The following content is taken verbatim from the City of Philadelphia’s website and it provides not-very-clear instructions on how to buy surplus property from the City.
There is a pdf document that has (as of July 27, 2011) 252 pages of properties that are allegedly available to purchase. The actual process to purchase any of these properties, is not clear, but we do know some of the process, for those brave enough to venture into an exercise that can often prove frustrating. Contact us for info.
The properties can be found at the following site: http://www.phila.gov/pdfs/propertyinventory.pdf
The information provided on this site is compiled from a variety of sources, including sources beyond the control of the City, and is subject to change without notice from the City. The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify or remove properties from this site at any time and for any reason or for no reason.
The City of Philadelphia makes every effort to provide the most accurate property information available on this site. Please notify the respective department, Department of Public Property at email@example.com; Redevelopment Authority at http://www.phila.gov/rda/expressionOfInterest.html or the Phildelphia Housing Development Corporation at 215-448-3000 with any inaccuracies in the information provided.
The property information provided on this site is for informational and convenience purposes only. The information is not intended to indicate the quality of property or priority of interest in any property; you are advised not to rely on any surplus property listing for this purpose.
Commercial use of the information provided on this site is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of the City of Philadelphia. To the extent you use, apply, or implement this information in your own information system or other setting, or otherwise for your own purposes, you do so at your own risk.
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Hi. We’re foolish/brave/curious enough to venture into buying city owned property, but not sure how to go about it. I’m interested in more info if you can shed some light. Thanks.
I think we can help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will see what we can do.
Thanks for reaching out through Abandoned Philadelphia. I can give you general and specific ideas as to how to try to buy the land. The days of the City giving land away are gone, but there is a process to buy City-owned properties.
First, are you certain that it is owned by either the City of Philadelphia or the Department of Public Property? If so, we can proceed to the next step, Getting Council Member Support.
You will have to make an application to the Vacant Property Committee, but first you need a letter of support from your Council person. The Council person will want to know your intentions, and has pretty much absolute authority over the disposition of the parcels. If someone else has “opened a file” on this particular property, it may not be available. This happened with one I was interested in, and the file was opened six years ago!
Once you get the letter, you submit the application to the VPRC (vacant property review committee) and wait to be called on front of the Committee. They meet once a month on a Tuesday in City Hall.
At the Committee hearing, the chair of the committee, usually a guy named John Coates, will review your application, confirm that you have the Council member’s supper letter, and ask of you are willing to pay “market value” for the parcel(s).
If you agree, you are dismissed and an appraisal is ordered. Once the appraisal comes back, they let you know the price and you can buy it if it makes sense.
Hi, my friend and I are looking to purchase a home from the city. I am pretty sure that the owner has not paid taxes on the home within the last five years. We want to invest in the home and make it habitable for ourselves. Please, if you think that you can help us in anyway, feel free to contact us!
Send the address to email@example.com with your contact details. we will look into it and let you know our opinion.
Need help on buying a house
I’m also instrested in buying a house and dont know how to go about getting it .
If you want to buy a City-owned property, click: http://www.phila.gov/pra/buyingProperty.html
This is the site for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, which has specific instructions and a link to a handy map (secure.phila.gov/paplpublicweb/) that lets you search for addresses. The map is not very intuitive, you have to zoom in to see the addresses.
If you want to buy a privately owned property that is blighted and/or has delinquent taxes, send the address to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. we’ll see what can be done.
I am interested in an abandoned home at 3239 Boudinot st. Phila. Pa. 19134 how to go about owning it and if a payment plan is accepted
Hi my name is Justin i repsent a non-profit group. can u forward me any info on how to obtain abandond or city owned propety thanks.
Justin, thanks for contacting us. What are you looking for exactly? Maybe we can help.
Is there a way to buy an old industrial warehouse or something similar?