BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Dozens of foreclosed homes in Erie County are getting a second chance. Officials auctioned them off Wednesday in what is called an In Rem sale.
The sale marked the first time the county joined the bidding with plans of buying distressed properties to put in a "land bank." Erie County Real Property Tax Services Director Joe Maciejewski says the county pulled in around $1.5 million from the sale, with another $5 million collected from this season's tax foreclosures.
The plum property on the minds of potential bidders was a four-bedroom, four-bath home in Clarence's upscale Spaulding Lake sub-division. But county officials say the owner filed bankruptcy at the last minute, knocking the house off the In Rem list.
"It's frustrating because we had about 14 yesterday that were removed, as a result of bankruptcy. It is frustrating to our bidders," Maciejewski said.
But that didn't stop bidders from buying other homes on the list. Alisa Taggart-Powell and her husband picked up a couple of pieces of property, which they plan to fix up and "flip," or re-sell for a profit.
"You're investing only a few dollars in the properties. It is almost like seeing a diamond in the rough," Taggart-Powell said. "It does take a lot of time and research, when you have to look at the property areas, you have to look at their back taxes owed on that. So it does involve a lot of homework, and a lot of time investment, but it has some great returns."
Out-of-town flippers have been a drain on Western New York, but local investors say, the right kind of flipping can actually improve neighborhoods.
Auctioneer and realtor Cash Cunningham noted Wednesday marked the first In Rem auction for the county's new "land bank," which is buying a dilapidated house in the Town of Tonawanda to fix up and re-sell.
"The land bank will buy homes, rehab them, and then, one would assume, re-sell them. So what would that be? It's flipping, but there is no negative connotation to that. It is just the way it ought to be," Cunningham said.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says a tractor trailer crashed on Route 39, in the Town of Eagle.
One letter was about the violent altercation between Jim Ying and another employee, and in the other letter Ying described why the restaurant is closing.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
State Police need your help finding a missing woman last seen leaving M&T Bank on Main Street in Clarence this past Monday.
State Police are thanking News 4 viewers for helping them locate a man who allegedly hit a mother with his pickup truck as she loaded her two children into her vehicle and then fled the scene.