A woman in Nevada who set out to buy a single-family home accidentally ended up owning an entire neighborhood’s worth of real estate, thanks to a title company’s copy-and-paste mistake.
The woman originally tried to buy a home worth just under $600,000, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, which first reported the bizarre situation. The home is located northeast of Reno in the Stonebrook neighborhood that the builder Toll Brothers is currently developing.
However, rather than take possession of just the house she was buying, the woman — who has not been named in public reports — was also given ownership of 84 additional lots as well as two common areas. Some of the lots the woman received already had buildings on them and had been sold to other people, according to the Gazette Journal.
So what happened?
The Washoe County Assessor’s Office told the Gazette Journal that the title company involved in the deal “may have copied and pasted a legal description from another Toll Brothers transfer when preparing (the homebuyer’s) deed for recordation.”
In other words, the county’s ownership information is updated based on legal descriptions, not parcel numbers. But when it came to the woman’s attempt to buy a house, someone copied in text stating that the deal included “lots 1 through 85 … and Common Areas A and B,” according to the Gazette Journal.
The county assessor’s office did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for comment and more information on what happened.
However, Washoe County Chief Deputy Assessor Cori Burke told the Gazette Journal that copy-and-paste errors are not uncommon. What makes this situation unique is that it includes such a large number of properties.
It’s unclear right now how long the situation will take to resolve. The assessor’s office said the process of fixing things will require the woman involved in the deal to transfer title of the many extra properties back to the developer. The developer can then sell them off to other would-be owners in the same way any property is sold.
That process could become more complicated, however, as the title company works to sort things out or, Burke said, if anyone involved with any of the properties tried “to make things difficult.”