Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

He found it on Mapquest and bought it on Ebay ...

I had a funny experience the other evening. I got a call from Australia from someone who had bought a piece of land that he believed to be in the city of San Bernardino. He had already spoken to another realtor who couldn't find the APN but thought that it was worth about 157k, which was amazing considering that it had cost only about $2000 U.S.

When he told me the name of the street, I was puzzled because I'd never heard of such a street in the area even though the zip code was correct. I looked up the street name via title company records and found that it was in Cedar Creek near Lake Arrowhead. The numbers of the APN were slightly different (he hadn't given me the hyphens, and the number of 0's was off), but it was recognizable.

I then told him that he had lucked out. The lot is tiny and in an area where people build small vacation cabins though some residents stay year-round. The air is cleaner and the crime is low unlike the area where he thought he was buying, which is rather rough. (He told me that he thought that as long as it wasn't in L.A., he thought there wouldn't be any bad neighborhoods!) I also told him about the eminent domain problem near the 215 in S.B. where they're planning to put a lake.

He told me that he'd looked up the address on Mapquest, and I had to laugh. When Mapquest doesn't recognize an address (which it wouldn't have in this case as he didn't even have the right city), it says that it has located a "similar" address, and then sticks a star somewhere in the middle of the area it thinks you're looking for. It was Mapquest that had given him a random S.B. zip code.

So no, he didn't get something for a lot less than what it's worth. It was a bargain in that it could go for about 10k to 15k on the market at this time, but it could take a while to sell. Now, he just has to make sure that the other person on title will also sign the grant deed or has gotten herself off title. And then if he ever comes out here, he can build on it or go camping...

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