View Full Version : How do I sell a very small plot of land to my neighbor?
04-06-2006, 11:17 AM
My next door neighbor wants to widen her driveway and possibly build a covered carport on the side of her house. To do this she wants to buy part of my property(approximately 4 feet by 30 feet). I am not personally attatched to that little strip of land-it's just more grass to mow, but I don't plan to live at this property forever. Would losing a little slice of my piddly little acre significantly reduce the property value? How do I find out what a fair price is and what are the legal steps to the property changing hands?
04-06-2006, 12:24 PM
there might be an issue with zoning laws. Specifcally minimum lot sizes and setbacks (setsides?) from an building and your new lot line.
Would losing a little slice of my piddly little acre significantly reduce the property value? How do I find out what a fair price is and what are the legal steps to the property changing hands?
Good answers to these questions would probably require the advice of a lawyer and/or a real estate agent, either of which would probably cost $. The wrong advisor would still charge $ but not necessarily supply useful info.
An alternative to selling the land is to grant an easement. This will likely be a lot less trouble than dividing and selling off part of your lot, though is not without its own complications (e.g. it certainly has potential to affect the value of your property).
If you want some free education, go to your Registry of Deeds (likely located in the town that's your County Seat) and check recent deed books for sample documents that grant easements. (If you don't know how to find such, ask the little old ladies who work there - they're invariably helpful.)
04-06-2006, 12:44 PM
Real Estate person checking in. First of all, you have to check with your town's Planning Board, to see about minimum plot sizes, permits, setbacks and easements. You might have to obtain a variance.
Your neighbor has to do the same thing to check out construction requirements.
If you just start doing this without checking with the city first, you'll find out how fast they can show up at your door, ready to access fines and make you stop what you are doing.
04-06-2006, 12:46 PM
To get sensible advice, you need to talk to someone familiar with real estate law and real estate values in your area. I would also advise that the price that your neighbour pays for the deal should include the costs of all the professional advice and help that you get, since the deal will only benefit your nighbour (except for the money that your neighbour pays you). It would only be fair that you tell the neighbour that is how you intend to proceed, before you spend any money that your neighbour would be unwilling to compendsate you for.
04-06-2006, 01:56 PM
We moved in to our house in December. We just found, by looking at the plat and the grounds that our and our neighbor's (common) fence is two feet onto our property at the back end and on the property line at the front. So the neighbors have a triangle of our property.
No big deal for us. We could be mean and make them move it. We'd get a tree and part of a deck. But that's just stupid. All we really worry about is if there are any complications in the future because of it. I contacted the city's Planning Office and they said it happens all the time that fences don't follow the property line. We both are puzzled since all a fence building has to do is follow the magical rod the leprechauns place in the ground that marks the property boundaries - or just follow the plat.
Anyway, the Planning Office said that to sell the sliver and amend the plats would require surveys and permits to the city and is an expensive way to go. Granting an easement, he said, doesn't get you much since it's still your property that you can't use but you're paying the taxes.
He said it's really up to us as neighbors. The only extra point he made is that any significant change to the fence that required a permit (and in your case a permit to widen the drive and build a carport) would cause the Building Inspections Department to check the survey. When they see that pieces of one neighbor are sticking onto pieces of another neighbor they may assess fees or deny the permit.
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