A prolonged battle over an illegal Napa vacation rental — unhappy neighbors, city citations, in-your-face chickens — is now over.
Ashfin Gooya, also known as Goya “Sean” Sheen, sold his home, located at 3366 Linda Mesa Way, on June 27 for $805,000.
The new owners are Oscar and Marianne Healer of Napa.
“We’re super happy,” said Oscar Healer in a phone interview. “I think it’s a great neighborhood.”
Healer said at first he wasn’t aware of the home’s notoriety. “We had no idea,” he said.
But even after he heard about its history and the code enforcement issues that the city would require him to correct, he wasn’t deterred.
“We like the layout and the bones,” as well as the home’s location, said Healer. He used to work for Bell Products and knows how to fix up houses. The remodel is already underway.
One year ago, Gooya was ordered to sell the three-bedroom home to settle the fines imposed by the city for violating its vacation rental ordinance.
Since at least April 2016, Gooya had advertised the Browns Valley home for rent on sites such as VRBO and Airbnb for as much as $2,550 a night. The home did not have a city vacation rental permit.
The house became notorious to its neighbors who complained for months about a steady flow of overnight visitors, noise and traffic at the single-family home.
The city eventually came to issue citations with fines of $1,090.50 per day for unpermitted lodging and food service activities.
In an earlier affidavit, neighbor Bruce Chinberg said that due to the vacation rental, conditions on the street had become “intolerable.”
At one point, Gooya reportedly let rabbits loose in the neighborhood. He also placed a cage with live chickens on top of his car and parked it on the street by the home. Later, he installed signs around the property taunting neighbors who he claimed were complaining about his overnight guests.
On June 22, 2018, Gooya agreed to sell the home to avoid fines totaling $204,000. Instead, he settled the case with the city for $25,000. Gooya had filed for bankruptcy protection and had no assets at the time. The house had entered the foreclosure process.
Gooya likely didn’t make any money from the home sale. According to bankruptcy court documents at the time, Gooya owed $470,000 to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, $137,997 to a single individual as a second deed of trust, $600,474 to Bank of America and other amounts to entities with secured property claims.
This past week, Healer was already at work at the home removing counterops, flooring, room dividers and an unpermitted bathroom and bedroom.
Most of the work that needs to be done is cosmetic, he said.
“I’m sure at one time it was somebody’s apple of their eye,” he said. But when he and his wife first saw the condition of the home, “For us it was like, ‘Wow’” — and not in a good way, said Healer.
For one thing, the house was dirty throughout. There were numerous code violations and other oddities.
For example, “There was some dodgy gas piping going to the outdoor structure,” noted Healer. The outdoor structure itself may need to be removed.
Someone cut holes in the walls to create recessed areas for fish and reptile aquariums using “some sketchy framing.”
“There was an outdoor kitchen that had some kooky electrical. Random holes were where there shouldn’t be holes,” he said.
On the patio area, a toilet and sink had been installed inside a small metal outdoor garden shed.
“It’s beyond me what they were doing,” said Healer.
The house was built in 1980 and is located in a neighborhood of other well-kept tract homes.
Healer’s improvements will include adding a pool, new countertops, new backsplash, new flooring and a complete paint job.
Healer said he’s already installed construction debris boxes and started filling them. “We’re making some headway.”
He’s also met some neighbors.
They are “quite pleased” to hear about the purchase, he said he’s been told.
“With the history of the house, I’m sure the neighbors had some trepidation,” said Healer.
He assured them that the couple plan make it their home.
“We’re not going to turn it into a rental or flip it,” he said. “We’re not just going to slap some lipstick on it and sell it. We’re going to love it and improve it. Hopefully this is going to be our forever home.”