Clutching a photo of a home in affluent Marin County, California, real estate broker Jeff Helm was thrilled when he ended up as the winning bidder at an auction of properties in tax default.

But after handing over a check for $150,000, Helm was stunned to learn that the photo was of a house next door to the vacant 3,600-square-foot lot he’d actually been bidding on. The lot, which doesn’t even have a water connection, has an assessed value of $4,000, the Marin Independent Journal reports.

Helm blames bad information he received from a title company involving a parcel number mixup. Marin County’s top tax official tells the newspaper that “all sales are final.” Source:

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