How an English Investor Dabbled in Cleveland Real Estate…and Got Burned

BY Paul Solman  July 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM EDT

Video edited by Elizabeth Shell.

As a follow-up to Tuesday’s story on abandoned housing demolition in Cleveland, we’re posting a short video. A show-and-tell about one vacant property, it covers all the bases – from the bank unloading to a middleman, the middleman putting it up on the Internet with misleading photos, and finally a buyer in England snapping it up and now feeling rooked. Here’s what he wrote to us:

“Here is the original eBay listing and photos of the house I was sold by Best Buy Properties.

I believe old photos were used. Note the terms ‘Nice duplex’, ‘Great property’, ’4 car garage’ (it is not there anymore). Taxes – $600. It is actually $898.96!

I have never received a signed transfer form or a deed. I also paid for 2 building lots in Youngstown, Ohio, which they never transferred and never owned. Also see this thread on BBP [Best Buy Properties].”

We tried to reach Best Buy Properties for their response but they no longer have a website and there’s no contact information listed for them. The Better Business Bureau rates them an “F”.

Watch the full version of Frank Ford’s video of the abandoned property below.

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