Property Search

Start by searching the map for available properties at KCMO Land Bank “Property Search” .  Then drive by the properties to see what they looks like in person.  Take time to look around the neighborhood and get a feel for what your neighbors are like.  Additional information about the adjacent properties can be found on the City website as well.

If you are considering using the property other than to build a home, check out UNI’s Guide to Working with Lots. As you visit each property, consider these issues that might come up because of how you choose to use it: zoning restrictions, impact on the community, neighborhood approval, environmental issues, floodplains, or special permits or licenses depending on your proposed use.

If you cannot see the lot from the street, contact the Land Bank and make an appointment to walk the property.  This can be done via telephone or in person at their office:

4900 Swope Parkway, 2nd Floor
Kansas City, MO 64130

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Next Step: Put Together Your Offer

After you have chosen the property you want, find out what the price is.  There are several programs for buying vacant lots from the Land Bank.  

  • Is the lot adjoining your residence? If yes, this may qualify for the $1 “side lot” program.
  • Other vacant lot prices are determined by size. Contact Land Bank for the price information.

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Define the Scope of Repairs (also called “Scope of Work”)
This is your plan for the property. How much will it cost to clear trash and weeds? Are you installing a fence? Do you need to remove or repair retaining walls? How much will it cost to maintain the lot for three years?  Your Scope of Repairs will become your Deed of Trust if your offer to purchase is approved.  The value of this work can be taken off your “purchase price.”  Do the best you can.  With a vacant lot there hopefully aren’t a lot of hidden costs, but there can be surprises.  If you plan on adding a driveway, parking area, small shed, etc. it would be a good idea to look over the City’s website for the requirements for each of those accessory items.

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Submit Your Application.

Apply in person and bring the following:

    • Proof of funds – You can use a bank statement, line of credit, or a combination of resources – just show how you will pay for the repairs.
    • Application fee – $25 plus $10 per additional applicant (your spouse or another person who will own the property with you).  This must be paid with a money order or cashier’s check
    • State or federal photo ID
    • Your completed scope of repairs (see above.)
        • Application for an individual or couple
        • Application for a business or nonprofit organization  – If you are a business or nonprofit, you will need to have your charter number and verify that your organization is in good standing with the Missouri Secretary of State.  If you are a Missouri business, that information can be found here.  Your completed application. Click on the links below to find your application. Print off the form that applies to you and bring it with you when you apply.  Additionally, you might need to submit a resolution if you have a board of directors. A corporate resolution is a document signed by the necessary officers and/or directors stating that the corporation has voted and approves this transaction. 
    • Application for “Side Lot Program”
    • A completed background check form.

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After you submit your application:

Unless your property qualifies for the “Side Lot Program,” the Land Bank Board of Commissioners will vote to approve or deny your purchase. You may want to attend this meeting to discuss your plans for the property.

Depending on the volume of applications at the time you submit yours, this may take a few weeks to a few months. Please inquire with Land Bank for additional details on this time frame.

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Purchase Approved? Research the Title!

    • If you are approved to purchase, consider ordering a title report or consulting a title company.
    • Consider your use for the property. If it is going to be used as a side lot or garden, title issues might not matter as much, but you will want to clear all title issues if you plan on building or otherwise investing significant value into the lot.
    • All Land Bank properties go through the tax sale process, which can make getting title insurance difficult depending on the property.
    • Coming soon! [ Title Research Guide]

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The Land Bank will contact you to schedule a closing.

They will provide you with the closing documents:

  • Real estate sale contract (if applicable)
  • Deed of Trust (if applicable) – a deed of trust is a security instrument recorded on the property’s title to secure the performance of work. Mortgages are often secured by deeds of trust to ensure that the debts are repaid. In the event that work is not performed on the property, the Land Bank can foreclose on the property and regain ownership. The deed of trust will automatically expire in three (3) years from the date it is signed.
  • Special Warranty Deed – A special warranty deed is a deed in which the grantor warrants the title against defects in clear title occurring only during their ownership of the property. The grantor of a special warranty deed does not provide a warranty or guarantee against any defects in clear title that existed before their ownership.
  • You will be responsible for paying for recording fees. (Fees are determined by the number of pages of each document. See a complete breakdown here.)

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Finally, carry out your scope of repairs!

Maintain your lot and pay property taxes.  If there is a Deed of Trust on the property, it will last for three years from the date of closing.  If you need to sell the property before the expiration of the three years, the new purchaser may be able assume the Deed of Trust. Contact the Land Bank directly for more information.

This is a third-party source and some information may have changed. Please consult Land Bank directly for the most recent information and review its policies and procedures: KCMO Land Bank

Special Note: If any of the following apply to use, contact Land Bank directly before submitting your application to make sure you have all the necessary documentation included:
— You own property with open code violations.
— You owe property taxes.
— You’ve been convicted of crimes involving the sale of illegal drugs, prostitution, operating a nuisance business, or are required to be registered as a sex offender.
— You owned property that went through Jackson County, Missouri tax foreclosure.

The deed to the property will be withheld until the Circuit Court holds a confirmation hearing to make sure that no properties were sold for substantially less than their true value as determined by a professional appraiser.