A home to live in?
Land Bank properties are not suitable for living in. Most are vacant lots, and most of the buildings are shells. For more information about finding a home to live in, please visit our FAQs.
A development opportunity?
Sometimes the Land Bank will solicit potential buyers, usually to develop a property or properties, through a Request for Proposals (RFP). You can sign up to receive email notification when development opportunities are posted or search our available development opportunities.
Visit our Development Opportunities page for more information.
Looking for vacant land, but don’t yet have a specific property in mind? You can search our inventory and use our map view to see what properties are for sale all over the city. While you’re in the map view you can see different neighborhoods, and you can zoom in to get a more specific location. If you click on the “For Sale” sign on the property you can learn the price, the size and the zoning of the parcel. If there’s not a “For Sale” sign on the property, then it’s not for sale.
If you find a property you’re interested in, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to offer to purchase the property. First, register in our system so that we can keep you informed as to the status of your inquiry. Next, click on the “For Sale” sign to “Express Interest” and follow the instructions to submit your EOI for the property.
If the property your interested in is available, is valued under $50,000 and you are the only interested buyer, we will respond to your expression of interest by sending you an application and tax certification form to complete as part of starting process to obtain the required approvals. Know that if the property is over $50,000 the price will not be published on the website. In these cases we realize that the market is changing quickly, and to be accurate in assessing the value of the property, an appraisal or a competitive sale process will be initiated to insure the City garners the highest price for the property. For these properties we encourage you to express interested and you will hear from staff regarding the competitive sale process. Also, in cases where a property has many expressions of interest from many potential buyers, no matter the price, there will be a competitive sale process to facilitate an open process for all interested buyers to have the opportunity to submit their highest best offer for a property.
For more information on property sales and how the Land Bank is required to conduct sales transactions, please reference the City of Philadelphia Policies for the Sale of Land and Reuse (2014).
A vacant building?
Actually, we don’t have very many vacant buildings in our inventory. In fact, if you’re looking specifically for a building, searching our inventory probably isn’t the best way to find one. You are probably better off finding a building you’re interested in and then search to see if we own it and if it’s for sale. If we don’t own it, you can visit www.phila.gov/opa and use the Property Search tool to find out who does.
A side yard?
Do you think that vacant lot next to or behind your home might make a nice yard? Terrific! First you’ll need to register or log in to our system. If the value of the property shown is below $25,000 AND your expression of interest for the property as a side yard is the only request, we will be in touch to let you know the property is eligible for the side yard program. You will be asked to complete a side yard application and tax certification forms to start the process.
Search the inventory to see if the property next to your house is one the Land Bank owns. If it is, click to submit what’s called an Expression of Interest (EOI). You’ll complete the EOI on line, telling us that you want the property for a yard. A helpful hint – check in with your District Councilperson and let his or her staff know that you’re interested in the property. Council plays a part in introducing the City Council resolutions required for the Land Bank to sell property.
If the property price is less than $25,000, is less than 3,000 square feet in size, shares a border with your primary residence, and you are the only interested buyer, the property may be eligible for an amortizing mortgage of up to $15,000. This means that if the property is valued at less than $15,000 you could potentially only have to pay for closing costs (see below), and if the property is valued between $15,001 and $25,000, the amount of the check or money order will be between $1 and $10,000 (plus closing costs).
If you buy a property you will be responsible for closing costs, which can amount to $1,000 or more, and those costs are based on the original price of the property, not the discounted price.You should know that the $15,000 price reduction doesn’t just go away. If you fail to maintain the property or if you sell it at a profit within 10 years, you will have to pay us some or all of that amount. We can go over the details of that as we get closer to closing on the property.
Properties valued at more than $25,000 are sold at fair market value.
Land for a community garden?
There are few things that bring a neighborhood together more than a community garden. You find a vacant lot, you work the soil, and soon you and your neighbors have fresh produce, or maybe beautiful flowers. Just as importantly, your community has a gathering spot. First you’ll need to register in our system. This will help us keep you informed as to the status of your inquiry.
Check in with your District Councilperson and let his or her staff know that you’re interested in the property. Council plays a part in the sale of our property and it’s good to keep them in the loop. The City will also notify the district council person as well. If we need more information a representative from the Land Bank will contact you. Sometimes, we want to see whether you have a maintenance plan, or perhaps we will ask you to share how the garden will benefit your neighbors.
If your plans are in good shape the Land Bank will give you a Community Garden Agreement to fill out and sign. Community Gardens need insurance, and the details will be outlined in your Agreement.
Once you complete the Community Garden Agreement, you and your neighbors will be able to garden on the property for up to five years.