Neighbors dubbed it the "Mystery House." Some called it an eyesore.

Regardless of its nickname, many are glad to see the Stockton home at the corner of Harding and Baker gone.

At the same time, some like Roz Graham say they are saddened to see it leveled.

"It's a beautiful structure on the outside," Graham, a resident of the neighborhood for 50 years, said. "But, graffiti, you know, and homeless people are there. That's a big problem."

Wednesday morning, a large bulldozer began tearing apart the home in the quiet neighborhood full of well manicured lawns and blooming flowers. The Stockton Police Department, which oversees the city's code enforcement section, says the home has been vacant 10 years.

For nearly 20 years, the city says the home has had numerous code violations and no permits pulled for any work. City officials added there is dry rot, exposed wiring and a garage deemed so unsafe, it was demolished by the city in February 2018. The home was once a single story dwelling, but became a two story home without the proper permits.

"The weight of the second story is so heavy, it's actually sinking the below residence which obviously creates numerous safety hazards," Joe Silva, Stockton Police Department's Public Information Officer, said.

The owner of the home, Arturo Cortez, was not on site as the demolition progressed. However, Derrick Moore, a broker with DM Capital Mortgage in Stockton, was on hand and said that the home has been in escrow for months to receive home equity loan. The loan is to pay for renovations, bank liens and code enforcement liens of close to $10,000.

"I just don't understand them proceeding when we actually have a permit for us to move forward with the renovations," Moore said.

But the city said no permits have been pulled. The city added that the cost for the home demolition was $28,000, plus an additional $8,000 for the garage demolition. The property owner is responsible for paying the bills, according to the city.

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