Someone bought a private road for $994 in San Francisco

63 Replies

@Clint Shelley   big part of any type of perspcriptive easement is paying the tax's.

this would be an easement by necessity... and I don't think the utls company would put utls in without an easement.

also on the plat since its a private road there could very well be an easement for ingress and egress.. the city would want that for this very reason..

ONe needs to pull the plat map and read it  LOL.. the rest is conjecture.

Yes. This can and has gone in multiple directions. For every example you find that was ruled one way you can find the converse. This could be a prescriptive easement or definitely an easement by necessity for sure. That's what makes law and its practice so multi dimensional and best left to those who practice it. Prescription and taxes do not always go hand in hand. For example... Here in Alabama, we have lots of dirt roads that are graded and maintained by the counties. Their continuous maintenance for 20 years has acquired them a prescriptive easement on behalf of the public. The landowner still owns the roadbed and the ditches, etc. and still gets the tax bill too. This easement is unwritten and unrecorded but still valid. You will not find a true right of way deed until they elect to lay paving. Your mileage may and will vary based on Locale and situation. Fascinating for sure. I will try to find a case like this one in the thread that has been adjudicated to see what the court said. It may take me a few days, but I will post. Great stuff gang.

Clint 

@Clint Shelley   having sold ranch land and all sorts of land in CA for 40 plus years I have run into all sorts of easement issues.  and they are as you state complex.. and no way as cut and dry as people think..

one big fallacy is a property cannot be land locked that simply is not true in CA.

this will be interesting..   I suspect the road could be private but there is probably and easement for ingress and egress for the owners.. but just guessing like I said I cant see a modern city recording the plat knowing that there is no deed right of way.. the people that own the homes could not get title insurance.. they would be land locked and right  of way would be excluded.

I am doing an easement by necessity right now in Oregon.. thank god title co.. missed it and they either need to get it for me or pay me the 700k my land is worth LOL.. we learned through the process even though we have been crossing state lands  50 feet to get to the public right of way  for 50 plus years. there is no prescriptive right in Oregon or any other right to cross that land.. only way title co is going to get me a right of way is to buy it from the neighbor who to date has been less than willing.. even though all I need is 50 feet by 20 feet of their cherry stem driveway there home is 600 feet back .. but you know neighbors really friendly until you need something  LOL.. then they are out for blood .. not all but these folks are .

The irony is, that residential area was originally developed to SPECIFICALLY keep Asians from being able to purchase property there.

It's been 2 years since they bought that property...it would definitely be odd if a judge were to reverse the sale.

These rich people should just pay up.

It doesn't matter what the buyer will do to the street in the future. Right now, they purchased a street legally, they own it, they can do anything they want to it(within the law).

It's just like anyone who got a deal for cheap due owner didn't know the market. Are you willing to give it back? NOPE

rgds

Originally posted by @Ryan Lee :
Originally posted by @Matt Katsaris:

it was about 90k not 900.... and they are likely going to get outspent in court. 

I'm not sure if you could, but they should of NNN leased it back to the HOA... instead they are trying to tell super wealthy and elite families they are going to have to pay for parking haha.

 thanks for the correction. I love that they kinda sticking it to the wealthy a little. 

You know who thinks like this? Poor people. 

Originally posted by @Jason Hirko :
Originally posted by @Jay J.:

I don't get it..  what's the point?? 

 I mean, its not like the 'road owner' now owns the homes or anything.. (seriously, they just bought a bill bill, didn't they??) what are they going to do, make it a toll road??!!  lol

 Parking...

 I am not going to lie, but a toll road would be hilarious. 

A number of years ago here in Illinois there was a guy who purchased the entire common area of a HOA - parking, walkways, and pools: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-04-13/busi...

Just last month at the scavenger sale in Cook County I came across an alley behind 6 houses. Each house had an easement though to access their garages in the rear.

rather than going to court and battle it out with the residents, I would sell it back to them. 

The investors paid a little over $90K  

The price would be $900K plus expenses, a great price in a city where a parking spot can go for $200K

A NONE ZERO SUM GAME! 

the residents win their street back, NO LAWYERS OR COURTS involved

and I made a thousand percent on my investment. (and I being generous considering the values of the properties on the street!)

AWESOME!!!!!! 

More to the story...
http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2017/08/08/san-jose-couple-makes-big-news-by-snatching-up-private-street-in-swanky-s-f-neighborhood/

I have been following the story as I live close to SF. They actually own the road, the sidewalks, and the "common" areas. They got into a bidding war 2 years ago, so they paid $90,000 for a $990 debt. They have said they just saw the address and went for it. They kept it secret for 2 years to get it past the date by which it could be rescinded. The HOA only found out because the title company that the couple was using to make sure title was clean called the HOA and asked if they were going to buy it back (lol).

The home owners apparently already have an easement to get to their homes, but have no rights to park on the street anymore.   And as far as being an exclusive "gated" community, they can deny access to the roads owner and anyone the owner deems.   So, for example, if he wanted to charge tour busses $10 a pop to run around the roundabout and look at the homes, he could.    It is private land...his private land, so he has access to his land.  

