Mooers Realty Maine Real Estate Blog
Should You Buy The Property Next Door?
Whatever you border, should you buy the property next door?
The house, vacant lot, whatever type of real estate butts up to your border, should you purchase it before someone else does? Lots of ways to look at the situation when your neighboring real estate comes up for sale. Is available for purchase from you or someone else. The timing could be perfect or the worst for the opportunity to add to whatever you now own. It just may not be in the cards to consider buying what is next door to what you already own.
So if you can not purchase today, if the option to buy is presented, take the neighboring property owner up on the chance to make it your own down the road.
A first option to purchase is not the seller next door asks you if you want to buy or not and moves on with you now out of the picture if you pass up the chance to purchase. The first option means other buyers can wheel and deal and make offers all they want. But before the seller lets the property go to a new buyer, he or she will come back to you to give you one more chance to say yes or no. You could end up getting the property cheaper, with better terms than the figure first quoted.
Get that first option to buy real estate agreement in writing and expect anything verbally promised is gone with the wind when the neighboring property owner dies before selling. The heirs of the estate often care little about previous conversations and promises made between you and your neighbor. It's show me the money and settle the estate, pay the bills and split up any profit time for those left behind that you have no connection with personally.
If the property next door is priced so high that it is too rich for your blood, others may feel the same way too and pass up the option to buy. If the property is appraised by a bank lending money on the collateral, there is no way anyone is going to pay a King's ransom to make it their own. The appraiser keeps a lid on the fair market value. And makes sure value is there before the real estate closing ever happens when a bloated price property is being exchanged.
If you had a small lot, below the square footage of what is typical for the neighborhood, buying more land can increase the value of what you do own. If raw land is what is up for sale, if the purchase does not involve renting out a home or the added expense of tearing down a structure.
Sometimes the furnace, fireplace mantel, old slate sink, unique trim or other elements of the house next door could be salvaged for some value.
Or the extra land gained is where your cheaper, don't have to pump it up a hill for the new septic system situation improves with a neighboring property purchase.
But often the reason for buying a run down property that is an eye sore is to make it go away. Because not buying it hurts the value of your home more than the purchase price even with the extra couple thousand dollars put into demolition. The bulldozing over the debris or hiring contractors to load it up and haul it away somewhere else with the help of an excavator, bulldozer, dump trucks.
There is nothing better to look out your back, side, front door and see nothing but Maine land.
Space, no people, just wildlife, fields, woods, water. That is the Maine people are after.
Year's ago, had a home for sale that was dubbed "the pigeon lady's house" by locals.
Not to be mean but not knowing her name but seeing all those gray cooing, fluttering birds gets your attention on walks.
Lots of the gray birds covered the roof and sat crowded around the chimney of a place that was neglected, abandoned and just the dog in a nice neighborhood of properties. It was let go after the owner died but somehow avoid tax sale foreclosure. It lingered and slowly decayed from lack of repair.
The cooing pigeons had started building nests and living inside the dark green home where an attic window was broken. The messy birds were free to enter whenever wanted. And more and more of them showed up like the Woodstock concert of party goers, music lovers crowding a wet, muddy farm field in upstate New York.
So buying the corner property and removing it added to the value of the neat as a pin home next door. By not buying it, if it continued to be an eye sore and if it was bought by a slum lord to rent out with marginal repairs, the plot thickens.
The price to make it go away and remove it from the field of vision was smaller than letting it remain and hold down the value of everything around it.
Especially if the nicer neighboring property owner ever decided to list, market, sell their own real estate holdings. That is why the neighboring property conditions affect so so much the value of whatever is the subject of appraisal.
Your property real estate value rises, falls, or is maintained by the condition of everything around it.
If possible, approach other neighbors of the undesirable house property or the extra just land that comes up for sale. Those common boundary line owners might join forces with you. To make the offensive or extra acreage go away.
To be absorbed.
And to not end up having another house building or existing sub-standard structure situation remain to hurt property values. To have your kids witness domestic squabbles, to listen to howling dogs, chain saws or lawnmowers revving up. Even the nicest neighbors make noise, make you aware you are not by yourself and maybe on display.
