Local real estate investor loses out to deep pocketed out of towners

A local property owner said he would like to own more, but has been outbid by deep pocketed out-of-state companies, which has led some properties in disarray.

One local property owner says he wants to buy more vacant houses but loses bids to out-of-state property owners.

Steve Swanbeck owns a handful of rental properties in Toledo. He said he would like to own more but he's been outbid by deep pocketed out-of-state companies.

"I gave up trying to buy houses because of these people from California; I couldn't compete against them," Mr. Swanbeck said.

Swanbeck owns a house in the 100-block of Park Street in central Toledo that he rents out. There is a vacant house directly across from a house owned by Swanbeck that he attempted to buy six years ago. "The one across the street from mine has been sitting vacant for five, six years and I actually tried to bid on it but lost," Mr. Swanbeck said.

According to Swanbeck no one has lived in the house since it was bought six years ago. "I would've fixed it up and made it look nice and use it for rental but they let it sit and fall apart," Mr. Swanbeck said.

The offices of the United North Community Agency are around the corner from the house on E. Park Street that Swanbeck wanted to buy. The agency's director Terry Glazer says his staff keeps track of abandoned homes and reports the information to the city of Toledo and Lucas County.

Glazer said years ago, he championed legislation that would have held home buyers more accountable. "It's called point of sale and when it transfers that property it would have to be brought up to code and the person buying it has to demonstrate that they have the resources to bring it up to code," Mr. Glazer said. That legislation never made it out of a Toledo City Council committee.