Apparently, cases like Howard v. Kunto do happen in real life! This story proves the value of an accurate survey.
Six months after building a large custom house with an ocean view, Missouri residents Mark and Brenda Voss learned of a big problem – it’s on the wrong lot.
Their three-story vacation rental house with an estimated construction value of $680,000 actually sits on the lot next to the one they own in the gated Ocean Hammock resort community.
How did this happen? A mistaken survey.
The Vosses, who own 18 other residential lots in the Hammock Dunes master-planned community, paid $160,000 for one with a street address of 23 Ocean Ridge Blvd. North in June 2012, according to Flagler County property records. They hired Keystone Homes to design and build a 5,000-square-foot house there to use as a vacation rental managed by Vacation Rental Pros in St. Augustine.
The builder and Voss each say the error can be traced to the first survey in 2013. East Coast Land Surveying in Ormond Beach misplaced stakes, and the foundation survey and other documents and building activity were based on the error. During construction, dozens of subcontractors arrived each day to work at the wrong lot. And a final survey failed to note the error.
“We require a preliminary plat, foundation and final survey and they all indicate it’s the right lot where the house sits,” said Mark Boyce, Flagler County’s chief building official. “We rely on the surveyor. They are state licensed professionals and we count on them to get it right.”
Calls to East Coast Land Surveying last week were unreturned.
It was another survey who discovered the problem.
It wasn’t until September, six months after the Voss house was completed, that a survey crew working nearby uncovered the error and notified the community manager, who then called Keystone Homes.
And because they are aware of this error, there is no chance they could ever claim an adverse possession.