A bad neighhor continues to be a real estate thorn in the side. For years you may have put up with a nasty situation next door to what you own and take pride in.
Buy it, split it, kill it and add to everyone's land holdings around whatever they now own is a win win win situation.
If what the owner of the neighboring property prices the parcel at is too high, you don't have to worry about many others swooping in to buy it out from under you. Waterfront property is an exception where the heart not the head motivates folks to pay too much.
When there is short supply and not a lot of other options on a tight lot controlled by stricker shoreland zoning regulations, buying any amount of extra land around your waterfront property is a smart move.
But it has to be a cash buyer, not one with a lender saying no dice when the appraisal for the over priced land comes in too low to make the mortgage and real estate closing happen.
Family situations come into play on deciding should you purchase the property next door. Your mother needs to be close by because of disabilities but is also independent. Is not going to do well under the same roof but being in a mobile home or small easy to maintain property next door would be a better housing situation. So Mom has folks helping her out but her independence maintained if you build on the land or retrofit what is now next door that adds to whatever you already own.
Renting out a home that is maintained at purchase to generate some money to help justify buying it is another factor to consider.
Then as it wears out, pull the plug.
Tearing it down in a few years but gaining some return on your investment is just good business. Maybe the home next door is toast but the garage that you lack is part of the trade. Or the water, sewer and power hook ups are ideal for your cousins with the big fifth wheel camper. Wouldn't you rather have them stay in their trailer than in your home after a few days?
Company can begin to smell like fish as they mess up your routine and lack of sleep entertaining and clearning up for them starts to make everyone a little punchy.
When you buy extra land, gain a garage and only remove the house that you try to salvage anything from possible from your neighboring property purchase.
Or you get to recoup some of the investment by thinning out the marketable wooded sections of the land your purchase.
To avoid having one or more neighbors building houses on it if you don't purchase when given a chance. Here come their dogs, their hollering and activitiy that can spoil the peace and quiet. No matter how nice the property are, it is one more neighbor in your space. Or keeping you from pursuing hobbies like having a horse if you could only gain some acreage. To gain space to build a barn with the tack room and overhead hay storage.
Buying the property next door or not is always a delicious thought to consider if it should come up during your ownership of any Maine real estate.
Maybe because it used to be one big acreage before the splitting into pieces. To put a puzzle piece back together in the mix and add to it's size is an investment. But it all starts with asking yourself are you even in position to pull off the purchase financially at any price. Alone or with the help of others surrounding it that share the same desire to make the pesky neighbor, their barking dog and Dennis the Menace child with the sling shot or Daisy red rider bb pellet gun go far far away. To not be repeated by more of the same or even worse.
Enjoying your property to its fullest means bordering a good neighbor or having no neighbor at all. By purchasing whatever you border that is necessary to preserve the joys of ownership and to maintain property rights ever being challenged.
Before the property hits the open market is the time to work out a deal.
Because once it is listed for sale, lots of other prospective buyers are brought into the fray. To compete with and drive the price up. If no one used the land or old house next door, it is easy to think you don't need to buy it. The best neighbor is no neighbor and the new one who is noisy, messy or just too sticky with too many visits whenever they see you outside in the yard is going to interfere with your enjoyment and use of what you call home.
Adding to whatever you own is always serious business to consider when the option to buy what is next to you is possible. Because looking back with regret at the time you had a chance but did not purchase when given the opportunity is too late. Buying and renting out a house next door controls the situation if you retain ownership.
Selling off the home means you lose that control of what is next door and how they use the property, the spike fence and squabbles you have down the road that affects your value, your property enjoyment.
Buying to get rid of an easement, to own the well you have rights to but a hassle with the land owner where it was dug or drilled. It all adds to the value and freedom of use of whatever you now own.
Don't be too busy or think no one else will buy next door to you. Consider seriously buying what you border and developing it, removing whatever is on the land. To create and preserve peace, quiet. To protect your property value and enjoyment of the real estate. Whenever the option to buy a property next door to your real estate presents itself, make it a priority to weigh all the pros and cons on a purchase of your neighboring parcel.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA