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  #41  
Old 11 August 2017, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
more than likely the buyer would be expecting to live in some version of that house as it is now, which is not the most exciting use of $15 million I've seen.
For $15 million I'd have a whole lot of lakefront, a whole lot of farmland and forest, a couple of creeks, an excellent house and a guesthouse and outbuildings, and a whole lot of money left over.
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  #42  
Old 11 August 2017, 11:57 PM
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You can buy a pretty awesome loft in the most desirable parts of Manhattan for $15 million. It will be smaller, but a better use of the space, and nicer. Possibly not smaller on a volume basis, since the ceilings would be more spacious.
But the daily 5,600 mile commute would be grueling.
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  #43  
Old 12 August 2017, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
But the daily 5,600 mile commute would be grueling.
Cross country is only 3000. That's a fairly residential part of San Fransisco, so with Bay Area traffic their commute probably would only be about 50% longer than usual if they did come from New York.
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  #44  
Old 12 August 2017, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
For $15 million I'd have a whole lot of lakefront, a whole lot of farmland and forest, a couple of creeks, an excellent house and a guesthouse and outbuildings, and a whole lot of money left over.
You'd be landed gentry, complete with country estate!
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  #45  
Old 12 August 2017, 04:03 AM
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And I wouldn't need to commute to work. There'd be plenty of money left to live on.
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  #46  
Old 12 August 2017, 07:08 PM
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Cross country is only 3000.
Commuters usually go home too.
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  #47  
Old 13 August 2017, 09:53 AM
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A bit of history that I found interesting.
"Asian Couple Buys Affluent San Francisco Street Once Restricted To Whites Only"Huffington Post 8 August 2017
Quote:
Developed by real estate company Baldwin and Howell, Presidio Terrace was once billed as a haven for white people looking to stay segregated from Japanese and Chinese people in 1906, according to the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco.

"There is only one spot in San Francisco where only Caucasians are permitted to buy or lease real estate or where they may reside. That place is Presidio Terrace," read an advertisement written by the San Francisco-based company in 1906 and republished online by the museum. According to the museum, Baldwin and Howell’s ad suggested that residential districts were being "ruined" because Japanese and Chinese people had "Invaded the Western addition."
Brian
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  #48  
Old 18 August 2017, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by katdixo View Post
I still think it's ridiculous for the city not to try other means of contacting the owners. I would think at a minimum, they would send a certified letter before selling off the property.
That's what this county does. G-you have until X date to pay your taxes or your house goes on the auction block.
I'm sure the county has run into the problem mentioned in the OP; I guess they just auction off the house because they never heard back, or gotten money from, the homeowner.
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  #49  
Old 18 August 2017, 07:42 PM
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That's what this county does. G-you have until X date to pay your taxes or your house goes on the auction block.
I'm sure the county has run into the problem mentioned in the OP; I guess they just auction off the house because they never heard back, or gotten money from, the homeowner.
I think that is part of the problem. For taxes on a home you send the tax notice to that home. But where do you send the tax notice for a street? If the address on record doesn't work then what do you do? Heck it isn't even clear that the people that live on the street would own it via a HOA type setup. Currently they don't own it via a HOA. So if the current owners were to move and then default on the taxes the city would have no clue where to send the tax bill.
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  #50  
Old 18 August 2017, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
So if the current owners were to move and then default on the taxes the city would have no clue where to send the tax bill.
They would send the bill to whoever purchases the street at auction, of course!
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  #51  
Old 22 August 2017, 02:39 PM
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Remember, it is unconstitutional to seize property without due process. IANAL, but to me it doesn't seem like "due process" to just send a bunch of letters through regular mail with no acknowledgement.

Yes, the original fault was with the HOA. But the accountant also should have done something, and the city should have tried harder to contact someone.

It's funny in this case because it's just a bunch of rich people who might have to pay for parking. But I can imagine a similar case where families get kicked out of their homes without any notification.
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  #52  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:02 PM
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katdixo, how do you see this working? What should the city's next step be, if sending repeated letters doesn't work, or certified letters are not accepted?

I understand the concern people have about protecting property owners; I just can't work out what practical steps could be taken to do that.

Re: due process, Constitutional provisions apply to criminal law, not civil law, AIUI (disclaimer: IANAL). And even then, ways around it have been found: Police departments use civil asset forfeiture to seize the property of people who haven't even been charged with any crimes.

