Fort Worth Couple Still Fighting City Over Home Demolished by Accident

PHOTO: David Underwoods house, left, had been in his family for decades before the city mistakenly demolished it, right.
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Want to see the Fort Worth, Texas, house David and Valerie Underwood planned to move into next year? You'll need a healthy imagination -- the lake view is intact, but the 1,296-sq-foot single-family home? Well, that's gone.

Believe it or not, last summer it was demolished -- by accident, by their own city.

On a tour of the property, which had been Underwood's grandmother's home, David Underwood told ABC News, "The bedrooms were back on that edge of the house." He pointed to a now empty corner of the lot that had been David's grandmother's home.

The Underwoods made the shocking discovery on a routine drive-by to check the condition of their lawn.

"I said, We'd better go by the property and see if we need to mow. And, he's like, O.K.," Valerie explained.

"I'm focused down here by the street and I'm lookin' at the grass and the plants going, 'O.K. ... I've got mowing and then weeding and then edging to do," David said.

But then, his wife tapped him and said, "It's totally gone."

"Valerie says, 'David the house is gone.' And you look out there and it's a slick slab. You know you can't see anything," David said. "Disbelief. I was just shocked ... how do you tear down the wrong house?"

RELATED: Fort Worth Couple's Home Mistakenly Demolished

The house designated to be demolished was next door, at 9708 Watercress. But somehow the city messed up, despite the Underwood mailbox that clearly indicated their address, 9716.

"And in today's world of GPS, when you can spot something the size of a nickel, I would think that there would be a failsafe," David said.

Think this was a onetime occurrence? Think again.

"It happens more than you think," real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran said. "You could probably find at least one home wrecked in just about every city across the United States, by mistake. And how is it always explained? Human error."

Andre Hall in Pittsburgh lost the home he had agreed to purchase. It had been removed from the city's condemned list, and Hall had spent weeks fixing it, from the ground up.

"I was like, 'Oh, somebody's house is gettin' knocked down, it can't be mine.' I drove around the block, and came back, and it was my house.... I was just in shock," Hall told "20/20". "I have a court order stating, Do not demolish it."

"When they destroyed the house, you destroyed my dreams, my daughter's dreams," Hall said.

Pittsburgh's city demolition manager Paul Loy told "20/20" the city did send "a letter to the contractor, directing him not to demolish this property, and he went ahead and did it anyway."

A lawsuit with the contractor was settled by the city earlier this year. The attorney for the contractor said his client contended that the city failed to inform him the demolition was to be halted.

But for Hall, nobody is helping him reclaim his dream.

"Nobody wants to take the blame. The contractor points the finger at the city, the city points the finger at the contractor. But nobody wants to stand up to it ... and say "Oh, it's our fault, we'll handle it, let's rebuild," Hall said.

And over in Little Rock, Ark., a man lost his property after it was accidentally demolished when the neighbors' house was slated for tear-down. The city-hired contractor admitted it was his mistake.

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