:

I have not purchased this property...

While it passes almost every test...the problem is the property taxes.

I am going to try and get an option contingent on getting the taxes lowered.  The property simply does not work with the current level of taxation.

I also want to see what happens with the election and see if the economy falls into chaos again...

Right now real estate is/has been strong in the Detroit area.  It makes me think that the stupid money is flowing in now...after prices have risen.

If the economy declines substantially, the Detroit area is going to get hit HARD. 

If there are any developments, I'll let the board know.

Maybe its different in Detroit but I've actually seen and used this kind of a strategy as leverage in transactions like the one you described. You simply argue that the tax rate is too high and are bearing substantial risk in taking on the property. You also point out that every month that goes by thats another "x amount" of carry cost being eaten by the seller so his best bet is to get it taken off his hands asap, even if it s at a great discount. If he holds these another year his $42k ask is now equivalent to 34k. The key however is to know the local real estate market and what the process is for appeals, which obviously includes the likelihood of getting it adjusted in your favor. Where I am, you generally just have to show the market value contradicts the assessment, in which case a contract of sale will do the trick. That should then theoretically take your assessed value down from 42k per, to 42k for both, likely cutting the tax bill in half.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on December 21, 2016, 02:22:41 PM
Hey all:

Just got home for the evening...

I bought that KRAZY KOMMERICAL PROPERTY outside of Detroit...

Of course, the $40k price for 2,600 sq. ft. of office space was just KRAZY EXPENSIVE.

So we reached a deal of $25k for the two buildings.

Of course, the buildings need a thorough cleaning and actually need some renovation. 

Fortunately, the plumbing (copper), electrical, HVAC, roof, windows are all good.  A rear door needs to be replaced.  Carpeting needs replacing...

I figured at about $11/sq. ft, that it was not a too bad a deal for commercial real estate that does not need extensive work.

I figure one building will be retail, and I'll use the other as professional offices.

Perhaps I'll upload some pictures later...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Parsad on December 21, 2016, 03:10:28 PM
Hey all:

Just got home for the evening...

I bought that KRAZY KOMMERICAL PROPERTY outside of Detroit...

Of course, the $40k price for 2,600 sq. ft. of office space was just KRAZY EXPENSIVE.

So we reached a deal of $25k for the two buildings.

Of course, the buildings need a thorough cleaning and actually need some renovation. 

Fortunately, the plumbing (copper), electrical, HVAC, roof, windows are all good.  A rear door needs to be replaced.  Carpeting needs replacing...

I figured at about $11/sq. ft, that it was not a too bad a deal for commercial real estate that does not need extensive work.

I figure one building will be retail, and I'll use the other as professional offices.

Perhaps I'll upload some pictures later...

Yes, please do so...would be interesting to see.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DooDiligence on December 21, 2016, 11:39:34 PM
Any reconciliation with the taxing authority yet?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: ScottHall on December 21, 2016, 11:45:38 PM
Great to hear DTEJD1997. This is an interesting story and I'm excited to hear how it plays out.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on December 22, 2016, 05:11:44 AM
Any reconciliation with the taxing authority yet?
No, not yet.  Tax contesting season opens in the new year.  February I think....

HOWEVER, I did go to the city's tax assessors office.  They admitted that a lot of properties are "out of whack" and that on this property the taxes are probably at least double what they should be.  The taxes are probably 3X or 4X what they should be...but if I get them cut in half, I will take it.

One of things that gives me optimism is that there are a few vacancies that got filled and a couple of rehabs that are starting within a 1 mile radius of the property.

Not that this suburb will ever be a "prosperous" suburb...but it looks like it is getting just a bit better.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on December 23, 2016, 09:21:43 PM
Hey all:

Started moving stuff into the buildings yesterday.

This is going to be a lot of work!

Tried to get utilities switched over today, but offices said to call back during "regular business hours"...oh well.  Maybe they'll be back to work Monday.

My buildings are the red brick buildings in the center of the photo...specifically 21040 & 21044.  I'll post some interior photos over the weekend.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: augustabound on December 24, 2016, 03:01:20 AM
That is awesome, congratulations. Good luck with the tax assessment.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on December 24, 2016, 05:57:03 AM
hey all:

Here is a picture of the rear of the buildings....As you can see, one of the buildings goes back just a bit further than the other.

There are a few good things....

A). Each building has it's own door
B). Each building has it's own HVAC system
C). The A/C units are on the ground!  I was alarmed at first, but the prior owner stated (correctly?) that if they weren't stolen fiddled with previously, why now?

I promise some more interesting photos to follow soon...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on February 11, 2017, 11:26:24 AM
Hey all:

Everything is progressing...just taking a LOT more time & energy than initially expected.

Got the first water & sewer bill the other day....This is reason # 5,796,473,954 why Detroit & Michigan have sunk so far into poverty & despair. 

Total bill was almost $110 for 35 days of water & sewer.  Water use was just above nothing.  A lot of days there is NO water used at all.  The vast majority of time, I am the only one there. 

She then informed me that consumers have to pay for pensions AND all the unpaid water bills in Detroit...There were 90,000 unpaid water bills in Detroit according to the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/04/opinion/going-without-water-in-detroit.html?_r=0

keep that in perspective.  Detroit now has about 700k residents, down about 65% from it's peak population.  If there are two residents per household, that means that about 26% of Detroit households are not paying their water & sewer bills.

Water & sewer in Detroit is MUCH more expensive than in Las Vegas and Texas. 

