should we sell our recently remodeled home?

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  1. We looked for two+ years for a home with acreage and privacy where my DH could have an oversized garage to restore vintage cars. We finally found one that had over an acre but wasn't way out some dangerous road. It was a foreclosure and needed cosmetics but a ten-year old house and structurally sound.

    We spent several months remodeling it and buying furnishings. Now the house is like new inside with beautiful wood floors.

    Just when we were close to being ready to move in, we get a notice from the county. A developer is proposing the building of 64 new homes on small lots right next to us. A lot of people in the community aren't happy about this and it may not get approved. But if it does happen we would have several houses on our property line and a busy road going right past our driveway.

    So we can stay and try to fight it. Maybe get them to build on larger lots - less homes.
    Or we can try to sell now before putting more money into it. Next steps are the large garage and a solar system.

    It makes me sick to think of selling. We did this to our taste - not to flip. I never would have put expensive wood floors and plantation shutters in a flipper.

    This situation will take months or maybe years to sort out.
    The other thing is if we sell, we won't make a lot and it's hard to find a home that suits our "needs"

    This potential development wasn't disclosed by the listing agent. I consulted an attorney and he said at this point we haven't been damaged. If we couldn't sell the house or had to sell at a low price then maybe we'd have a case.
    Any advice?
  2. Wow. That sucks. A few thoughts and questions to think about.

    In our city/county housing developments are always approved in a nanosecond in spite of even the most ferocious opposition from neighbors. It increases the tax base. The more densely populated the development the better.

    How certain are you that this development is all single-family homes? A popular form of development these days is multi-use in which retail space is jammed in tightly with condos and small houses and that can be awful to live next door to due to high traffic and lack of parking.

    Are there any height restrictions on the development? Around here I've seen some nice large wooded lots with single-family houses clear cut and cobbled into six tiny lots with three-story McMansions built within feet of the property lines. I feel so sorry for the long-time neighbors who now live within the shadow of towers.

    Usually developers build in stages. They may take from five to ten years to build out an entire development. Which means listening to nearby construction every day for years.

    Do you know who the developer is and have you researched the company? Around here we've had big-name national developers come in with big-name out-of-state law firms that are good at convincing local politicians to let them build whatever they want. We've also had out-of-state developers with histories of financial problems come in and start large projects. They sell bonds, get tax breaks. Then a few years down the road the limited liability corp. they've created for the project files for bankruptcy and they walk away leaving the project half-built. Doing a little research on the developer might tell you what kind of neighbor you're in store for.

    Any possibility you could sell your one-acre lot to this developer for a nice profit? A good size chunk of land near a new housing development is sometimes very valuable.

    There's always the possibility that the housing development could ultimately increase your home's value if the prices of the neighboring homes are high.

    Once this housing development goes up how likely is it that you'll be hit with large assessments from the city for road improvements, such as road widening, re-paving, new bridges? After some retail developments went up on the outskirts of our town city planners decided a new highway overpass and intersection was needed. They assessed home and condo owners who lived as much as a mile down the road $6k-$10K for the new overpass. The city claimed it gave them better access to their neighborhoods although the real purpose was to handle retail traffic.

    These are just some things you might want to think about. No need to answer the questions. As painful as the situation is I would think long and hard about moving if the development encroached upon my privacy or promised to add urban noise and congestion to my life. I'm so sorry! This sucks.
  3. If it makes you sick, this isn't the time to make a decision.

    Look into your options, visualize what it might be like to live there when the development is complete. There are large properties mixed in with developments all over my city. We have condos just across the greenbelt. It may not be what you dreamed, but it might be ok. You could put a privacy fence around the property and triple paned windows in your house if you need them. Or plant a forest of trees.

    I would put off more non-urgent renos until you have a good idea of what it is going to be like.

    A one-acre property isn't huge. It's a big lot, not very rural. Things will change.

    If you do want to move, IMO you will have to find a larger property and be ready for whatever decides to move in around you. You will have to visualize what your life would be there before you can feel good about moving.

    However a one-acre property in a developed area could become very valuable.
  4. Jesssh and Sue, thank you for your thoughtful comments.
    The owners of the land built Phase 1 of the development several years ago. The houses are on 1/4 or 1/2 acre lots. They proposed Phase 2 a few years ago and it didn't get approved. Now they've come back with a different plan. The new plan has homes on smaller lots. A representative of the property owners came to a local planning group meeting. He was asked how large the homes would be and he claimed he didn't know. We expect they will put in two-story homes and because of the high density they will sell for less than the nearby homes in Phase 1, bringing property values down, not up.

