The only properties for which we’ve posted purchase prices are those that have been appraised. Appraised values, when available from a recent appraisal, are listed in red here: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/OffersPending.aspx. We have a property appraised by a licensed, third-party appraiser once we receive a complete application. (This costs the City several hundred dollars, so we only do so when we have an interested buyer.) The City cannot sell for less than appraised value unless the property and plan qualify for one of the reduced price programs on the Buy Property page or if an auction is held.
What's the difference between assessed and appraised value?(back to top)
The assessed value is determined by the City’s Department of Assessment and is the value upon which property taxes are based. The appraised value is usually what determines purchase price (unless the purchaser is eligible for one of the other pricing programs listed on the Buy Property webpage). Appraised values are determined by licensed, third-party appraisers and represent the market value of the property.
How long does it take to purchase a seizable property from the City? (back to top)
It typically takes 5-6 months to purchase a seizable property from the City, from the time a complete application is submitted. This can take longer if any liens are placed on the property by other parties during the foreclosure process. Purchase of City-owned property is typically faster, because there doesn’t have to be a tax foreclosure.
Planning staff reviews applications for completeness and to ensure that the application includes an adequate description of the applicant’s experience, a plan for the site/property, and proof of financing. In addition, the plan is reviewed to see that it complies with local zoning laws and that it doesn’t conflict with any neighborhood plans in which the City is engaged. This is presented to a review committee comprised of staff from Assessment, Finance, Zoning, Planning, Neighborhood & Business Development, and the Mayor’s office. The Common Council, which is provided with the outcomes of these meetings, approves the sale of all property by the City, as well.
The properties on your website all have the back-taxes listed. Are these due from the potential purchaser before or at the time of closing?(back to top)
That information is included just so you can see whether the owner is likely to pay off the taxes. Upon receiving a complete application, we send a notice to the owner that they have 60 days to pay off the back taxes. During this time we get the property appraised and see if the applicant agrees to that purchase price. The City is required to sell for appraised value unless the property is being acquired for demolition – see the bottom of this page for instances in which we can sell for less than appraised: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/BuyProperty.aspx.
If this price is agreed to by the applicant, and the owner does not pay off their back-taxes, a title-search is performed and all lien-holders are given 30 days to pay off the City’s tax lien. At the end of this notification period, the City will foreclose on the property, thereby extinguishing all liens on the property. So, if the City is able to foreclose and sell you the property, you will receive it free of any liens or back taxes.
What are the City's credentials for someone purchasing property? What would I have to prove as a citizen in order to be able to purchase a property as an investment? (back to top)
You'll need to provide:
Description of your redevelopment plan (if not included in the proposal form – more detailed description, site plans, drawings, etc. should be attached, if available)
Proof of financing for acquisition and rehab (or new construction or other actions necessary to carry out the development plan)
The application explains what constitutes proof of financing on page 4.
Description of applicant's experience in real estate development
Is there any opportunity to view these properties prior to making a purchase offer? (back to top)
Because the City does not foreclose until the time we sell it to the applicant, we do not have control of the property and cannot provide access prior to closing.
Are there other public entities that I can purchase property from in the City of Syracuse? (back to top)
The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) and the Syracuse Urban Renewal Agency (SURA) also periodically sell property within the City of Syracuse. A link to SIDA’s available properties will soon be made available on the City’s Buy Property website; SURA’s available inventory is linked already. SURA is designed to seize property in a targeted area proactively, making it available for potential buyers to walk-through, and then qualify bidders and hold an auction. This is intended to encourage private investment in a targeted area, where smaller developers’ and investors’ projects can benefit one another.
What does this have to do with the proposed Land Bank? (back to top)
The Land Bank currently being considered by the Common Council and County Legislature will purchase the delinquent tax liens from the City and then act as a tax collector, gaining the interest and fees as revenue. This revenue will pay for the stabilization of properties on which the Land Bank eventually has to foreclose. The Land Bank will market foreclosed properties to responsible buyers. It’s expected that this tool will increase the tax collection rate in the City. In the past, these liens were sold to private companies that kept the profit. The Land Bank will be a tool to accomplish the necessary job of tax collection, while keeping the resulting revenues in the community and using them for a public purpose — neighborhood stabilization.
Is there someone I can call to ask any additional questions? (back to top)
If you have any questions about the process or about a specific property, please feel free to contact Katelyn Wright at (315) 448-8177 or email BuyProperty@ci.syracuse.ny.us.