Finally, consider that Detroit sits atop the best fresh water resource(s) in the WORLD.  Also consider that the infrastructure is probably 100+ years old and has certainly been paid off by now.  The major spending is on maintenance & upkeep, no huge capital outlays needed to build it.

I am going to guess that if there weren't MASSIVE problems here, you would not be able to buy commercial buildings for $11/sq. ft.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on February 16, 2017, 11:33:40 AM
Hey all:

Sorry for the lack of updates & promised pictures.  I will be adding some this weekend.

In the spirit of the topic of the thread, I am also going to expand it to show other "odd" things that have happened in Detroit.

A few examples....

A). There are abandoned sky scrapers in Detroit.  Not just 1 or 2 either!  In the past few years though a few of them have been torn down, and a few have been rehabbed.  HOWEVER, there are still several still standing.  Some of them are also not 100 years old.  There is one near where I sometimes play poker that I think was built in the 60's.  A relatively modern looking 20 story building.  Totally vacant except for cell phone antennae on the roof.

B). There have been PRIME lots of land along the Detroit river that have been for sale as long as I've been alive.  I can remember walking past them and seeing "FOR SALE" signs as a very small child.  35+ years later they are still "FOR SALE".  Assuming there was 1 owner, there is no WAY they can make their money back after paying property taxes for 35+ years.

C). I and my father used to live in a CO-OP on the Detroit River.  A very nice luxury building...After the great recession, many units were simply given back to the CO-OP board as there was simply no resale market for them.  If these were in NYC, they would be million dollar units.  Property has come back to life in Detroit, and the vacancy rate has gone from 35% to now maybe 5%.  Value of the units has also come back, but still a crazy situation.

Dad bought his unit(s) around 1985.  He sold in 2007.  He got about what he paid.  There was almost no price appreciation in 20 years.  This was also before the great recession hit.

I am sure I will have some other examples too.  This weekend I am going to try and take some photos of stuff so readers will have examples of what I'm talking about....

Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: InvestingOnSale on February 16, 2017, 11:44:25 AM
Thanks for sharing DTEJD1997. Really interesting anecdotes and a reminder to be looking for value anywhere, not just in equities. Looking forward to hearing more.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Parsad on February 16, 2017, 11:47:03 AM
Thanks for sharing DTEJD1997. Really interesting anecdotes and a reminder to be looking for value anywhere, not just in equities. Looking forward to hearing more.

+1!  Keep sharing...very interesting!  Cheers!
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 22, 2017, 12:10:07 AM
Hey all:

I am sorry for the lack of postings & updates in this thread.  I've had numerous small things and small problems keep cropping up.  It always takes me more energy & time to complete things than I initially think.

Also, organization is not my strong suit...

With that being said, I do have some interesting information to report:

I had the tax hearing the other day.  I think it went relatively well, and I should get the results back very soon. 

Here is ONE of the unusual things that happened...

The counter clerk almost jumped when I came in.  He said he was shocked that I showed up on time.  I queried as to why that is odd.  He told me that just over half of the people that schedule a tax protest hearing simply don't show up.

OK, I sign in, and fill out the initial forms and then up in front of the board I go...

They repeat the same thing.  I go into my presentation about how "out of whack the taxes are", and then hand out my paper & research.  The board acts confused and what am I doing?  I then get confused, and state that the handouts have more details and specifics than what I am talking about.  WTF did they think it was?

The board members tell me that MOST of the people who show up simply start yelling about "the taxes are too high!" and want to "throw down" with the board members....I did not get the impression that the board members wanted to settle disputes with their fists...

I was the only one who looked up comparable sales, used a cash flow analysis, and a repair schedule for the property to show why it was not properly assessed.  They said I was by far the best prepared and the only person who had any significant documentation to back up what I asserted.

The board wanted to know how I knew what other properties sold for, and how did I get that information???  Simple, I filed the FOI request & got the last 2 years of commercial sales for the city.  The board wanted to have a copy of that.    I didn't print that up as I figured I was pushing it with 3 pages, and I figured they would have that information in front of them.  They weren't aware that this information could be easily pulled...

I was also given 30 minutes instead of the usual 10 minutes, as the next scheduled person did not show up.

So I think I made my case reasonably well, and I anticipate a good outcome.   The board stated that I was easily the most prepared person who came in front of them.

I was just surprised at how the actual process went, that so many people don't show up, that those who do simply complain and have little/no facts to back themselves up with...

I'll let the board know the result when I get it.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 22, 2017, 12:20:48 AM
Hey all:

Here is another interesting bit of information that I learned in preparing for my tax hearing.

While I think I got a reasonable deal on the property...I am not the only one who got a deal!  A commercial building about 1/2 mile from mine sold within the last year.

This building is an office building with a small parking lot. 


I have walked past it numerous times when i go out exercising.  It is on the infamous "8 Mile" road!  Do not fret though...Mad Max time starts about 1 mile further down 8 Mile.  This building is in a relatively safe area.  It is at an odd spot, three cities converge at that point...Eastpointe, St. Clair Shores and Harper Woods all come to together at that spot.  If you walk about mile to the west, you will hit Detroit proper.

Anyways, I estimate the building to be about 10K square feet.  It is a two story building.  It is currently being rented out to small businesses, offices are $199 a month with all utilities included.  I do not know if that includes internet/phone though...

One problem with the building though is that you have to climb some stairs to get into it.  I don't think it is ADA compliant.  Perhaps it is grandfathered in?

So how much would you pay for a building like this?

Tax assessment puts market value of the building at just under $450k!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
THE BUILDING SOLD FOR $110K.

