If you know me personally, you know that I am dissatisfied with my living conditions.
I live on 1/4 acre of property and my house is set back 40-45 feet from the road – leaving not much land behind my house. I have enough side property, but being a nature lover – I would like more. My family thinks I have a ton of property. My lot is 100 X 100. I grew up living on a 40 X 100 piece of property, so by that standard, yes I do have plenty!
My neighbors have more – like twice as much! They have plenty of room to put an in-ground pool and patio, waterfalls, etc. Yes, I live in a neighborhood where people make tons of money. However, we don’t! I am lucky I meet my mortgage payments and my monthly bills. I exaggerate; my point is that I am not well-to-do, nor do I wish to be. I like being who I am with my values set the way they are…but…I just want a teensy bit more property!
A few years ago, a man came knocking at my door informing me that he is representing a client who wishes to sell the vacant land ajdacent to mine. I disregard his offer, but take his card anyway. He tells me the price they want to for it (extremely cheap for this area especially for a 60 X 120 lot). I could build a pool he says! I look at him like he is nuts! For this vacant land is to the side of my front yard! Who puts a pool in the FRONT yard?
I tell my husband – he seems interested. He wants to build a 3-car garage with a workshop upstairs. Can we do it? He only wants the property if we can get the permits to do this type of construction. I do some legwork and find out that it has 2 front yards (being a corner property); therefore, any construction must be set back 40 feet from the road! It is also zoned, neighborhood business which means I can’t have any dwelling closer than 5 feet to the property line! I tell my husband he can build a 15 foot garage! Deep. Wide. Whatever! Now you know that just won’t do!
He has me do some more research – my town planning department is not too helpful. They tell me I have to own the property, put in for a variance and then they will let me know if my husband’s wish can come true! I try to explain to the brain-dead woman behind the counter that I am not going to spend – tens of thousands of dollars on a piece of land that will be rendered useless. I don’t have that type of money. She informs (the brain-dead) me that this is the policy take it or leave it.
My husband is not happy. Weeks go by, I see a man walking the perimeter of the property and he is talking excitedly on his cell phone. My husband is convinced these people cannot do anything with the land therefore is dumping it to the poor soul who is stupid enough to purchase it. I am concerned about a Dairy Barn (for those who do not know – it is a drive-up store where no parking is necessary and you get your dairy needs in an instant) being constructed there. Friends and family are assuring us that no other business can build there because they will need ample parking spaces to provide for their customers/clients. I am soothed somewhat by that notion. That is until I saw how excited this man was.
I call my husband at work! “Listen, who cares if we can’t build the garage. Think of how nice and pretty we can make that lot. I can have my garden I always wanted, we can fence in a section for Wolf (our dog), we can PREVENT anyone else from buying it.” He thinks it over and says “Make an offer.” My heart pounds, I am ecstatic!
Long story short! I am outbid! By $24,000. Damn bastards! I had everything going for me, but some land developer scoffed it up. This was 3 years ago, and my husband and I are still mourning over our loss. If only we jumped on the deal as soon as the man knocked on my door, I would be enjoying my front yard! But, we need to build a bridge and get over it though!
Fast forward to the present. A few weeks ago I saw a For Sale sign on the land. I call the number. The woman is trying to tell me that it is a house for sale. I am arguing that it is land. We go back and forth. She is yelling at me now. So I take a deep breath and say, “I am standing right in front of my house! It is the property right next door. Either I am blind or there is NO HOUSE there!” She then proceeds to say “oh that sign is there in error. It is for the house down the block – we will have that removed immediately.” I am so irate. First, she was nasty. Second, the land is NOT for sale.
But it gets my husband and I thinking. What is going on with it? Who buys it and doesn’t build on it? My husband is smirking because he believes he was right – you cannot build on it for one reason or another – but they are building on smaller lots around here – so what is the deal?
There is trash everywhere, it is disgusting. So my husband elicits the help of our teenage son and they clean it out. Brave souls. I won’t even tell you what they found. Suffice it to say, it is an empty lot, which happens to be a dumping zone for all sorts of items used in sordid activities.
We’re tired of seeing this next to our home all the time. Today, I finally decide to call the town and find out who owns it. I call the assessors office, they give me the name. They tell me to call the Tax Reciever’s office to find out where the bill goes, since there is no dwelling on the property. I find that out as well. I then proceed to call the Planning Dept. and they tell me that there are no plans on file. I take that to mean they never tried to submit anything to develop the area. Therefore no variance or permits were sought out. What are these people doing with the property and why?
I need to find out and make them an offer! I will offer them $5000 less the asking price of the previous owners! They will laugh at me I am sure, but what do I have to lose?