In a case like the OP, I'm guessing the legal argument the county would offer is that the onus is on the property owner to make certain that taxes are paid.

ETA: On the broader question of HOAs, and how property owners can rely on them to pay utilities and taxes as appropriate, I wonder if an HOA or HOA employee might be considered a fiduciary of the property owners.
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  #53  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post

In a case like the OP, I'm guessing the legal argument the county would offer is that the onus is on the property owner to make certain that taxes are paid.
Not exactly the same thing but we have young relatives now on the hook for paying a utility bill that accumulated over an 18 month period because one utility company took over from another and apparently never notified them. Long story short they had no communication from the new company until they received a letter telling them they owed them months worth of money. Foolishly they relied on a google search that told them this kind of thing was a scam. So they ignored it. Fast forward more months and now they owe a lot.

Even though it seems clear that the utility company involved did not notify them properly and dropped the ball on, at the very least sending regular monthly bills, the bottom line is my young relatives should have noticed that they weren't paying that specific utility bill! For 18 months. I've no idea what they were thinking. Other than "goodie, one less bill".
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  #54  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
katdixo, how do you see this working? What should the city's next step be, if sending repeated letters doesn't work, or certified letters are not accepted?

I understand the concern people have about protecting property owners; I just can't work out what practical steps could be taken to do that.
I think they could physically go out and knock on doors? Phone calls? Stick a sign on the property saying the owner should call the city?

Though there are probably privacy concerns complicating fishing expeditions.
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  #55  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:25 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
ETA: On the broader question of HOAs, and how property owners can rely on them to pay utilities and taxes as appropriate, I wonder if an HOA or HOA employee might be considered a fiduciary of the property owners.
I think an employee of the HOA would qualify as a fiduciary but the HOA itself might not. The HOA is the group of property owners so can a person have a fiduciary relationship to themselves? Seems silly to look at it that way since you would be basically saying that you should hold yourself responsible.
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  #56  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:30 PM
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Posting a notice is about the best thing I could think of. It's not foolproof, of course, and whether it would be practical or not would depend on the resources (money, time, people, transportation) available in the particular government unit.
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  #57  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I think an employee of the HOA would qualify as a fiduciary but the HOA itself might not. The HOA is the group of property owners so can a person have a fiduciary relationship to themselves? Seems silly to look at it that way since you would be basically saying that you should hold yourself responsible.
Yeah, I should have said "HOA employee." Or official? I would hope they have some sort of legal responsibility, considering the trust that is placed in them and the huge sums of other people's money they handle.
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  #58  
Old 22 August 2017, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
In a case like the OP, I'm guessing the legal argument the county would offer is that the onus is on the property owner to make certain that taxes are paid.
I think this would be the legal view point and I suspect it would be virtually impossible for the homeowners to win a legal dispute over this matter. (Well, OK, the homeowners are wealth and well connected, so anything could happen in a court case.) When a person buys or sells a property it is their responsibility to notify the various gov't authorities of that fact. It isn't up to the gov't to discover sales, liens, changes in ownership, changes in management company etc. I think it comes down to the incompetence of the property owners to record with the city the needed paperwork is not an excuse for not paying their taxes.

The only possible way the owners would have an (at least) ethical claim for non-payment would be if the street was open to the public and everyone just assumed it was a typical city street. But given the layout of the neighborhood and the presence of a gate (newspaper reports refer to the subdivision as "gated and guarded") means the residents expected the road to be private, which pretty much rules out any claim that the road is defacto public.
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  #59  
Old 22 August 2017, 04:08 PM
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There's an argument to be made that putting the onus on the property owner protects the vast majority of owners who meet their tax obligations. Why should the taxes they paid be diverted to extra efforts to notify delinquent owners, instead of being used to pay for roads, schools, etc., that benefit the wider public good? Why make the whole process of collecting and enforcing taxes more complex and expensive, solely for the benefit of a minority of the public?
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  #60  
Old 22 August 2017, 04:24 PM
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"'Tis better that 10 persons be notified than one innocent person have their house seized"?

Also, the process of extra notification is probably much cheaper than seizing a property and putting it up for auction. While the property will probably sell for more than just the taxes, it may still be less than it cost to go through the long process of condemning the property (especially since many jurisdictions allow the owner to reclaim the property by paying the tax due, even after an auction has been announced).
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