Help with wooded lot right of way - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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Help with wooded lot right of way

I was left a 7.5 acre wooded lot in upstate NY. I have a deed and it states that the lot has a right of way. In the 80's lots below me on the hill where sold off. My lot and the lower lots where all part of a OLD farm. My right of way went through the back of all of the lower lots. When they where sold off some one built on the right of way.
I am really not sure how to handle it. Anybody got any ideas as I want to sell but don't have the cash to get a lawyer involved over a lot that at the most is worth $15000. On the other hand I don't want to let it go for nothing. I have been offered $6000 but feel that is too low. Any ideas?
Thanks
Abe
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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  #3  
Old February 25th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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I would love to. I just don't know how to move foreword and get the most return.
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  #4  
Old February 25th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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I would gather my paper work, present it to the moron who built on it first. If no action is taken...make a tunnel through it........or you could hire goose for a case of beer.
All kidding aside, maybe get the county involved. There was an issue on an estate farm that was sold here in Va. Same stuff happened. County stepped in and the garage was demolished.
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  #5  
Old February 25th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Tompkins county hasn't been helpful at all as I live in Fl. and have to do everything by phone.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Offer it to the moron who built on it - tell him what you want - then advise if you don't get what you want the corrective action is going to force him to remove whatever he built on it.

Just ket him think/know/lie that you have contacted a lawyer, spoken tot he county etc etc and it is all quite clear.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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well...as mentioned before...we could all meet up and do this.........
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  #8  
Old February 25th, 2013, 06:35 PM
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The title policy for the lots below should have spelled out the right of way to protect your lot. You may have a case against the title company if it was not included. Also as mentioned above get the county involved as they gave the permits to build on the lots below you. If permits are even required in that area.
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  #9  
Old February 25th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarguy View Post
I was left a 7.5 acre wooded lot in upstate NY. I have a deed and it states that the lot has a right of way. In the 80's lots below me on the hill where sold off. My lot and the lower lots where all part of a OLD farm. My right of way went through the back of all of the lower lots. When they where sold off some one built on the right of way.
I am really not sure how to handle it. Anybody got any ideas as I want to sell but don't have the cash to get a lawyer involved over a lot that at the most is worth $15000. On the other hand I don't want to let it go for nothing. I have been offered $6000 but feel that is too low. Any ideas?
Thanks
Abe
I'm not a "dirt lawyer" (what litigators and corporate attorneys call RE attorneys) but I do run across easements often in my field as a commercial appraiser.

The short answer to everything is "it depends" and there is nothing worse than free legal advice so take this for what it's worth.

First you should have a short title exam, or "run down" to see if the easement that apparently benefitted your property was properly spelled out and in perpetuity (I have seen easements with a limited time frame). Then have the title examiner give you his/her opinion. That may save you some money over an attorney.

Assuming that the conclusion is that you still have rights to the easement and they developed an improvement (house, garage etc) over it, maybe they could simply agree to move the easement to a different part of the lot so they didn't have to raze any improvements? If that proves to be not feasible, then you need to figu out what the value of you land is worth assuming it DOES have access and try to have the lower lot owners compensate you for that amount because now your land is worthless.

The more complicated it gets, the more you need an attorney. I would assume because the land is not worth a great deal of money up there that minimal attention has been paid to "what ifs" and probably less attention was paid to zoning codes and engineering before anything was built.

Bottom line is you need to know what you have before you start talking lawsuits etc. and that entails a thorough review of not only your deed, but the lower lots deeds (chain of title).
Most likely, somebody overlooked/screwed up and that's where title insurance comes in handy if you're the lower lot owners. However, like I said, with lot values in the $15-$30k range I bet all of these were cash purchases with no financing and therefore no one was required to get a survey, title exam or title insurance.
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  #10  
Old February 25th, 2013, 08:45 PM
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Research adverse possession in your jurisdiction.
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  #11  
Old February 25th, 2013, 09:12 PM
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Abe,
Listen to Jackie - great synopsis. Your mind set needs to be $15,000 is how many hours of work for you. Spend a few hours on line in the county systems, and identify what can be ordered so you have paperwork. Well worth $15k unless you are LA Neil (a joke).

Once you have that - decide what you want to do, keep it / sell it/ etc. DO NOT DISCUSS THAT ON THIS FORUM BUT KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. You value the lot at $15,000 and will not accept $6,000 so parameters have already been set.
Once you have some paperwork to reference, time to negotiate. Be pragmatic, cautious, and evaluate every discussion. First off in writing contact the other party and state that you are aware they have infringed on your property without permission (mentally treat the right of way as yours). You are trying to identify what has happened - ask for the title information from the other lot owner. Also at this time discuss it with the county office but approach it differently - keep it simple and state "My neighbor has built on my land without my permission and I can no longer access my property- what do I do?" Let them ask the clarifying questions.

Good luck
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  #12  
Old February 25th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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To all that replied thank you. Thanks D90.
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  #13  
Old February 25th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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Tell the neighbors below you of your intention to start a hog farming operation and you are apologising in advance ('cause you are a good neighbor and all) for any run off, smells or sounds of mating. Oh yea my hogs LOVE opera music during the day and rap music at night. A little Fiddy cent helps the mating process see. You get the idea, then tell them it would take 30k to relocate to the next county over - settle for 15k. Problem solved.
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  #14  
Old February 25th, 2013, 09:54 PM
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OMG. I have an aquaintance here in Denver that did exactly that. He owned a trucking company and neighborhood gentrified around him. The neighbors offered him a lowball buyout. He removed the trucks and released the hogs. He had his asking price in less than a month. True story.....
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  #15  
Old March 2nd, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Thank you to all that replied to the thread and to all that sent a pm. Who knows, we might just start farming hogs.
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  #16  
Old March 2nd, 2013, 11:15 AM
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host a Land Rover event up there! I'm sure your neighbors will love it.

Tompkins county is right next to where I grew up. Nice place upstate. I can ask around and see if anyone wants to buy it.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarguy View Post
Thank you to all that replied to the thread and to all that sent a pm. Who knows, we might just start farming hogs.
Hey Abe,

I'll buy some Bacon.
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  #18  
Old March 2nd, 2013, 02:46 PM
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@ one point my partner and I owned a title company in Maryland. The advice above to pay for a title abstract is a good one- usually only $150 or so. Building on a deeded right of way is a big problem. In many of the right of ways that I have read the owners are to split maint costs etc. Did the county issue a building permit for the structure built on the right of way ? If not you have grounds to have the structure demolished or @ least force the purchase of your lot @ your price.
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