Land Ho – or Land, No?

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Friday and Saturday found us out on the land on which we plan to build our house.

The reason of the visits was to get an estimate on putting in a driveway from the boundary of the land to the site on which the house will sit. The driveway length will be 600+ feet.

As of this writing, we are waiting for the written estimates to come in. We expect the cost to be in the mid- to high-four-figure range.

However – things could get ugly.

As we were beginning to walk the driveway path with our last contractor of the day, our neighbor came over to see what was going on.

Our neighbor’s land essentially sits between our land and the main road. We both have a fifty-foot easement at the road to access our respective properties.

In 1993, when these parcels were recorded with the county, a driveway (referred to as a “road” in the covenants) existed from the main road into our neighbor’s property; our parcel had no such “road”.

The covenants stated that the road was to service both our and our neighbor’s property, and the cost of maintenance would be shared by both parties.

It seems like our neighbor has a different understanding on just how much “road” is to be shared.

As shown on the plat map that was recorded with Louisa County in 1999, and as stated in the MLS listing for the lot, the shared road runs from the main road to the body of our property. The seller’s real estate agent and, as far as we know, the sellers believe that the road is to be shared all the way to our property at which point, a separate driveway will be build to the home site.

Our neighbor believes, and was told by the agent through which he bought the property, that the shared portion of the road is very limited and our driveway would have to be cut into our parcel at a distance much farther up-road – so much farther that a ballpark estimate would ad 20k-30k to the cost that we had already planned for. A creek and steep drop-offs, plus the length, will contribute to that increased cost.

Our neighbor has not shown any eager willingness to grant us an exception (understandably), so the issue is unresolved. The sellers and their agent are in the process of finding a remedy. Until then, we have put the design process with Topsider on hold.

The parcel is ideal for us and we remain hopeful that something can be worked out without costing us any more than what we have budgeted for.

Stay tuned.


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