It is absolute extortion...it is absolutely legal. The HOA is rich and powerful and they will surely fight, scream, and stamp their feet, but in the end the law is settled here and they are going to have to pay to get this back. Personally, I think I would just pay someone in a jalopy to drive around the circle from 8am to 10pm. Invite the press, have them take pictures or even better give them rides....after 1 day the HOA will pony up whatever money you wish.

It is a simple clerical error, in all honesty the HOA does not deserve it just because they are rich. But it is hard (emotionally) not to root against them.

Interesting that they admit they did not really know what they were buying, just the general area.  Way too often I see this at tax sales.  Often the people in the know will warn the people bidding.....be care...do you know what you are buying....and they keep bidding.  Sometimes the lawyer selling the property will warn them.... and they keep bidding.   Most of the time it is land locked parcels....other times it is land in the flood zone or under water.   We'll see if they got lucky or not.   They might have just opened a can of worms that turn into cobras.  I wish them the very best.   I'm somewhat surprised no one has raised the issue of why this land was only being tax $14/year.   In San Fran, I would think that would be the tax for a pebble on the road.   Especially if parking is involved.   

Originally posted by @Ryan Lee :
Originally posted by @Matt Katsaris:

it was about 90k not 900.... and they are likely going to get outspent in court. 

 thanks for the correction. I love that they kinda sticking it to the wealthy a little. 

 And yet you come to a website dedicated to making you wealthy. Maybe someone will "stick it to you" someday.

Originally posted by @Jose R Garay :

rather than going to court and battle it out with the residents, I would sell it back to them. 

The investors paid a little over $90K  

The price would be $900K plus expenses, a great price in a city where a parking spot can go for $200K

A NONE ZERO SUM GAME! 

the residents win their street back, NO LAWYERS OR COURTS involved

and I made a thousand percent on my investment. (and I being generous considering the values of the properties on the street!)

AWESOME!!!!!! 

Dream bigger... lease it to them for a "modest" fee per house per mo. Structure it like NNN where they are responsible for maintenance and taxes.

@Bruce Lynn

Apparently there are 800+ "private roads" in San Francisco and they are all taxed at $14 a year because that was set back in the 1800's.   I smell a tax increase coming.   It will not take long for the most liberal city in America to figure that out (sorry Berkeley, New York or Boulder if you are offended).  

@Aaron Mazzrillo  @Ryan Lee

There is something to be said for aspiring to be wealthy enough to be worth suing.   I fervently hope to be worth a frivolous lawsuit one day, I will know that I have arrived.    :-)

Originally posted by @John Nachtigall :

@Bruce Lynn

Apparently there are 800+ "private roads" in San Francisco and they are all taxed at $14 a year because that was set back in the 1800's.   I smell a tax increase coming.   It will not take long for the most liberal city in America to figure that out (sorry Berkeley, New York or Boulder if you are offended).  

@Aaron Mazzrillo  @Ryan Lee

There is something to be said for aspiring to be wealthy enough to be worth suing.   I fervently hope to be worth a frivolous lawsuit one day, I will know that I have arrived.    :-)

Agreed.

@Ryan Lee   Looks like it is gated.....now the winner owns the gates.  He could either open them up for all to see.....and take a fee to close them, or could install a toll taker.   This will get very intereeeesting.

Originally posted by @Bruce Lynn :

@Ryan Lee   Looks like it is gated.....now the winner owns the gates.  He could either open them up for all to see.....and take a fee to close them, or could install a toll taker.   This will get very intereeeesting.

 I would sell it back to them plus some perks from one of the owners. I am assuming since they have money they might have some connections or deals that can be made. 

Originally posted by @Bruce Lynn :

@Ryan Lee   Looks like it is gated.....now the winner owns the gates.  He could either open them up for all to see.....and take a fee to close them, or could install a toll taker.   This will get very intereeeesting.

 Sell them and all the landscaping... lol

I saw a short section of a street as a parcel in a northern Arizona tax lien auction this year. Funny thing was, I knew the street since I had just researched where a member of the band Chicago had a home in the city. Then this lien shows up and the parcel outline was the street in front of about 4 homes including the Chicago band member. Not a gated community nor private subdivision. Just what looked like part of a public street. Didn't have the heart to buy the lien. Also weird was that the parcel owner was an individual's name and not the city.

I did, however, buy a lien on a parking lot for some nice professional offices. The buildings are rented. Interest rate on the tax lien was pretty good and the owner of record will pay the lien off before it ever gets to the foreclosure option. That's all I want for this allocation of money  - a good interest rate return.

Originally posted by @Matt K. :

Since this is a private road... does the owner of the road:
Assume the landscaping contracts (I highly doubt a place like this is doing their own landscaping)

Maintenance for the road itself? Is it on some kind of schedule set forth by the HOA?

What about the utilities like the sewer/water lines... since it's a private road wonder who has ownership in the road itself.

Bet that wealthy HOA could replace the gas or electric or water lines.....wouldn't the new owner be on the hook for replacing the road?

If I were these buyers I would " settle "sell back to owners for a 100% return and be done with it. If they get really greedy as someone posted earlier, those people and their lawyers will drag it thru courts for years and bleed them dry.