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31st Mar 2024

Woman accidentally buys 85 houses after estate agent makes copy and paste blunder

Ryan Price

This is definitely a case whereby she got more than she bargained for.

If you’ve bought a house, you’ll know that there’s a lot of paperwork that comes with it.

Usually you check a few boxes, initial here, there and everywhere, and then you sign your name on the dotted line.

Well, that’s exactly what one woman thought she did until she realised that, not only did buy one home in the suburbs of Reno, Nevada, she bought the entire neighbourhood.

A clerical error led to one of the biggest bargains of all time.

(A screenshot of the alleged document/Toll Brothers)

Instead, of buying one house for $594,000, she purchased 85 additional properties for the same price.

The estimated cost of all 85 homes is around $50 million, so you can imagine the surprise on both the lucky woman, and the estate agent responsible for the mistake’s face.

On the documents, it stated that the women owned ‘lots one through 85… and Common Areas A and B’.

An assessor for Washoe County, the county in which the homes were bought, believed that the issue came about due to a typo made during paperwork filled out with ‘a full-service title company’ situated in Las Vegas.

It appeared the title company ‘may have copied and pasted a legal description from another transfer when preparing (the homebuyer’s) deed for recordation’.

Let that be a lesson to be very, very careful when relying on the ol’ copy and paste shortcut.

According to Nextar-owned US cable news channel NewsNation, who reported on the mishap, the issue was ultimately resolved two weeks after the incident took place, when ‘true and rightful ownership was returned’ in new documents.

So, the woman who benefited from the ‘copy and paste’ mistake, only rightfully owned the 85 properties for a fortnight.

Even though a blunder like this may seem rare, Cori Burke, the deputy chief assessor for the county, clarified that these sorts of mistakes happen more than you might think, due to the high-speed nature of technology.

“It is cut-and-dry for us, but we only see the recorded documents, not what the title company goes through to get clear title,” Burke said. 

“I think someone could try to make things difficult. However, the title company also has the offer and acceptance for the purchase on file so intent is pretty clear. I would think it would be a loser in court and doubt it happens often, if at all.”

Let’s hope the woman in question is now settling in happily to her new $594,000 home, and is not missing her other 84 properties too much.

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