Circle of Life In Real Estate. Demolition. Real (Estate) Short Story.
My client is buying an Intracoastal-front home. He thinks that he wants a boat. He is a medical doctor, always on the phone, always ready to put the gloves on and get the scalpel.
He is yet to find out that the happiest day for a man is when he sells his expensive boat.
Right now he still thinks that the happiest day in man's life is when he buys it. In reality when you buy it, it is the second happiest day, the first is when you sell, they just happen in life not in the right order... But I digress...
If a man wants a boat, he is thinking about the dock. And this home does not have a dock. Big-big thing. But the Seller says you can have a dock. And that the DEP has nothing against it, and that the permit to construct the dock is in the works with the City of Daytona Beach.
There is a little problem, though. You may have the right to build a dock, but there is no place for it. the neighbor south put her dock wrong according to the Seller. And, of course, right according to the owner of the property just south.
To makes things worse, the neighbors are not particularly friendly to each other. And the home south of the subject property is in foreclosure, so sending the owner demands for fixing the problem is not really going to work. The Seller ordered a Riparian Rights Survey, spend money on it, and it allegedly shows that "our" Seller is right, and the lady to the south is wrong. The lady, however, claims that ohter 10 people are wrong and she has another "right" survey.
Meanwhile, my buyer is not going to get into this mess. He wants some clarity, and some peace of mind, that he can have his dock a be able to get his boat there, and have it all legally. So, in order to sell, something has to be done. And what can you do here? Force the neighbor, who is in foreclosure, to fix the problem? Why would she? She knows, and she did not do anything, so why expect anything different? The Seller needs to sell, and can't afford waiting until the foreclosure is through, and then the new owner (not the lender that gets the property back) is found, and until the new owner takes care of the problem.
Well, the Seller and his contractor found an interesting way to deal with that. They took the survey to the City and applied for .... demolition permit. Yep, a permit allowing them to remove the encroaching part of the dock. The City struggles with it, but legal department confirmed that it is legal, so the permit was issued this Monday. Along with the permit to construct a new dock, which could simply not come at any better time for my Buyer.
Yesterday I met the contractor in the City, where he gets the permit, and I give him the deposit to start demolition (Buyer agreed to pay for it). At noon we have the inspection scheduled. I am told that the Seller will come to let the instpector in.
We still need to get the check to the inspector, so my assistant (aka my wife) takes the check to the property. 20 minutes later she calles me from the site saying something is going on there.
Well, the demolition crew came in the morning. When they started taking the end of the dock down, the tenant in this house called the Landlord, and she rushed there. By the time she came, the owner of the subject property came to open the door for the inspection. The Listing and the co-listing agents came, as the Seller called them.
The landlord, called Police, and Police came. She also called her attorney, who was trying to talk to everybody on the phone. The owners started arguing. Police asked for the permit and the permit was produced. The attorney spoke to the police demanding to stop the work, but the officer told him that he couldn't as the permit was OK. Someone called the city, and code enforcement officer arrived at the seen. The police officer was invited inside the house, and turned out the landlord had another issue with the code enforcement, as she had two kitchens in the property zoned as residential single family dwelling, so the police officer witnessed the violation, and told the attorney that the landlord had another problem on her hands.
The tenant is angry and confused. He hears that the property is in foreclosure, the listing agent throws at him that he should not probably pay rent, because of that, and to add to that bouquet of problems, he learns that he may lose a kitchen. Living without a boat is one thing, but living without a kitchen is something different, and he is not yet ready for the ultimate diet...
So, while everyone is screaming and yelling, the demolition crew keeps working. Police presence actually protected them from any of this. I was told that if the Lady's attorney succeeds, they may come in the morning and stop the work, but by the same token, it was not really likely, as they had to have grounds for that beyond "I want it stopped". By the end of the day today I called the contractor and asked him. He said that nobody approached them today with anything, and they were wrapping up the demolition.
They still have some work to do and promised to finish by the midday tomorrow. So, that's the story of a demolition. Ask me about it 2 weeks ago, and I had no clue this was even possible. I must also acknowledge excellent work by Listing agents, and their involvement. They are trying to make the transaction run smoothly, and acted very professionally and resourcefully. I called the listing agent yesterday in the evening to make sure he was OK. I guess his feathers were a bit bangled, but he was OK...
Every time I close the deal, I feel that I am know everything, and there is simply no way there is something unknown. Every time I pat myself on the back... until next deal comes, and then, OMG, what the heck is this? What do I do now?
That's the circle of life in Real Estate
* Images courtesy of Google Earth and Flickr.com under Creative Commons License