    Our property is zoned Agricultural. We can have horses, etc. (we don't). One of the big concerns is that even tho my DH won't be running a business, the new HOA neighbors might complain about his working on cars. He's not doing anything illegal but he dreads the idea of neighbor conflicts.

    As far as the developer buying our property, the neighbors above us who have an old house with just under an acre have theirs for sale now and the developer hasn't approached them.

    As far as assessments for new roads, right now they plan new roads that would be private. So the builders or the HOA members would pay for them - not us. But law enforcement can't write tickets on private roads so we could have a very fast road going by our house. If the county says no and they end up accepting the plan and making a public road, I guess that could cost us. Hadn't thought of that.

    We've heard stories of people in our position getting concessions from the builders (having a wall built, etc). But I don't have a good feeling about these people. Aside from the density of their new plan, they have a rental nearby and it's really run-down. Makes me sick to think millionaires own it. Seems to me they're greedy people from LA who don't care at all about our neighborhood - just want to maximize their profit.

    Right now we're looking into ways to build the garage and do the solar at less cost so that if we have to sell later we'll have a better chance of being able to recoup our costs.
  5. Hi there!

    I am by no means an expert at any of this. My hubby and I just bought our first home after 7 years of getting out of debt and finally having enough for mortgage. Our modest purchase of our first home was very stressful, with all the "usual" stuff that we were totally unfamiliar with.

    ANYWAY, I read your post and just want to say.. I feel for you.. and I am sorry you are given this surprise plot twist, so to speak.

    Close your eyes and remain calm... Think of your husband and your other family, and think of all the wonderful things in your life...

    This too shall pass.

    Your life plan has been set in stone way before you were born.. that is my belief anyway.. What will be will be.. isn't that also how the song goes? Things happen and there are reasons behind it all, even beyond our understanding.

    My point is - try to relax and not stress too much. Stress can be very bad on our health. The days will pass.. the months will pass.. and everything will fall into their proper place so no need to lose sleep right now. No need to decide at this moment. Enjoy every day as much as you can.

  6. thank you
    I have said I guess things will work out the way they're supposed to
    Right now it's just hard not to obsess about which direction to go in. But we're looking at our options.
    Appreciate the kind words

  7. I would LOVE to live next door to someone who works on cars! :P Do you worry that the HOA neighbors would be complaining about the cars on your lot or the noise? Since you're not part of the HOA they have no business complaining.

    Around here there's considerable conflict between housing development residents and nearby agricultural concerns. People move out to the country and think that just because they have a $300K house they shouldn't have to listen to the sounds of a manure spreader or smell farm animals. Like what did they think their farming neighbors would be doing?

    I still think that having a one-acre lot, especially a non-HOA property, would be a very valuable thing. I would worry about the road. My parents bought a house on the outskirts of town years ago. It was on a quiet dead-end road across from a housing development of about 5 years in age. When the city decided to expand the road from one to two lanes they took the land of the non-housing development residents, the ones with the large lots. A few years later they linked the dead-end road to a major highway with a lot of retail traffic. My parents ended up with a busy street feet from their house, in addition to a large assessment for road improvement.
  8. I think he's worried about the possibility of having the type of neighbors who might look for something to complain about. He wouldn't be making a lot of noise on a daily basis. He might have a few cars parked on the property with covers. Maybe they wouldn't have grounds to complain but we could get into a neighbor war.
    The road is a concern too. The county could approve it as as private road. Or they could mandate that it be widened to conform to public road standards.
    I talked to someone from the planning dept this morning and he said it will take a couple of years to sort out.
    I hate having this essentially new house sitting empty.
    Before we consider trying to sell it, we'd have to do some landscaping for curb appeal. After doing that, we may put it on the market at a bit of a high price and see if we get an offers.
    Thanks so much for your concern.
  9. Have you guys decided what you want to do, or heard anything from the planners of the new neighborhood?
  10. No decision yet. The local planning group meets tonight. The topic isn't on the agenda for this month's meeting but we're going anyway. Will see if we can talk to some of the people there and pick their brains. There was one woman at the last meeting who's on the Board of the historical society and seemed very knowledgeable. I'll try to talk to her at the meeting and if that doesn't work out, maybe I can call the historical society
    Thanks for asking.