Man Pays $9,100 Thinking He Was Getting Villa, But He Gets 1-Foot-Wide Strip Of Land
One Florida man got gypped into a plot of land that was more sandbox than villa.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Kerville Holness participated in a Broward online auction of properties that had defaulted on their taxes. He thought he had snagged a great deal by obtaining a $177,000 Tamarac villa for just $9,100.
He actually ended up getting a 1-foot-wide, 100-foot-long strip of land on Northwest 100th Way valued at $50.
Yup, the strip literally starts at the curb where two mailboxes have been installed, then it goes under the wall separating the garages of two adjoining Spring Lake villas and it extends out to the back of the lot.
Officials say Holness is now stuck with the deal and the only thing he could do with the land would be ridiculous moves — like making the people who live there move their mailboxes off the grass, or charging them rent for the joint wall and roof that sit on his land.
What Holness truly wants is for the county to void the deal so he can get his money back.
“It’s deception,” said Holness, a first-time auction bidder. “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.”
Holness said that the property appraiser pictures connected to the auction site presented the villa as being the parcel he was bidding on.
However, the appraiser’s site and info on the county’s tax site also show the unappealing value of the property, that there is no building value, that the land takes up only 100 square feet and that the property is just one-foot wide.
Officials say state law doesn’t allow the kind of refund Holness is seeking. Their reasoning is that auction participants should do their homework and check all possible problems with a property before buying it.
“He may go to court and find some error in the sale procedure,” said Gary Singer, a real estate attorney. “Generally speaking, he bought what he was supposed to have bought.”