So that is about what I paid, about $11/square foot.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Green King on March 22, 2017, 12:24:22 AM
LOL, you got me at.
Quote
The board wanted to know how I knew what other properties sold for, and how did I get that information?

Cheers

Thanks for the information from the Streetz
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: frank87 on March 22, 2017, 01:00:27 PM
I remember that there are similar problems with property taxes in lower-tier retail properties in Middle America. The taxes are assessed on property values that were based on values from years ago and were no longer current. I think that many of the property owners were also trying to renegotiate their property taxes.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 22, 2017, 01:13:02 PM
I remember that there are similar problems with property taxes in lower-tier retail properties in Middle America. The taxes are assessed on property values that were based on values from years ago and were no longer current. I think that many of the property owners were also trying to renegotiate their property taxes.
Yes, you are 100% correct.  I forgot to mention that I got my new tax assessment for the current year and the value went up like $600.  I think the assessor's office simply has a simple formula that every property is upped a certain amount EVERY YEAR.  If nobody contests over a 20+ year time frame, the assessed and ACTUAL value can be very different...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Pelagic on March 22, 2017, 01:58:25 PM
I'm trying to get a handle on the incentive structure for the tax assessment board, perhaps you can shed a little more light on how they work.

I assume they're either elected or appointed by elected officials so ostensibly they work for the residents? What prevents them from just lowering everyone who petitions taxes, save perhaps those outwardly hostile to them in their hearings? Do they work under a quota where they can only reduce property taxes in a year by $X and you have to argue for a portion of that quota to be applied to your property? Other than people who piss them off, why wouldn't they reduce most petitioners taxes if they have a somewhat valid claim to it? I can't imagine they're being rewarded for keeping taxes high.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 22, 2017, 08:11:02 PM
Hey all:

Well, the bad news came in today...

The valuation of the one building was only lowered 38% and the other was lowered 40%.

I am a little distressed at how unprofessional the whole situation is.  When I got the decision, it is just a standardized, computerized form.  No comment as to how the board reached their decision, nothing...just the new valuation.

When I went in to contest it, there were standardized forms that you had to fill out, name, address, etc.  Towards the end, there is a spot for you to write the reason why you think the valuation is incorrect.  You would have a difficult time writing a complete sentence in the space provided. 

I put together a 3 page argument that used comparable sales, the buildings condition and costs needed to bring it up to a "rentable" condition...and finally a cash flow analysis.  What did the valuation board do?  Any analysis at all?  Even a single sentence?  NO.

This is just so silly.  The NEW TAX VALUATION is only 4X what I paid for the buildings, not the 6X what it formerly was.

I wonder if the board members would be willing to buy the buildings for HALF of the tax valuation?  I doubt it....

If these buildings are so @#$#%^ valuable, why didn't some other aspiring business man buy them?  They were for sale for MONTHS, almost a year.

Looks like I'm to the state level next...

I guess if it were easy, everybody would be doing it, and everybody would be rich...

 >:(
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Green King on March 23, 2017, 01:44:57 AM
Hang in there. There is an innate conflict of interest built in the process since your taxes pays their salary. With budgetary problems they are facing dragging their feet is perfectly normal.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Cigarbutt on March 23, 2017, 04:54:56 AM
Interesting story.
Reminds me of similar experiences with the Monster.
Perhaps it becomes, at some point, a simple investment decision:ie is it worth the time or aggravation?
If it becomes a matter of principle, re-evaluate?
When you reach points of resistance, it may not be time to pick up and read Atlas shrugged as you may feel like looking for a guy whose first name is John. Who?
I encourage you to continue your venture. Keep us informed.
Good luck.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: johnny on March 23, 2017, 06:10:48 AM
Nothing to add to this thread but just wanted to say it is a cool thread and you are a good poster.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: John Hjorth on March 23, 2017, 06:14:18 AM
To me, both Cigarbutt and Green King are right. Don't give up, DTEJD1997.

Here we have a term for the behavior mentioned by Green King : Cash thinking.

Also, I'm really surprised to read how things are going on at your place about administrative rulings. It really reads like "Klondike" to me.

Here, we have a separate law in place, that embraces all administrative rulings in the public sector, including administrative rulings about taxes: [In Danish: Forvaltningsloven - in English it would something like "The law about public administrative rulings" - without translating directly. (https://www.retsinformation.dk/forms/r0710.aspx?id=161411)

Don't you have such legislation in place in the US, to protect citizen from being run over by the system with access to almost unlimited ressources?

If your case was here, I would just do one swing at the ball to get it on the other side of the net by sending a one line complaint letter to the state level stating that the administrative tax assessment is invalid because of lack of reason, ref. paragraph 22 in the law.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: oddballstocks on March 23, 2017, 07:23:57 AM
To me, both Cigarbutt and Green King are right. Don't give up, DTEJD1997.

Here we have a term for the behavior mentioned by Green King : Cash thinking.

Also, I'm really surprised to read how things are going on at your place about administrative rulings. It really reads like "Klondike" to me.

Here, we have a separate law in place, that embraces all administrative rulings in the public sector, including administrative rulings about taxes: [In Danish: Forvaltningsloven - in English it would something like "The law about public administrative rulings" - without translating directly. (https://www.retsinformation.dk/forms/r0710.aspx?id=161411)

Don't you have such legislation in place in the US, to protect citizen from being run over by the system with access to almost unlimited ressources?

