Those who pay attention to Wayne County's annual tax foreclosure auction are undoubtedly familiar with the website known as Why Don't We Own This, or WDWOT. For the last two auctions, WDWOT has provided an elegant map displaying exactly which foreclosed properties are up for bid (there were about 21,000 last year), while hosting a forum in which interested parties can collaborate or share property info. But there will soon be more! Starting Friday morning, users will find a new, more powerful WDWOT, with added features and information. And it's right on time -- this year's foreclosure map is absolutely terrifying.
The first thing you'll notice about the new WDWOT are the colors, which range from yellow to red and denote how close a property is to foreclosure. Red houses properties are already foreclosed, meaning they likely have a date with the auction block later this year. Orange are at least three years delinquent, but are not yet in foreclosure. Yellow properties simply owe previous property taxes.
Clicking on a specific property reveals exactly how much that property owes in back taxes by year, while also providing options for homeowners to avoid foreclosure. The goal of the new website is not only to provide transparency, but to help homeowners deal with unpaid taxes before it's too late.
The biggest change to the site is the option of becoming a member. A membership costs $25 and lasts an entire year, while providing several additional tools. Here are some of our favorite features:
1. Neighborhood Dashboard: Members can choose to focus on a specific neighborhood or area, receiving updates as property statuses change, comments are made, or titles change hands.
2. Private Accounts: Without an account, custom maps and comments were public. Now, members can build up to five custom maps specific to their account, while saving private notes.
3. Your own "Pet Block": Upon membership, you will be randomly assigned one quarter mile block of the city to explore and keep tabs on.
Users will get the first look at this year's auction inventory when the site launches Friday morning. Regardless of whether you plan on bidding come auction time in September, the website's stunning view of Detroit's tax delinquency is certainly worth a visit.
· Why Don't We Own This? [Official]
· Loveland Technologies [Official]