Buyer withdraws offer on house after viewing YouTube

PRINCESS ANNE — The county is receiving back one of its surplus properties on Smith Island after the prospective buyer saw its condition online through a YouTube program that was filmed in August 2019.

The county acquires unsold tax sale property and first offers them to adjacent property owners, then to the public for the deed value. In the case of 20931 Somers Road in Ewell, that was $4,037 and Lee Brown put down a 10% deposit and his offer to buy was accepted by the County Commissioners on Aug. 11.

Twelve days later, however, Mr. Brown wrote county leaders advising them that he viewed the “Chris and Hollie Show” on YouTube, specifically “Island Adventure Episode 3: Exploring an Abandoned Island Home” and it changed his mind.

“After viewing this presentation I am more fully able to appreciate the condition of the property,” he wrote. “I had hoped to gradually improve the dwelling but now realize that it will require the financial resources to immediately stabilize the roof structure in order to prevent it from becoming a complete loss.”

Although willing to discuss alternatives, the county will now return the property to the surplus list and keep the deposit, which Mr. Brown understood was the policy. “I am not in a position to simultaneously complete the purchase and perform the necessary work required to save the home,” he stated in his letter.

To see a list of county properties available go to and click on the news and announcements.