If your case was here, I would just do one swing at the ball to get it on the other side of the net by sending a one line complaint letter to the state level stating that the administrative tax assessment is invalid because of lack of reason, ref. paragraph 22 in the law.

Ah, the enlightened European attitude once you realize what a mess we have here.  The US in many ways is like a start-up country that hacked a bunch of crap together and got things rolling.  We grew and scaled and became huge but suddenly all of the pieces hacked together are showing they aren't sustainable.  We're trying to become sustainable..

I've had a similar experience with DTEJD1997.  I had a house we purchased for $117k in 2005, it had an assessed value of $80k.  So far so good.  About eight years after moving in we received a letter in the mail, sudden reassessment to $140k, our property taxes almost doubled.

I went to a hearing.  It was a Kafkaesque experience.  I went to some senior center and sat in a holding room.  I waited for 45m and finally asked "when is it my turn?" it turns out they had my name wrong.  No worries, someone would fix it.  I get in there and I sat at a table with some gov worker.  They listened then said "we can't actually do anything, we're just accepting your forms."  But since they were missing my name I had to go to a different table where someone entered information in on a typewriter.  Is it any surprise that they again lost my forms and my appeal was denied?  It wasn't denied because my logic was wrong, probably just all of the record keeping errors.

We sucked it up and paid the higher taxes and then a few years later sold the house for almost $20k over the assessed value.  The value was probably 'fair', but it was also unfair.

In Allegheny County (county Pittsburgh, PA is in) they haven't had an assessment since 2002.  This means there are $450k houses built on farm land that are paying the assessed value of their property from 2002, so a value of $15-20k.  Other PA counties are even worse.  There's one north of us that's very popular for low taxes, their last assessment with approved values was in the 1960s.  Taxes are low because people are paying on 1960s values, it's insane.  I doubt this system is ever fixed because if it was there'd be such massive upheaval that citizens would form to fight it.  So we have the status-quo.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: John Hjorth on March 23, 2017, 08:41:11 AM
I can't help it ... - I really have to ask: What's the dress code for participants in such hearings/meetings? Bullet proof vest, helmet and bringing your arms? [J/K - lol]

Crazy stuff to read in this topic - thanks all for sharing.

- - - o 0 o - - -

Off topic:

Here we have a computer system in place to pick up all trading data for real estate deals all over the country, to get real estate valuations as fair as possible, over time.

I think it was about 2 - 3 years ago, it was recognized, that the code in the system was broken. Especially the calculated real estate valuations in the area north of Copenhagen - where the real estate is really expensive - was way off - too high. What next happened was, that the complaint system got flooded with complaints, and blew up totally - it's still down now.

Danish citizen don't take any BS from the Danish Government and Administration - especially not from the Danish IRS. [The name of the Danish IRS is "SKAT", which translate directly to both "HONEY" [and "TAX"], btw.]

- - - o 0 o - - -

The more I learn from reading this board, the more I get to appreciate my own living conditions here.

- - - o 0 o - - -

Now back to topic again.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DooDiligence on March 23, 2017, 08:49:40 AM
I'd wear a pink leotard...

-----

I was searching for stories about how Trump has gone about reducing property taxes & found this:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/25/news/companies/donald-trump-property-tax-fights/

The headline of the ad isn't the message here.
The message is "you gotta fight on property taxes"

I also like the herd of goats idea (it's at the end of the article...)
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: gg on March 23, 2017, 08:54:45 AM
There are lawyers that specialize in reducing your real estate tax. Typically work on commission based on savings. That is your best option-- don't have to deal with the bureaucracy, and they also already know all the people involved, so they're more successful.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: racemize on March 23, 2017, 09:42:55 AM
Perhaps it is different in Texas, but it has been very straightforward here, and I've owned three different houses.  For my second home, I showed up with my purchase price and the guy stamped it as the value--no questions asked really. 

Since then, I've hired tax guys to go do the negotiating for me and I pay them some percentage of the savings.  It is an amazing deal and almost always results in some kind of savings without me doing anything.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Williams406 on March 23, 2017, 09:49:10 AM
"Danish citizen don't take any BS from the Danish Government and Administration - especially not from the Danish IRS. [The name of the Danish IRS is "SKAT", which translate directly to both "HONEY" [and "TAX"], btw.]"

That's classic: "SKAT" translates a bit differently in English but nonetheless fits closely with how many view the IRS in the U.S. I'd be willing to copy you Danes here and re-name the IRS.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Spekulatius on March 23, 2017, 10:33:06 AM
Ok, my 2 cents as a transplant from Germany, then to California and now in Long Island (New York). The reaal estate taxes  become less logical on every step of my journey.

In Germany, RE taxes are so low that they are not worth fighting over. Probably about $200/year. in CA, taxes were about 1.25% of the value at the time of your purchase, adjusted for inflation. After the financial crisis, I was able to reduce my taxes simply by sending in a form letter with property value estimates that I got from refinancing my home. sInce property values had dropped momentarily below my purchase price, I was able to get it adjusted very simple.

In Long Island, taxes vary significantly from town to town and even from property to property and no one can tell you exactly why.You can fight your taxes, but need to hire a specialized lawyer firm that takes half the tax savings for the first year as pay. It seems to work most of the time, but even after that, taxes are absurdly high at about 2.25-3% of your property value.
The reason for this is as oddballstocks stated is that taxes are a patchwork of federal, state, county, city and township legislation which has been developed over the years and is incoherent.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 23, 2017, 11:27:48 PM
Hey all:

Thanks for all the interest and comments, I appreciate it.

