It all started out innocently enough. I had some clients that were looking to build a green conservation development that would also be very dog friendly. These buyers were interested in obtaining a piece of property of at least 20+ acres fairly close to downtown Asheville owned by a seller willing to do some owner financing.
I found a very nice 29+ acres in the town of Weaverville located only 15 minutes from downtown that bordered an existing 52 acre, 50 lot green subdivision, meaning all homes there would be built to Healthy Built Home standards( not crazy about the density of this subdivision, but more on that later). Asking is price 1.9 million. The land is rolling with two distinct knolls that have great views to the east, south, and west. In addition, the seller also owned the subdivision next door and also indicated that he was open to doing some financing. So far so good.
I went out to preview the property and met the owner, Bill, who is also a Realtor/builder/developer. Bill has already built two luxury green model homes on the property, with one having sold for about 900K . The other is listed for 1.5 million with way too many green features to list. It has high end custom craftsmanship evident in every room and is a wonderful house to walk through. Things are looking even better now since my clients will be next to a green subdivision with a seller living next door who is all about sustainable development.
But then I start to get a lot more information. Bill is apparently experiencing some severe cash flow problems due to the lots in the existing subdivision not selling. And then comes the cruncher, he has a firm offer from an out of town investor for 52 acres ( Bill has another adjoining 23 acre parcel up for sale as well, but not listed) who wants to put a minimum of 4 lots per acre on this property. The kicker, though, is that the Bill also owns 65 adjacent acres(up the side of a mountain) to the entire 52 acres where his home is located, along with the homes of his 3 children and their families. He will be looking out over this densely developed subdivision should he decide to sell to out of town investor. Bill and the other agent representing the investor have already agreed on a price and are negotiating the terms of the offer. Bill tells me that he listed the 29 acres in the hopes that some sustainable development buyers might magically appear and bail him out of the ecological dilemma he is facing. He is ideally looking for someone to build a mountain conservation community or similar eco-development. Bill believes that the Asheville real estate market is prime for this type of green development. I tell him I understand his problem and as I am leaving ask him if he ever considered selling a 5-10 acre piece of the property. I happen to have several clients looking for something like this willing to pay anywhere from 400-500K for the right parcel. Bill indicates he had not thought of that, but will percolate on the concept. So we part ways.
I later convey all of Bill's problems to my buyers who understand the issues but as fortune would have it are in the process of moving to Asheville to a home they have just purchased with my assistance. They meet with Bill who indicates that he needs 500K down and he will carry the rest of the balance at 12% interest for 12-18 months. He stipulates that the deal does need to be done ASAP. Normally these are terms that my buyers would find reasonable, but due to their moving find themselves not in a position to do anything until late March at the earliest. Bill indicates that he does not know if he can wait that long. He likes my clients a lot though, and their plans for the land. So Bill starts to implement plans to try and stall the other buyer, who seems very eager to buy the property.
To Be Continued ...