Author Topic: Might be buying an odd piece of land  (Read 797 times)

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Offline MushCreek

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Might be buying an odd piece of land
« on: January 18, 2020, 03:52:49 AM »
I know this should be under the 'Land' sub, but there's more traffic here. Mods- move if inappropriate.

There's a lot of info, so this will be a long post. There's a piece of land adjacent to mine up for sale. The owner (a broker) offered it to me first because it abuts mine. The price is right, and it would enhance my property. It's a usable acre with 250' of road frontage. Slam dunk no-brainer; I'm buying it.

BUT- Oddly enough, it comes with a second parcel nearly a half mile away. Not sure how two separate parcels have the same tax ID, but it is what it is. The second parcel is useless to everyone except a neighbor of mine. It's 50' wide and 1900' deep. Too narrow to build on. BUT- It leads directly to a three acre land-locked creek-front parcel that my neighbor happens to own. He's been trying to sell his 3 acres, but no buyers due to being land-locked. By law, there has to be an easement, but whoever owns the easement has been ugly about it. We're out in the sticks, and people have funny notions about property rights. Trees fall across the road, tires accidentally get shot, stuff gets stolen.

I have several choices. I don't want that skinny strip of land, especially as there's been some 'history'. I'm either going to deed it over to my neighbor, who's been a great friend, and could use the help, or buy his land, and then flip the entire parcel, or some combination of the above. As a last resort, I guess I could deed it over to the county, and let them deal with it. I'm not sure if 50' is wide enough for a 'legal' road, though. My neighbor can't afford to pay me much, if anything for the parcel. He would have to pay closing costs if he wants it. My thinking is that that strip of land would add a lot of value to his land.

I don't want his parcel long-term. It's in a flood plain, so you'd have to build on stilts, and septic would be an issue. I'm sure it wouldn't perk. It would need a 1600' driveway, plus the cost of bringing utilities in that far. It's not listed as wetlands, though.

I'm signing the contract today to secure the deal, as there are other interested parties. It's contingent on a clear title search, and I'll have the adjacent parcel surveyed. I think having the other piece surveyed would get expensive. While waiting on the title search, I'll go down to the county and find out what my options are exactly. My real estate attorney is pretty sure she can break out the separate parcel without a survey. Earnest money is only $500, so even if I bailed altogether, it wouldn't kill me.

Not sure if I have a question, or if I'm just talking out loud.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline NathanS

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2020, 07:53:50 AM »
Congrats on expanding your property - again, if I am remembering correctly.

It seems like these weird stories seem to happen fairly often when land is broken up and changes ownership many times. Somewhere along the line that lane must have been accidentally separately from the landlocked parcel.

If it was me I would give the strip to the owner at cost of transfer too.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 03:41:08 AM »
Yeah, we bought 1/2 acre from the same neighbor a few years back. Real estate is going nuts around here, so when a piece comes up for the right price, I'm all over it, especially if it connects to mine. There's another one acre parcel across the street owned by the same broker, for the same price. I'm even thinking about buying that, as it has full road frontage and is a good, buildable lot. Just not sure how much I want to buy. You still have to keep some insurance on it and pay taxes. Taxes on attached land are dirt cheap, as they become agricultural along with mine. A separate piece wouldn't be eligible. Now that I'm under contract, I'll go talk to my neighbor and see how he feels about it.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline jsahara24

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2020, 04:13:29 AM »
What about putting both of the parcels (your neighbors 3 acres & your new 50' strip of land) for sale together, but not actually doing the legal work until it sells?  Then you could make some money from the future buyer without having to incur any additional costs, while still helping your neighbor. 

Good luck!


Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 08:47:09 AM »
Subdividing the parcels should be straightforward, and I sincerely doubt a survey is needed.  But that depends on how it was originally platted.

I would check with the county and see what the parameters are for subdividing the access parcel.  It certainly seems wide enough for a driveway to my simple mind.

Good luck moving forward!
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 04:17:14 AM »
What about putting both of the parcels (your neighbors 3 acres & your new 50' strip of land) for sale together, but not actually doing the legal work until it sells?  Then you could make some money from the future buyer without having to incur any additional costs, while still helping your neighbor. 

Good luck!

That's a good idea; I'll see how my neighbor feels about it. 50' is plenty for a driveway. You have to have 30' of road frontage here for a private drive. I meant that if I deeded if over to the County, whether they could put in a real road as opposed to a driveway. There are two other land-locked properties along that strip of land. The real estate attorney *thinks* she can break out the separate parcel without a survey. It sure is odd that two discrete properties have the same tax ID#.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline BassLakeBucki

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 11:47:16 AM »
I vote for keeping that strip in private hands, either yours or your neighbors. It has been my experience that the county does not always have my best interest in mind. >:(The county may not want to create a road to maintain for just one land owner or if they do, they will tax it appropriately. If I was your neighbor, I would want that piece big time.

I own a parcel which has an easement and the easement is a negative for me. The users of the easement feel it is my responsibility to maintain the driveway at my expense to their standards even though I don't use it "because it is on my property", huh? I am working on buying the parcels that require my easement and will be glad to be rid of that worry.

It is great that you are buying the parcels adjoining yours. It will give you control of what surrounds your piece of paradise as no one cares about that like you do.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 04:08:51 AM »
I talked to the County, although I have a couple more departments to talk to. They were as surprised as I was that there are two separate parcels under one tax ID #. It's starting to look like the skinny strip of land is an easement primarily. All the more reason to get rid of it. I have to talk to another agency to find out the ins and outs of separating that parcel out.

As for my neighbor's parcel, it sounds tricky and expensive to develop it. You have to go to the Army Corps of Engineers to find out if there are wetlands. If so, then you get tangled up with the endangered species people. Even if you can jump through those hoops, it's flood zone A, which has its own set of challenges.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 03:57:58 AM »
An update- We closed on the property yesterday, so it's ours, one way or the other. It finally dawned on me that I should separate the adjacent parcel from the strip, and attach it my existing property. That way, the strip of land retains its original tax ID number. In going back through the title search, both parcels were once part of 65 acres, which was sold off piecemeal over a number of years. That's how two separate parcels wound up under one number. That's probably why the acreage is way off, too. It's listed as 4.5 acres, but it's actually about 3.2. Over the years, they just kept subtracting acreage as pieces were sold off, without ever re-surveying the original. I'll have the adjacent parcel surveyed, but not the long strip of land. At 1900' long, and about 20 pins, it would be very expensive for something I don't even want.

Next up is to see if my neighbor wants it. If not, I could just stop paying the taxes on it, and the County would auction it off. I don't know if that would affect my credit, though. I guess I could just put it up on craigslist for $1 plus closing costs. Or open a dirt bike drag strip!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 02:14:03 PM »
Congrats!
Sounds like the other piece is a perfect candidate for a dental floss farm  :D

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2020, 03:04:26 PM »
 [cool]
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline BassLakeBucki

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Re: Might be buying an odd piece of land
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 10:29:39 AM »
Congratulations!!

 If the county puts it up for auction someone will unknowingly buy it like the guy in Florida who bought a one foot strip of land thinking it was the villa in the picture.
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-ne-tax-auction-leaves-buyer-hurting-20190615-d573l2aw7nbk7hgf4y2d36qcoy-story.html

With so many slices and dices, hopefully the taxable values are accurate for the actual sizes. My only frustration when I buy property in my county, it “unlocks” the previous valuation and my taxes go up 300% from what the previous owner was paying.

Regardless, I love owning land, it is tangible and nearly always appreciates in value.

Way to go!

 

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