I don't think the specialized law firms would work too well....they take 1/2 of the savings.  They would therefore have to get an 80%+ reduction to equal what I got on the first round.  I just don't think they would have been able to do that, no matter how "juiced in" they are.

I did a little checking around and here in Michigan, property tax work does not really seem to be that big a business...as compared to Texas, where it well developed.  From the little bit of research that I did, I got the very distinct impression that the firms involved with it would probably not be interested in "small potatoes" like me.  They appear to be dealing with large commercial developments (malls, factories, etc.).

That leads me to think that this might actually be a good business to go into.  It certainly is not "rocket surgery".  Heck, I can do it myself!

I also want to apologize for not getting pictures of some other interesting real estate situations in the Detroit area.  Detroit is kind of like a weird alternate reality.  Normal rules of society & economics simply do not always apply here...

I exaggerate a little of course, but the stories I could tell about the things I've seen/experienced ONLY in Detroit...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: rkbabang on March 24, 2017, 06:04:01 AM
Hang in there. There is an innate conflict of interest built in the process since your taxes pays their salary. With budgetary problems they are facing dragging their feet is perfectly normal.

Exactly.  I can picture themselves asking "Holy hell! What if everyone only paid taxes on what their property was worth?"

Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: crastogi on March 24, 2017, 07:02:11 AM
Hey all:

Thanks for all the interest and comments, I appreciate it.

I don't think the specialized law firms would work too well....they take 1/2 of the savings.  They would therefore have to get an 80%+ reduction to equal what I got on the first round.  I just don't think they would have been able to do that, no matter how "juiced in" they are.

I did a little checking around and here in Michigan, property tax work does not really seem to be that big a business...as compared to Texas, where it well developed.  From the little bit of research that I did, I got the very distinct impression that the firms involved with it would probably not be interested in "small potatoes" like me.  They appear to be dealing with large commercial developments (malls, factories, etc.).

That leads me to think that this might actually be a good business to go into.  It certainly is not "rocket surgery".  Heck, I can do it myself!

I also want to apologize for not getting pictures of some other interesting real estate situations in the Detroit area.  Detroit is kind of like a weird alternate reality.  Normal rules of society & economics simply do not always apply here...

I exaggerate a little of course, but the stories I could tell about the things I've seen/experienced ONLY in Detroit...

I did use a firm for my detroit rentals, and they did bring it down significantly.  Keep in mind savings accrue every year, while the fees are due only the first year,  so the savings do add up.   
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: SmallCap on March 24, 2017, 01:18:44 PM
I live over on the other side of the state of Michigan in the town of Holland on the shores of lake Michigan.

I have had some simple success with walking into the assessors office and asking him to take a look at the value of a property.
I bought a house for 34K and it had a taxable value of 58K so I walked in and asked him to look at it and he came back with a taxable value of 29K :)
One cool thing about Michigan is that as long as I hold it the taxable value can only go up by the rate of inflation.
So even thought I put 12K into the house and it's now worth 140K-160K, the taxable value is only 31K.

Also if anyone is curious I am currently renting this house out for 1200.
My tax bill is $1853 and insurance is 650.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 31, 2017, 11:56:32 PM
I live over on the other side of the state of Michigan in the town of Holland on the shores of lake Michigan.

I have had some simple success with walking into the assessors office and asking him to take a look at the value of a property.
I bought a house for 34K and it had a taxable value of 58K so I walked in and asked him to look at it and he came back with a taxable value of 29K :)
One cool thing about Michigan is that as long as I hold it the taxable value can only go up by the rate of inflation.
So even thought I put 12K into the house and it's now worth 140K-160K, the taxable value is only 31K.

Also if anyone is curious I am currently renting this house out for 1200.
My tax bill is $1853 and insurance is 650.

Smallcap:

I did my undergraduate work in Grand Rapids.  A wonderful place to be, and some of the best times of my life were there...I often think of going back there...I love West Michigan!

Your houses tax value is $31k, and the tax bill is $1,853?  Residential property tax is 6% in Holland?  That seems a bit high! 

******************
On a different note....

I went through an old neighborhood.  My Dad used to have his law office there, and I spent many, many, many hours there.  It is improving!!!!  Some of the liquor stores have even reopened!  Of course, not everything is perfect and it is still a VERY rough neighborhood.  I am not kidding when I say it is "rough". 

Things got so bad in that area, that even a bunch of the liquor/party stores shut down.  Besides gambling and fighting, Detroiters LOVE TO DRINK BEER/WINE/LIQUOR.  So you know when even the liquor stores are shutting down, THINGS ARE BAD.

Another further sign of improvement is the house that I lived in high school, now is no longer boarded up!  It is still vacant, but maybe somebody is going to start to improve it?  Maybe even make it habitable to live in?

Sadly, this neighborhood is literally MAD/MAX, warzone type of area.  Heroin & other drugs have really been bad for this area (when is heroine ever good?)...many houses have been leveled, many are burned out (looking like a war zone) and many are boarded up, and many are vacant.

I've often thought about maybe doing a photography experiment....take photos of the buildings, photo shop out any cars, and make the photos black & white.  Maybe artificially age them and make them scratchy looking.  A casual observer might think it from WWII inside of Germany maybe?

