Kerville Holness thought he purchased Florida villa for $9,0000 in online auction discovers it's a foot-wide strip of grass worth $50 and he wount get a refund
US man who thought he'd bought a Florida villa for $9,0000 in online auction discovers it's a foot-wide strip of grass worth $50 - and officials are refusing to give him a refund
The piece of land starts at the sidewalk curb where two mailboxes stand and goes under a wall separating the garages of two adjoining villas, then extends to the backyards of the homes.
Despite the rip-off deal, officials say there's nothing Holness, a first-time auction bidder from Tamarac, can do according to state law.
'It's deception. There was no demarcation to show it's just a line going through the [villa duplex], even though they have the tools to show that,' Holness said to the Sun Sentinel.
He says that the property appraiser images were linked to the auction site that showed the villa as the item to be bid on. But the appraiser's site and information on the county's tax site say that the building had no value and the land only takes up 100 square feet and the property is one-foot-wide.
Now officials are warning auction participants to be wary of bidding on properties.
The county put a warning on the online auction site on Thursday telling investors to 'do your research' and that 'Tax Deed sales are not for the uninformed.'
'He may go to court and find some error in the sale procedure,' real estate attorney Gary Singer said to the paper. 'Generally speaking, he bought what he was supposed to have bought.'
It's not clear why the strip of land was never attached to either of the adjoining properties but remained in the possession of developer GHO Tamarac II. The company dissolved and taxes stopped being paid on the property, leading to the auction in March.
Tina DeFeo bought one of those two villas in April after the auction and was shocked to learn of Holness' purchase.
'It makes no sense. I don't know how you buy a strip of grass like that,' she said.