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Woman shocked to discover $500,000 house built on land she bought six years before for $22,500

Woman shocked to discover $500,000 house built on land she bought six years before for $22,500

This isn't exactly the kind of surprise you'd want.

Imagine your surprise if owned a vacant plot of land, only to find a $500,000 house had been built on it.

That's what reportedly happened to Annaleine 'Anne' Reynolds, who is now caught in a legal battle about the mix-up.

Reynolds bought a plot in Hawaii for $22,500 in 2018 at a county tax auction, with plans to eventually use it.


Last year, however, she was contacted by a real estate broker who told her that he'd sold a house built on her property, prompting her to remark: "Are you kidding me?", according to Hawaii News Now.

The plot was in Hawaiian Paradise Park, a subdivision in the Big Island’s Puna district, and was mistakenly built upon when local developer Keaau Development Partnership hired PJ's Construction to build a dozen properties in the area.

The company reportedly built on Reynolds' lot in error, but Reynolds herself is now being sued by Keaau Development Partnership, along with the construction firm, architect and other sub-contractors who worked on the house.

The developer is seemingly trying to recoup the value of the home, in a very complex situation.

"There's a lot of fingers being pointed between the developer and the contractor and some subs," Reynolds' attorney James DiPasquale said.

"It would set a dangerous precedent, if you could go on to someone else’s land, build anything you want, and then sue that individual for the value of it".

Brandon Rosenblum / Getty
Brandon Rosenblum / Getty

However, a lawyer representing the developer, Peter Olson, argued: "My client believes she’s trying to exploit PJ Construction's mistake in order to get money from my client and the other parties".

This argument focuses on the fact that the lots in the area are all very similar and that Reynolds rejected the offer of a replacement lot of equal size and value by the developer.

Reynolds has filed a counterclaim, while a lawyer representing the construction firm in question, PJ's Construction, told Hawaii News Now the developer didn’t want to hire surveyors.

It will presumably take some time for these various lawsuits and counterclaims to play out, since these cases don't tend to be resolved overnight.

While this seems like an outlandish situation, a similar case also recently hit the headlines.

It involved a man finding a home was being built on an empty plot of land he owned. In that case, the new home was valued at up to $1.5 million, with the original owner claiming he was victim to misleading or even falsified paperwork.

Featured Image Credit: Hawaii News Now