Maybe if Saturday is bright and sunny, and I'm feeling particularly adventurous, I'll take some photos.

it is one thing to read me babbling on about the weird goings on in Detroit, yet another thing to see it...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Cigarbutt on April 08, 2017, 07:48:43 AM
Interesting link perhaps about property taxes in the US.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/want-to-see-how-america-is-changing-property-taxes-hold-the-answer-2017-04-07?mod=MW_story_top_stories
Interesting comment about the property tax Laffer curve.
Relevant for Detroit? Cyclical or vicious circle?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Spekulatius on April 08, 2017, 08:42:52 AM
Well, can the taxes realy go to zero, if the property value goes to zero? A house may cost 30k, so if you keep the property tax at 1.2%, like it is in other parts of the US, this is $360 per year, can this really pay for firefighters, schools etc?
I agree that property taxes are too high in some areas, but at some point, you need to look at the tax as the price for services provided, not a percentage of the value of the house.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on April 08, 2017, 09:26:45 AM
Well, can the taxes realy go to zero, if the property value goes to zero? A house may cost 30k, so if you keep the property tax at 1.2%, like it is in other parts of the US, this is $360 per year, can this really pay for firefighters, schools etc?
I agree that property taxes are too high in some areas, but at some point, you need to look at the tax as the price for services provided, not a percentage of the value of the house.
An interesting question!  I would counter that it is MUCH better for a city to $300 or $400 a year in taxes than nothing...

Also, a property that is having it's tax paid is more likely to have somebody living in it and making repairs, picking up trash, keeping the crackheads & urban miners at bay, etc.

There is a massive, Massive, MASSIVE problem with properties being behind in taxes, and properties simply abandoned.  Large areas of the city are vacant...block after block after block.  There was a report saying that something like 65,000 structures need to be demolished in the city of Detroit...I am going to guess that 99% of those properties are not paying taxes.

I also have heard of property owners simply REFUSING to pay property taxes...Why should they?  They will probably not be evicted from the property for back taxes.  A lien is simply placed on the title...The property owners are not worried about that, because the market value is zero, or very close to it.  In that case, a lien is ineffectual.

The city of Detroit, they also have alternate revenue generating schemes besides property tax.  For example, there is a LOCAL income tax.

I also think the city gets a cut of sales tax.

There is also a "personal property tax" for businesses that have more than a certain amount of inventory and fixtures....is it $75k? 

Detroit also gets a taste of the taxes paid by the 3 MEGA casinos.  If it were not for the casinos, the city would have been bankrupted many years ago.

They also get money from writing tickets & civil asset forfeiture.

I am also sure there are ways that I don't know about or simply forgot to list...
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: Cigarbutt on April 08, 2017, 05:12:12 PM
Fair enough. So a new equilibrium has to be established.
Maybe then costs related to public services (and pension liabilities) may need to be lowered also. Not easy. Kind of sticky.
Time for price discovery?
Restructuring is by definition painful.
Sharing the pain makes sense.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on August 06, 2017, 12:12:28 PM
Hey all:

My apologies for not updating this thread like I said  I would.  I fully plan to make some very interesting updates in the days to come.

I have learned some SHOCKING things since the last update that I made.  Some things that have shaken me to the core.  I will share a couple of them today, and perhaps the 3rd one at a future date.

A). When I was in high school & undergraduate, I lived in a co-op along the Detroit River.  This is a high rise building that is just under 20 stories high.  It is a very nice building, with a manned desk 24 hrs. a day, access to the property is controlled through a manned guard shack.  The building is a "luxury" building with a heated pool, restaurant, grocery, gift shop, beauty salon, work out room in the base of the building.  There is heated parking (important in Detroit) with a valet along with "regular" parking in a parking structure or lot.  The building is on right on the Detroit River with spectacular views of it, Belle Isle, Canada, and downtown Detroit.  My Dad lived there and owned a few units for about 20 years.  He might have lost a small amount when he sold & moved back around 2006 or so...in 2008, the market collapsed and the co-op had trouble.  A few years ago, the vacancy rate went to around 35% or so.  This would have been 2015?  It got to the point where a few units were given back to the board.  The owners simply had moved on/passed away, and no longer wished to pay the monthly association fees.  So they simply gave the unit(s) back and received a release from future payments.  THAT IS IT!  Units were worth almost nothing...

Keep in mind, that if this were in NYC or LA, or other major cities, the units might be million dollar places.  The location is A+...the building is solid with luxury amenities...

Fast forward to today and the occupancy rate is close to 100%, about 98% to be exact.  Units are now being resold for actual money.  Prices are not high...but have come back substantially.  When I heard that units were being given away in 2015, I figured there a real possibility of a death spiral in the building.  With a vacancy rate of 35%+ the remaining owners monthly association fees went up SUBSTANTIALLY.  It would be very unappealing to potential buyers...

HOWEVER, the market has turned, I thought there was a good chance it never would.  There are vacant buildings very close to this building.  It is very KRAZY that this situation even exists, as it is right on the river and about 5 minutes from downtown.

So that situation has turned around completely!!!!!!!

Situation number two is that there is now a commercial tenant in my Dad's old office building!  It was sold in 2006 to a "developer" that never really managed to develop it until a couple of weeks ago.  It sat vacant for 10+ years...the neighborhood has gone down TREMENDOUSLY.  Many of the liquor stores have shut down.  You KNOW things are bad in Detroit when even the liquor stores are shutting down!  There are many burned out houses in the area. Further down the street there have been some marijuana stores opening/attempting to open.  THIS IS A VERY ROUGH AREA, even for Detroit.

The tenant is a hair salon, and there are TONS of those in the area, and it is probably a low quality tenant...but they are in there and have a chance.  The first tenant in 10+ years.  There are still lots of vacancies and failed businesses, but there a few NEW businesses.  Perhaps that neighborhood is having green shoots and starting to turn around?  I never thought it would.

