Young Couple Buys Mansion-Lined Street For 90k, Residents Outraged To Learn How They Did It
LifeAspire Staff 8/9/2017
San Francisco is known for its notoriously expensive real estate market, and topping the charts even for those crazy standards is Presidio Terrace, a tiny street located in one of Bay Area's most exclusive neighborhoods, where buying a home will set you back many millions.
So imagine then, when a new neighbor moves in on this mega mansion lined street, barely spending a hundred grand! Meet Michael Cheng, and his wife Tina Lam who are the newest neighbors to the already existing 35 homes on the Presidio Terrace cul-de-sac. Michael and Tina aren't exactly super rich and definitely don't have the millions they would need to live in one of these homes.
What they did have however, was a keen eye to catch a clerical error which let them have one of the best deals in real estate!
To understand just how Michael and Tina pulled this off, we have to look at the history of Presidio Terrace itself. Established way back in 1905, the street has been privately owned by the neighborhood's homeowners' association to maintain the privacy and exclusivity of this gated community. And while money has never been in short supply on this block, what was lacking was some paperwork oversight.
Apparently, due to an incorrect address on files, the homeowners' association had been sending the city's tax payment to an incorrect address for years. The $14 per year tax payment had accrued to about $994 in unpaid taxes, finally putting the street on the city's black list of unpaid properties.
As is common practice, the city puts such properties on an auction list to regain the unpaid taxes with added interest and penalties. Unbeknownst to the 35 homeowners, this is just what happened to Presidio Terrace, which got listed for auction in 2015.
Michael and Tina were quick to notice this goof and quickly became the proud owners of one of the most exclusive streets in America with a winning bid of just $90,100. Needless to say, once the homeowners did find out what had happened, they weren't too happy given all the potential power the new street owners now possessed.
In July, the homeowner's association hired an attorney to sue Michael and Tina, and hoped to reverse the deal calling it more of a clerical error than an intentional non-payment. While the verdict is still pending, according to Amanda Fried, a spokeswoman for the city, given that 99% of the homeowners in San Francisco do pay their taxes responsibly and on time, there is no reason to treat the owners on Presidio Terrace any differently.
Time will tell just how the pendulum will swing. But speaking about their steal of a deal, Tina told reporters that:
"I thought they would reach out to us and invite us in as new neighbors. This has certainly blown up a lot more than we expected ... I'm not trying to make money on anything. As legal owners of this property, we have a lot of options ... Rich people like to do their thing, they don't like to talk. They just want to use their money to sue everybody."
Check out the original news report and let us know if you consider this a fair deal!