San Francisco, mansion-lined street sold for $90K. Yes, the entire street.

$14 Unpaid Tax Bill Leads to Insane Opportunity

I love stories like this. This is an amazing example of how having intelligent data and knowing how to evaluate it can pay off.

People who have lived on this private, gated street include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and the late Mayor of San Francisco, Joseph Alioto. There are 35 seriously impressive homes on Presidio Terrace. If you know San Francisco at all, you know that this location is legit.

This is one of the most valuable residential neighborhoods in the U.S.

Here’s the story

It’s what’s known as a PUD or Planned Unit Development.

If you have a homeowner’s association where you live, you live in a PUD. You pay a fee for maintenance, there are rules and management, but it’s not a condo; that’s a different type of ownership.

The street is private, gated, owned, and managed by the homeowners through an association.

Back in the 1980s, the homeowners fired an accountant that had been managing the finances of the association. A tax bill for $14 had been sent to that accountant and never paid. And so it sat and accumulated interest and penalty for 30+ years and turned into a $994 tax bill. Eventually, in 2015, it went to tax sale, which is where Michael Cheng and Tina Lam bid on it and bought it for $90,100.

OK, so they own a street. Now what?

They’ve kicked around attempting to charge the homeowners for parking, though I’m guessing that’s probably not a sustainable way to get a return on investment.

They could attempt to simply charge a fee for maintenance and access and then manage the street. But the most likely scenario is that they end up settling with homeowners and selling it back to them.

Of course, the homeowners have sued Cheng and Lam and everyone is all lawyered up now. The buyers are likely to do well one way or another, the lawyers will most definitely do well, and the homeowners, well …

Pay attention to that data, folks!