Finally, I saw a deal that was probably even better than the one I got...but that story is for another time.
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 12, 2018, 10:59:25 PM
Hey all:

Once again, I apologize for not updating this thread like I said I would...

It is now time to do battle with the tax assessor's office again.  I have been helping one of my neighbors contest his taxes. 

I have done a little bit of research and Detroit has BY FAR, the highest commercial property tax rates in the country.  Please see:

http://www.nreionline.com/finance-investment/top-10-cities-highest-commercial-property-taxes


Commerical property taxes are suppoesed to be about 4.1% in the city proper.  Rates can be higher than that in the suburbs.

Many people who do not live here think that Detroit is an inexpensive place to live, as they here stories on the news about $500 houses. . While the Detroit area certainly can be inexpensive IF YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING...there are many "traps" for the inexperienced.

In addition to the high commercial property tax rates, another example is auto insurance, which is most certainly the highest in the country. 

While that is very high, there is a "hidden" tax in that the roads and highways are in TERRIBLE shape.  Every winter most people get blown out tires & or damaged suspensions on their vehicles.  This happened to me last year and my father TWICE this winter.  He has footed repair bills of close to $800 this season.

I also have an associate who used to have a Cadillac CTS-V.  He eventually gave up on it and sold it, as the tires & rims would get repeatedly blown out in potholes.  I have had high performance sports cars in the past, but would not drive one in the Detroit area.  The roads are just too bad.

Water & sewage is incredibly expensive also.  A few months ago my father had a $3,000 monthly water bill as one of his toilets was running.  I don't know if Detroit is the highest in the country, but I bet it is close.

Gasoline is also expensive, but it is not the highest in the country.

We've also got state/local income taxes.

So you've got problems, but you've also go opportunity if you can do it right.  With all those problems...where else can you BUY commercial office space for $12/square foot in the suburbs that is not bombed/burned out?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: SlowAppreciation on March 13, 2018, 05:19:27 AM
Hey all:

My apologies for not updating this thread like I said  I would.  I fully plan to make some very interesting updates in the days to come.

I have learned some SHOCKING things since the last update that I made.  Some things that have shaken me to the core.  I will share a couple of them today, and perhaps the 3rd one at a future date.

A). When I was in high school & undergraduate, I lived in a co-op along the Detroit River.  This is a high rise building that is just under 20 stories high.  It is a very nice building, with a manned desk 24 hrs. a day, access to the property is controlled through a manned guard shack.  The building is a "luxury" building with a heated pool, restaurant, grocery, gift shop, beauty salon, work out room in the base of the building.  There is heated parking (important in Detroit) with a valet along with "regular" parking in a parking structure or lot.  The building is on right on the Detroit River with spectacular views of it, Belle Isle, Canada, and downtown Detroit.  My Dad lived there and owned a few units for about 20 years.  He might have lost a small amount when he sold & moved back around 2006 or so...in 2008, the market collapsed and the co-op had trouble.  A few years ago, the vacancy rate went to around 35% or so.  This would have been 2015?  It got to the point where a few units were given back to the board.  The owners simply had moved on/passed away, and no longer wished to pay the monthly association fees.  So they simply gave the unit(s) back and received a release from future payments.  THAT IS IT!  Units were worth almost nothing...

Keep in mind, that if this were in NYC or LA, or other major cities, the units might be million dollar places.  The location is A+...the building is solid with luxury amenities...

Fast forward to today and the occupancy rate is close to 100%, about 98% to be exact.  Units are now being resold for actual money.  Prices are not high...but have come back substantially.  When I heard that units were being given away in 2015, I figured there a real possibility of a death spiral in the building.  With a vacancy rate of 35%+ the remaining owners monthly association fees went up SUBSTANTIALLY.  It would be very unappealing to potential buyers...

HOWEVER, the market has turned, I thought there was a good chance it never would.  There are vacant buildings very close to this building.  It is very KRAZY that this situation even exists, as it is right on the river and about 5 minutes from downtown.

So that situation has turned around completely!!!!!!!

Situation number two is that there is now a commercial tenant in my Dad's old office building!  It was sold in 2006 to a "developer" that never really managed to develop it until a couple of weeks ago.  It sat vacant for 10+ years...the neighborhood has gone down TREMENDOUSLY.  Many of the liquor stores have shut down.  You KNOW things are bad in Detroit when even the liquor stores are shutting down!  There are many burned out houses in the area. Further down the street there have been some marijuana stores opening/attempting to open.  THIS IS A VERY ROUGH AREA, even for Detroit.

The tenant is a hair salon, and there are TONS of those in the area, and it is probably a low quality tenant...but they are in there and have a chance.  The first tenant in 10+ years.  There are still lots of vacancies and failed businesses, but there a few NEW businesses.  Perhaps that neighborhood is having green shoots and starting to turn around?  I never thought it would.

Finally, I saw a deal that was probably even better than the one I got...but that story is for another time.

1300 E Lafayette by chance?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 13, 2018, 08:34:56 AM
Hey all:

My apologies for not updating this thread like I said  I would.  I fully plan to make some very interesting updates in the days to come.

I have learned some SHOCKING things since the last update that I made.  Some things that have shaken me to the core.  I will share a couple of them today, and perhaps the 3rd one at a future date.

