Buying property can be incredibly stressful. There are many pitfalls one can fall through when making such a big purchase. Maybe you end up buying in a bad neighborhood, you buy a property you can't afford to upkeep, or you just end up overpaying because you knew nothing about property value.
It's not totally uncommon for people to get screwed over when buying a home. Sometimes you buy a money pit that needs tons of repairs, even though the seller told you it was perfectly fine. Other times the person sells you a different property than the one you thought you bought.
This is a story about a man who thought he was going to be buying a beautiful villa worth $177,000 for only $9,100. That would usually be an incredible steal, but if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. What he got stuck with was a one foot by one-hundred foot strip of land.
Kerville Holness is a man who knows a deal when he sees one. That's why when he saw a villa worth $177,000 on sale for $9,100, he snatched it right up. The property was listed on an online auction site for properties that defaulted on their taxes. $9,100 is no small amount of money, but it's worth it for a villa. Too bad what Holness ended up purchasing was a 1-foot wide and 100-foot-long strip between two properties. The total value for this property is fifty dollars.
The property starts from the mailboxes, goes all the way through the two adjacent houses garages, and out the back. That means to even use his property, he'd have to work out a deal to tear down part of the garages of the other properties.
Broward county officials say that he is stuck with the bad deal. It's the unfortunate cost of doing one of these auctions. He does have some options, including charging the other houses rent for the space that sit on his land, or he could be vindictive and remove underground piping as well as their mailboxes. Holness said, ""If I'm vindictive enough, I can cut right through the garage wall and the home to get to my air space, but what use would that be to me?"
All that Holness wants is his money back. Holness has never bid on one of these auctions before. He explained why this deal is so unfair, saying, "It's deception. There was no demarcation to show you it's just a line going through [the villa duplex], even though they have the tools to show that."
Although Holness cites confusion on the website, the website also clearly states that the land is only 100 square feet, and that there is no way to build on the site. This all chalks up to being his mistake. Gary Singer, a real estate lawyer says, "He may go to court and find some error in the sale procedure. Generally speaking, he bought what he was supposed to have bought."
The strip of land is somewhat of an anomaly because it was never considered part of either adjacent property. The owners of the villas are willing to move their mailboxes if need be, but don't want to pay Holness any money. It's looking like Holness will have to take the loss on this one. Oddly enough, three other people were bidding on the property as well.