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A family ‘betrayal’

The current tenants of the three-bedroom home are Sandra Lee, 83, and her 66-year-old daughter, Cheryl Lee. The current homeowner and seller is Sandra’s son, Todd Lee.

Sandra’s parents originally purchased the property in the 1970s for $52,000 and lived there until they died in 2006 and 2018. She claims Todd and her brother, Cedric Goo, have taken advantage of her and her daughter and listed the home against her wishes.

“We had a large family,” Sandra told The San Francisco Standard. “Now we’re destroyed.”

Sandra says her stepfather (the original homeowner) wrote her a lease in secret before he passed — granting her long-term rent rate restrictions until 2053.

“If it wasn’t for the lease that [my son] didn’t know about that was made in 2018, I don’t know where we’d be,” she said. “It’s unfathomable, the deception, the betrayal — this is my son doing this to me.”

The Standard notes Todd and Cedric did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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Is it worth the wait?

Steven MacDonald, an attorney that specializes in landlord tenant law, told ABC7 the home could be a great deal for a buyer that’s willing to wait.

"It's for a very, very unique buyer that's willing to get a big discount — maybe two-thirds,” MacDonald said. "Maybe pay $1 million for a $3 million house and wait 20 to 30 years before you can move in."

Of course, there are less intensive options for investors who don’t want the hassles of being a landlord — but still want to reap the benefits of growing real estate value.

You can put money in real estate investment trusts (REITs), most of which are publicly traded, or you could consider buying shares of properties on online real estate crowdfunding platforms.

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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.


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