A). When I was in high school & undergraduate, I lived in a co-op along the Detroit River.  This is a high rise building that is just under 20 stories high.  It is a very nice building, with a manned desk 24 hrs. a day, access to the property is controlled through a manned guard shack.  The building is a "luxury" building with a heated pool, restaurant, grocery, gift shop, beauty salon, work out room in the base of the building.  There is heated parking (important in Detroit) with a valet along with "regular" parking in a parking structure or lot.  The building is on right on the Detroit River with spectacular views of it, Belle Isle, Canada, and downtown Detroit.  My Dad lived there and owned a few units for about 20 years.  He might have lost a small amount when he sold & moved back around 2006 or so...in 2008, the market collapsed and the co-op had trouble.  A few years ago, the vacancy rate went to around 35% or so.  This would have been 2015?  It got to the point where a few units were given back to the board.  The owners simply had moved on/passed away, and no longer wished to pay the monthly association fees.  So they simply gave the unit(s) back and received a release from future payments.  THAT IS IT!  Units were worth almost nothing...

Keep in mind, that if this were in NYC or LA, or other major cities, the units might be million dollar places.  The location is A+...the building is solid with luxury amenities...

Fast forward to today and the occupancy rate is close to 100%, about 98% to be exact.  Units are now being resold for actual money.  Prices are not high...but have come back substantially.  When I heard that units were being given away in 2015, I figured there a real possibility of a death spiral in the building.  With a vacancy rate of 35%+ the remaining owners monthly association fees went up SUBSTANTIALLY.  It would be very unappealing to potential buyers...

HOWEVER, the market has turned, I thought there was a good chance it never would.  There are vacant buildings very close to this building.  It is very KRAZY that this situation even exists, as it is right on the river and about 5 minutes from downtown.

So that situation has turned around completely!!!!!!!

Situation number two is that there is now a commercial tenant in my Dad's old office building!  It was sold in 2006 to a "developer" that never really managed to develop it until a couple of weeks ago.  It sat vacant for 10+ years...the neighborhood has gone down TREMENDOUSLY.  Many of the liquor stores have shut down.  You KNOW things are bad in Detroit when even the liquor stores are shutting down!  There are many burned out houses in the area. Further down the street there have been some marijuana stores opening/attempting to open.  THIS IS A VERY ROUGH AREA, even for Detroit.

The tenant is a hair salon, and there are TONS of those in the area, and it is probably a low quality tenant...but they are in there and have a chance.  The first tenant in 10+ years.  There are still lots of vacancies and failed businesses, but there a few NEW businesses.  Perhaps that neighborhood is having green shoots and starting to turn around?  I never thought it would.

Finally, I saw a deal that was probably even better than the one I got...but that story is for another time.

1300 E Lafayette by chance?

SlowAppreciation:

No, it is not 1300 E Lafayette.  A long, long, long time ago, I had relatives that lived in that building.  My best childhood friend lived maybe 1/4 mile from there.  I've walked/driven past 1300 E Lafayette more times than I can even begin to count...

I do not specifically know if things in 1300 E. Lafayette got as bad as the other co-op...I am sure that in 2008-2009 they got hit pretty hard.  Now, they are probably doing much better.  1300 E. Lafayette is close to Greektown/Downtown.

The co-op I lived in was a few miles further down along Jefferson, past the Belle Isle Bridge.

Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 13, 2018, 09:13:46 AM
Hey all:

Attached is a photo that I believe was taken in 1930.

This is of a neighborhood that I grew up in as a child.  The building that I grew up in is "Indian Village Manor" and it is the second large building, going from left to right.  The 1st large building is Alden Park Manor.

I had mentioned this area in one of the early posts on this thread.  Specifically, that there were properties along the Detroit River that had been vacant as long (longer actually) than I had been alive.  Some of these pieces of land in question are the two houses near the top of the photo, circled in green.  Those mansions were torn down before I was born.

Looking at this photo is fascinating for me.  The first time I saw it, I probably looked at it for 15 minutes....There is so much detail in it.  It is instantly recognizable to me, but many, many things have changed, and many things I've never seen.

For example, there appear to be 4 HOUSES on top of Alden Park Manor!  Maybe these are "penthouses"?  I do not believe they are there today.  The estate to the LEFT of Alden Park manor belonged to one of the Ford family members.  It was eventually sold & torn down...the UAW Solidarity/house headquarters is now there.

The large park in back of Indian Village Manor is now largely gone, given way to parking lot.

The large dock in the river near Alden Park Manor is gone...

The building next to The Detroit Towers (being built in 1930) has been leveled and was replaced by Shoreline East.  I would guess that Shoreline East was built in the very late 50's or early 60's.

Lastly, that photo/area looks WAY more prosperous in 1930 (Great Depression) than what that area currently is...

Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: SlowAppreciation on March 13, 2018, 12:09:28 PM
Very interesting. I asked because I know some people who bought there in the last few years, and the story was similar to yours.

It's been a couple years since I was in Detroit, but I was going there about once a month for a few years there. Every time I came back, new things were opening and development was occurring. But there was still A LONG way to go... How are things coming along these days?
Title: Re: Krazy Kommercial real estate around DETROIT!
Post by: DTEJD1997 on March 22, 2018, 03:48:31 PM
Hey all:

Well, the property tax board appeals decisions came out today....

I didn't get what I was asking/arguing for, but I got a 35% reduction on one property, and a 37% reduction on the other property's assessed value.

I am not 100% sure, but I think this is probably "close enough" and not worth going to Lansing to appeal...I will have to check some records and make sure my figures are correct though.

So finally, after two years of arguing & going in front of the board, I finally think I've come close to what things should be.

So that is a bit of good news!